"I really like this drawing you did. Can I post it on my blog and what should I name it?"
"Yes daddy. You can put on your crazy daddy writings and call it 'Stripes and Circles'. Err... daddy; you know how to spell stripes? It's S T R I P E S."
Is my spelling really that BAD? Sigh…
Anyway, I really like this drawing. How it harmonize 2 different sets of elements. It's great to see the firmness and solidity of the lines complimenting the roundness and flexibility of the circles. And I amazed to see how the hard and passionate red can work alongside with the softy and cooling green.
Err... I don't think my daughter gets it. It should be more of a coincident rather than her intended work. Disclaimer needed before you guys start teasing me self praise. Ha ha ha …
Oh! Isn't the above statement going to get me into trouble with my pretty daughter? Oh man…
The drawing reminds me about life. About how we should balance our expectation on quality of life and it's associated responsibilities, and how we should measure of our happiness as against feeling contented.
Studying and working with people with intellectual disability, it's easier to discover how the lack in perceived quality of life had affected a person's happiness, and how quality of life is measured in relation to our exposures in life. Many people asked why people with intellectual disability seem always asking for more after increased chances in exercising choices. There are many literature and researches on this behaviour. For me, I always explained in relation to my daughter's changes in her expectation. How a bottle of milk, that used to make her very happy when she was 1 years old, is on longer good enough to satisfy her now.
With exposures in life, she started to learn more and therefore wanted more to feel satisfied. Adults without disabilities, like children and person with disabilities too, felt unhappy and frustrated when their perceived quality of life in relation to their life experiences wasn't met. The reasons why it's clearer in children and person with disabilities are (1) it's easier for us as an external party to observe the behaviour, (2) the above group either experienced a rapid changes or (3) they suffered from prolonged suppression of choices in life.
However, we need to be mindful in our continuous effort of meeting the ever increasing demand of ours and those around us. Failing which, we are encouraging the growth of the greed monster.
This is where the responsibilities come in. If we wanted higher salary, we need to accept our increased workload and responsibilities. If we wanted the freedom to go out unsupervised, we need to be responsible to take good care of ourselves. If people with intellectual disability wanted more chances to participate in community activities, they need to have socially acceptable behaviour. There is always a trade off for every incremental enhancement in our quality of life.
Whining, crying, and being angry, venting out our frustration on others for that increased responsibility you need to shoulder is not going to get you anywhere. It only hurts you and others around you.
That brings us to the measurement of being happy that affect our perceived quality of life, and the importance of feeling contented.
Each of us has our own limit of which we can shoulder responsibilities; therefore, it's only reasonable to expect that there is a limit to how far we wanted to enhance our quality of life. Any attempts to keep on enhancing of quality of life so that we feel happy, will only bring us suffering. It's like us on a journey of ever lasting quest; always busy trying to achieve the next target without much time to enjoy the fruit of our hard work.
We need to know that enough is enough so that we can spend time enjoying and sharing our joy with those around us.