I have been declining all the offers to move back to Kuala Lumpur. When a friend asked me about it recently, my answer was very straightforward, “how can I trade 5 minutes with 1 hour”. Yes, I’m living only 5-7 minutes away from my office, and I would need at least 1 hour of journey to the office in Kuala Lumpur, depending on where I would stay.
Thinking in retrospect, actually, it was not all that bad for many. Recently I had a conversation with a professor in a mosque, and he said that the solution is very simple – don’t think about it. Just join the crowd and think about something else. He was saying that a friend of him completed a course on leadership by listening to audio lectures twice a day – on the way to the office and on the way home. Well it can be 2 hour of lecture or more !
I remember a friend known as Brother Shahril who was once living in Nebraska. He told me that he learned Arabic by listening to audio course while travelling between Subang Jaya and his office every day. That was in the 80’s. He was then able to converse fluently in Arabic.
Recently, one Indonesian friend gave me another interesting perspective. He said that there are families that really appreciate their time travelling together in heavy traffic during festive seasons. They felt very close to each other (well they were very close in the car/minibus/MPV !). They talked about problems, life stories, futures, comparing notes with each other, etc.. Along the way, they stopped by the road side (or rest areas) having meals together. They treasured those moments.
In the end, it is all about how we deal with situations! As always, problems can be seen as opportunity. Can’t it?