The cockroach theory of self-improvement

At a restaurant, a cockroach suddenly flew from somewhere and sat on a lady. She started screaming out of fear. With a panic stricken face and trembling voice, she started jumping, with both her hands desperately trying to get rid of the cockroach.

Her reaction was contagious, as everyone in her group also got panicky.

The lady finally managed to push the cockroach away but … it landed on another lady in the group.

Now, it was the turn of the other lady in the group to continue the drama.

The waiter rushed forward to their rescue. In the relay of throwing, the cockroach next fell upon the waiter.

The waiter stood firm, composed himself and observed the behavior of the cockroach on his shirt. When he was confident enough, he grabbed it with his fingers and threw it out of the restaurant.

Sipping my coffee and watching the amusement, the antenna of my mind picked up a few thoughts and started wondering, was the cockroach responsible for their histrionic behavior?

If so, then why was the waiter not disturbed?
He handled it near to perfection, without any chaos.

It is not the cockroach, but the inability of the ladies to handle the disturbance caused by the cockroach that disturbed the ladies.

I realized that, it is not the shouting of my father or my boss or my wife that disturbs me, but it’s my inability to handle the disturbances caused by their shouting that disturbs me.

It’s not the traffic jams on the road that disturbs me, but my inability to handle the disturbance caused by the traffic jam that disturbs me.

More than the problem, it’s my reaction to the problem that creates chaos in my life.

Lessons learnt from the story:

I understood, I should not react in life. I should always respond.
The women reacted, whereas the waiter responded.

Reactions are always instinctive whereas responses are always well thought of, just and right to save a situation from going out of hands, to avoid cracks in relationship, to avoid taking decisions in anger, anxiety, stress or hurry.

Have a nice day.


About Gintai_昇泰

I'm a Chinese Singaporean living in the Eastern part of Singapore. I tweet on current affairs & inspirational quotes. I blog on issues or events if they interest me. I write for pleasure. I also write mainly for my family and friends.
This entry was posted in Langgar. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The cockroach theory of self-improvement

  1. Kel says:

    Hi Gintai,

    I’ve been following your blog for a long time now and I’m very sorry to hear about your recent predicament. Only good thing that happen from this recent escapade was that you made it back to blogging.

    Funny you should post the post on “The cockroach theory for self-development” I came across this article early this year on another site, and it got me doing some self reflection on responding and not reacting on whatever obstacle that life is throwing at me.

    Things are much better for me now be it socially or at work. This has got to be one of those article that makes you think and change your life in a positive way. (just that you really got to do it very consciously).

    Stay strong and positive there, i’m sure things will turn out well. Meanwhile, enjoy your break and think about how to respond and not react.


  2. agongkia says:

    Really Tai.I I dun know what theory but such opportunity dun comes often.When the 1st lady yell,grab it and when that cockroach landed on the second lady,grab it on the second lady..Can grab twice and get commended for 英雄救美。How many times in life where one can grab on 2 targets and get a thank you from the victim.

  3. patriot says:

    Agongkia is a fast thinker with most wonderful ideas.



Comments are closed.