02 August 2009
I've always wondered why it is considered such a horrible thing for a Dusun to do something halfway. If you start a job, you are expected to achieve a certain level (of security or status) before calling it quit. If you quit before that expectation has materialized, you can be certain that you have raised ruckus within the community. You have now earned the reputation of a being coward, one that brings shame to yourself and the family.
Now that, according to another Dusun commandment, is not being courageous. It is very very bad. A Dusun must have courage as big as the Kinabalu mountain. You have to live up to the expectation, no less.
This is not easy to do. Me for example- many a time I feel like quitting whatever I am doing because of all kinds of pressure. But I suppose I am still very much a Dusun as I haven't yet had the courage to ever quit anything halfway. I have to keep reminding myself that my grandparents, the closest examples to me, to their last breaths, had lived very courageously.
My grandfather, especially, is my main role-model. When he was bed-ridden, I had the chance to be by his side on and off for two weeks (three days after I left he passed away). He was in so much pain from a colon tumor but he fought bravely till the very end. He continued to enjoy life, asking for his favourite foods (in small amount) when he felt like it, tapping his feet to the sound of music even though he was completely bed-ridden by then.
I remember the last day I visited him, I cried because somehow I knew that was the last for us. He grabbed my fingers and told me someone in a long robe with a book came before to give him a blessing and that everyone of us would be blessed and he would be made whole again. Looking back, it was obvious that he was ending his journey because of the many 'people in robes' he saw visiting him. Even then he continued to be positive, to feel that he would be freed from all his pain and be made whole again. (I believe he is, rest in peace 'ama').
Everytime I think of quitting, I focus on him and how brave he was. That keeps me going. Got to keep this Dusun courage going.