A Glimpse of the Past
If life had a playback button, one would categorize my life as one far different than Josh’s life. Josh, the protagonist from the movie, Searching for Bobby Fischer, and I, Aaron Ng from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, are not similar in the way we approached life, the way we were treated by the people around us, and the way we displayed maturity during the tender stages of childhood.
At the age of seven, Josh and I were far from similar in the attitude we had when encountering the cards dealt by life. Although many people may think I was a quiet and shy boy growing up, I would tend not to believe so. Growing up I had a bad habit of being a bad friend. I was the type who wanted everything done my way and my way only. Friends would want to watch TV, but if it didn’t have my blessing, we would all be going outside to play soccer again for the hundredth time. When my magical powers seemed to be fading and friends started to disobey me, I would pull out my magical book of “How to Be a Bad Friend 101” and cast a spell that would spark my powers back to life. Usually I would choose a spell that involves chanting, or to some, it is better known as complaining, a tactic that was usually quite effective. Drowning my friends in boring complaints usually got them to do whatever I wanted. However, for Josh, this was not the case. Not only was he strangely attracted to the perplex game of chess, but he was also a really loyal friend and son. It was as if he was a totally different specimen; he did everything his parents asked him to do, whether he himself liked it or not. He was thrown into the competitive world of chess by his father, but he never complained, even when he was forced to take lessons from Bruce. A complaining and selfish spirit was characteristics that I possessed that were understandably different from Josh’s dream-like personality.
Josh, unlike me, was treated as an individual who was capable to choose what he would like to pursue in his own life. One may assume that everyone has their own personal interests and hobbies that would play a major role in determining what we do with our lives. However, this theory is not applicable in many Chinese lives, such as my own. I watch in envy as Josh’s parents smothered him in love by supporting his unrealistic passion for chess. As soon as it was revealed that Josh had the ability to play chess like no other, his dad immediately got him a chess teacher. I too, had tutors and teachers that were placed in my life by my loving parents. However, these were tutors that were instructed to teach me things that I personally never wanted to do. An example would be when I had to take violin lessons. I still remember the times I would drag my violin case up the staircase, making sure that each nasty thump of the violin hitting the staircase was audible to supplement my disapproval. It would be untrue to say that I am ungrateful, but my parents never really supported the passions that I wanted to pursue. Things that were deemed “unrealistic pursuits”, such as soccer, weren’t accepted into my parents’ to-do-list.
Everybody shows signs of maturity at some stage of their life, but not necessarily in the same way. It is also widely said that maturity comes with age, but in Josh’s case, this quote might as well have been said by a drunkard. There were many times in the movie where Josh exhibited a level of maturity far more advanced than a typical seven year-old. He displayed a high level of understanding other people’s feelings when he suggested that Vinnie could stay in his room and not out on the streets any longer. At that age, I was probably fussing about when the next ultra-man episode was going to come out. Also, when Josh lost at one of the chess tournaments, he pondered on the idea that maybe it was okay to lose, that not everybody has to be the best and always win. This reveals how he has already concluded that life isn’t all about winning and that success is just a subjective idea, all only at the age of seven. However, I wasn’t that immature when I was young, it was just that I thought I was being a “big boy” by displaying maturity in different ways. I thought that being grown up meant that I had to prove to my parents that I was brave enough to walk in the dark alone, sensible enough to sit in the front seat, and strong enough to walk the dog. The way I defined maturity at a young age was just different than how Josh was able to live through a matured lifestyle.
Josh’s and my life can be put on extreme opposites of the same spectrum. He lived his life with an attitude of respect for others, especially his parents, and I lived life as a kid thinking that I was on top of the world. The people in Josh’s life added on to my envy as they were supportive towards his personal interests and passions, unlike specifically, my parents. Also, Josh was able to develop a level of maturity far earlier than I was able to at the age of seven. Therefore, the lives of Josh and I are differentiated through the way we lived our life as a kid, the way we were nurtured by those around us, and the levels of maturity that we displayed at the young age of seven.
Extra Parts Removed:
Some may say that it doesn’t sound too bad, that being a bossy kid is just glimpses of potential leadership skills awaiting development.
However, being a spoiled, dictator-like kid that I was, I demolished any possibilities of fun that my friends so greatly longed for.
There was even a point where Josh was just playing chess for his dad’s happiness, rather than for his own enjoyment.
Like Josh, I too was forced to take many different lessons from different tutors, but unlike Josh, I made sure my parents knew I hated to take lessons.
Not the kind of bad friend that tattle-tales on their friends or the kind that smudges their friends with bad influences.