Saturday, October 1, 2022

Final Straw That Broke The Camel's Back (#MY Eng 63)

This is part of a running series about English idioms - less about language, more about life itself. Previously, we covered 'missing the woods for the trees', 'the elephant in the room', 'practising what you preach', blowing hot and cold', 'no smoke without fire', 'one swallow does not make a summer', 'apples and oranges', 'cut to the chase', 'leave no stone unturned', 'that's the way the cookie crumbles', 'can't have your cake and eat it too', 'old is gold', 'putting the cart before the horse', 'mountain out of a molehill', 'pot calling the kettle black', 'bite the bullet', 'go the extra mile', 'silence is golden', 'the devil is in the details', 'sink or swim', 'once bitten twice shy', 'don't count your chickens before they hatch', 'don't put all your eggs into one basket', 'chicken and egg', 'walking on eggshells', 'flogging a dead horse', 'better late than never', 'storm in a teacup', 'between a rock and a hard place', 'darkest before dawn', 'empty vessels make the most noise', 'birds of a feather flock together', 'separate the wheat from the chaff', 'let sleeping dogs lie', 'open a can of worms', 'light at the end of the tunnel', 'trial and error', 'look before you leap', 'lightning in a bottle', 'on the same page', don't judge a book its cover', 'reinvent the wheel', 'shifting gears', 'throwing in the towel', 'jump on the bandwagon', 'passing the buck', 'breaking the ice', 'cracking the code', 'when it rains it pours', 'bigger fish to fry', 'ball is in your court', 'back to the drawing board', 'square peg in a round hole', 'don't rock the boat', 'a whole new ball game', 'burning the midnight oil', 'never say never', 'get all your ducks in a row', 'make the hay while the sun shines', 'tick all the boxes', 'a leopard cannot change its spots' and 'fools rush in'.

Patience is virtue. But patience has limits.

It's not cool to judge a book its cover'. We should always 'go the extra mile' to understand and help people.

Yet, we shouldn't let ourselves to be taken for granted, or taken for a ride. We shouldn't waste our time and trust on people who keep breaking their promises or failing the same simple test that you've taught them to pass over and over again. Life is too short bearing with people who wears our patience thin.

* * *

Being a fairly emphathetic person in general, I like to see the good side of people rather than their bad. As resilient as, say, a camel. My patience can take blows after blows... until the final straw that breaks the camel's back.

I have my own shares of idiosyncracies, so I can tolerate people's eccentricities.

I'm a bit of a loner myself, so I respect people's need for privacy.

I hold rather unconventional views about many matters, so I understand why people would push back on my advice.

But when someone crosses over the line of irrationality, that's just a bridge too far for me to relate and accept.

For youngsters, the line is crossed when they stubbornly stick to a course of action that's doomed to failure based on the weight of logic and historical precedent. Somehow, everyone thinks that they're special and be the first in breaking the cycle.

For old folks, the line is crossed when they think that they know better than everyone else based on their limited and skewed experiences. Often times, they also cross the line of annoyance by being extremely vocal about their dogmatic beliefs which they seek to impose upon everyone else.

* * *

Some people may regard me as cold and aloof. They're right to think so. I'm not the most expressive person in the room. Wearing a poker face is my default look.

Only a small circle of people have been privileged enough to see the inner side of me. But it's a privilege easily lost as hard as it is to earn.

Over the course of my short lifespan so far, I've cut ties with many people of whom I thought were deserving of my trust and respect. The only regret I have is not cutting ties sooner. From now on, the final straw needs to strike out faster and harder...

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