Monday, July 14, 2014

Why Germany's win of World Cup is so deserving. 3 life lessons re-learned and applied


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* BMW Film Awards Best Actor
* Jury Duty
Worldwide Photo Exhibit
Endorsement Value
World Cup KFC commercial
Controversial but Most-Watched Episode
The Golden Shorts Fame

It's rare for an artiste to analyse a game and see the parallel it has to do with his own life. Maybe it's only me. Personally, I love Japanese sumo wrestling more. Japanese sumo wrestling sport is between only 2 players, so you get to watch their strategy and movements more intimately and clearer due to the pull of focus that's more defined. Football on the other hand consisted of a very large field with many players, hence the pull of focus can get a bit fuzzy and unpredictable due to its massive scale. Unfortunately Japanese sumo wrestling lacked the mainstream appeal compared to football. Football attracts countries worldwide to its field. But why? To me, it is because football is perceived to be a very easy game to play, hence any Tom, Dick and Harry thinks they can control a ball and kick. The very structure of the football game is almost simplistic, say compared to sumo wrestling. All you need to play football is a ball. The simpler the game, the larger its audience and fans. Who wants a difficult and complex strategy game like sumo wrestling where the players gobbled truckloads of potatoes to keep their large bodies, when you can have sexy, fit and tall football players to ogle at on the field? Due to its macro scope, a football game always sheds light on the best and worst of a country. Look at last night's World Cup's Final between Germany and Argentina. The first half of the game no team scored even a goal - because these two countries were equally great at the game. But it only takes ONE goal to decide the winner. And the winning goal goes to Germany - to the most unexpected player, at least to my opinion - but also the most deserving.

Germany as a country is so vastly different from Malaysia. German laws are meant to protect human rights and freedom. Prostitution is legal in Germany. Same-sex marriage is legal in Germany. Even drug coffeehouses is legal in Germany! A lot of Malaysians would condemn all of these so-called "sin" and looked down on them like we were so much better than Germany. But don't forget who won the World Cup and who created world-class brand like BMW. I believed Malaysians' greatest weakness is our inscruptable distinction between right and wrong, and choose to see everything in black and white - to the extent of hurting our own humanity and freedom as a result.

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My brush with anything German was quite a number - BMW Film Awards Best Actor, that's one. I've also personally worked with Germans before - one in particular was the photographer Wolfgang Schwirtz who took some of the most beautiful pictures. Then the other was a short cameo in a German-language TV drama. I'm fascinated that how most Germans are alike in their working attitude, be it at photography or the football field. Allow me to share what I've learned and observed from last night's game:

1) Recover Fast from the Past
Each day is a clean slate. We must not bring back our past to stop us in the present. This point is extremely important to learn from especially if you're Malaysian. Like Germany, they had a dark past figure - Hitler. But they were quick to move on and recover from history. They don't get emotionally negative or stuck in their mentality about their past. I read in news of how other countries like to bring out their dirty past. But what did Germany do? They won the World Cup. In many ways, I can relate to them for a lot of times I've encountered certain people who "threatens" to bring out the dark past about me to bring me down. Thankfully, I recovered fast and move on. Most of the times, I simply showed these losers my middle finger.

2) Look Beyond the Superficial
As I was watching the finals and feeling almost too tired to watch on because it was late already, suddenly there was a goal! Who was that player, my curiosity got the best of me. He ran and kicked the ball right into the post swiftly and easily on a clear field! No other Argentinian players were there at that moment to stop him - and he took on that split second opportunity and turned it into World Cup gold. Amazing! So as I continued to watch on to find out his name - Mario Goetz, I was surprised to see how his height was shorter than his other team players. He's quite vertically challenged! I never thought shorter players were ever considered to be in a football team, but they allow that in Germany. They really know how to recognise and reward talent, despite the superficial limitations. Heck, I'm not saying I'm any better, my height is probably the same as Mario. That really encouraged me to cheer for him even more because he doesn't let his height stop him from going for the goal. All the other players were pathetically tall and fit, but it was this "short little man" that killed the World Cup Goliath.

3) Play fair, don't hurt others
This is the last and most important lesson I've witnessed happening during the World Cup finals. The parallel to my life as an artiste is so alike. I was hurt by others all my life, starting as a child to the times when I was working with talentless and unscrupulous racist director, producer, bosses, you name it (mind you, they're all Malaysians). Those who hurt others never wins. They may be in charge now, or the person acting as the boss. But they never ever win, even when they think they do. That's a universal fact. Industry may abandoned you after exploiting you, or your loved ones and friends left you for years without ever saying hi or invites you to any social gathering. Don't feel down. They only want to hurt you so they may feel better and secure about themselves. Look at how Argentina played against Germany. I was surprised at how the Argentinian players kicked and scratched at the Germans to catch the ball, with the extension of their legs, hands and butting heads to the point of hurting them unscrupulously. I see blood gushing out from the nose of a German player, heads were knocked, feets were cracked. But did Argentina win? As for the Germans, the way they played the game was never intentionally to hurt the other opposing players. People can read the way you play. That's why their win was truly deserving.