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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Lao Tzu Says

  1. FADE IN.

  2. Act 1


  4. PETER wakes up.

  5. PETER (V.O.): Unlike the night before, I slept very well.

  6. Pausing.

  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I was worried about if I could have online access to my bank accounts as I had to file my tax return yesterday.

  8. Pausing.

  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Once I've done that, I'd only bother them again next year.


  11. Arriving the Shek O public car park in his silver coupe, Peter sees no vacant space.

  12. PETER (V.O.): Perhaps today is only a cloudy Friday.

  13. Peter leaves for Big Waves Bay.

  14. Act 2


  16. Having parked his coupe in a metered car park, Peter walks to the beach.

  17. PETER (V.O.): Just a few souls.

  18. After changing and observing the two lifeguards in stations, Peter swims to the outer limit of the swimming area.

  19. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Here, the water is always cool, and the floating orange balls are too small to support me in rough water.

  20. Peter continues to swim calmly along the orange buoy boom line.

  21. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I'm taking a risk. Here's Big Waves Bay. If there's any hiccup, the two lifeguards couldn't save me.

  22. Having swum back nearer to the shore, Peter continues to swim several hundred meters.

  23. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I'm already lucky that I'm now a senior citizen. Still, I want to add years to my life through exercises.

  24. Peter is the last swimmer to return to the beach in the whole Bay.

  25. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Well, I feel good.

  26. Later, when Peter emerges from the Bay's facilities, it's raining cats and dogs.

  27. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The weather is changing fast. What may not change can be people's habits.

  28. Peter sees a WOMAN carrying an umbrella arriving in the rain.

  29. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Yes, the sun will shine. But I can't wait. I've got other things to do.


  31. Peter puts away files and books.

  32. PETER (V.O.): I've got an idea about my court work next week. Let me do something less dry.

  33. Peter checks the Quora notifications in his mobile.

  34. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Asking my thoughts on Lao Tzu's saying?

  35. Peter re-reads the answer request.

  36. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Lao Tzu says "Time is a created thing. To say: "I don't have time", is like saying, "I don't want to".

  37. Thinking.

  38. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): If there aren't clocks and watches, there's no time. Operational time is created by humans.

  39. Pausing.

  40. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The reality is that there's a network of event sequences that humans posit them as "time". Time helps us tell the linear difference among past, present and future.

  41. Pausing.

  42. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But the network of event sequences doesn't have to be linear. The past, the present and the future can be in one time-space dimension.

  43. Pausing.

  44. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): We're living in the so-called "present", remembering the so-called "past" and anticipating the so-called "future".

  45. Pausing.

  46. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): To say "I don't have time" is like saying "I don't want to waste my life in the suggested event".

  47. Pausing.

  48. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Time is valuable as one's lifetime is limited. It becomes more valuable when one gets old.

  49. Sighing.

  50. Act 3


  52. Peter checks one of his answers in Quora.

  53. PETER (V.O.): Earlier, a Quoran asked me if a competent person could stay competent all the time.

  54. Pausing.

  55. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Competency is the capacity to get things done. As the environment is dynamic, one can only stay competent if one sustains its competency.

  56. Pausing.

  57. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The same principle applies to incompetency. An incompetent person can learn to become competent too.

  58. Reading.

  59. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Another Quoran asks me now if it is the right approach to believe the best is yet to come in future after a temporary setback?

  60. Thinking.

  61. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): That must be so. It's a general phenomenon that valuable stuff are often non-obvious even to those skilled in the art.

  62. Reflecting.

  63. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I'm now a modern Lao Tzu - an humble old man, actually.

  64. Peter sleeps.

  65. FADE OUT.

  66. THE END

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