• Irvan Irawan Jie

The Parable of the Old Ugly Swan…

Once upon a time, there was this really beautiful swan in Broncho Lake*. Everyone who passes the lake could not have missed her. She was there all the time, showing off her beautiful feather with her elegant and graceful attitude.

During her glorious days, she made a mental note that she wanted to be beautiful forever, she made a commitment that she would not want her beauty to end. And years passed by… time has taken its tolls toward the beautiful swan… eventually she had (Oh my God… here goes, I can’t even write it….) WRINKLES…. *grasp….

This once beautiful swan is now an ugly old swan… with wrinkles, arthritis and a big ugly attitude. Since she wanted to be beautiful forever and ever and ever and ever…. She could not accept the simple fact that her time had passed; she also could not accept the idea that beauty must come from within. All she cares about is her look; she has to look beautiful no matter what.

With all the money she had (well she was beautiful, so she must had some commercial advertisement and lots of endorsement from Broncho Burger and Tratorria over at NUC Food Court**)… hundreds of billions IDR to be exact, she started her makeover… She took lots of cosmetic surgeries… lots of changes was made; she injected new beautiful feathers into her body, she had a facelift, liposuction, lip reduction, eyelid repair, all the bells and whistles that would even make Cher shivers. But alas, her attitude did not change… even though she looks pretty on the outside, deep down she is still the old ugly swan.

When the first time she came to the pond after her African Safari / Plastic Surgery by the doctors at Nip/Tuck, she was in for a big surprise… there are lots of younger and more beautiful swans swimming around in Broncho Lake. She was furious so she started nagging all the students studying peacefully in Broncho Lake and she would force all the passer-by to look at her by making this unnaturally high pitched sound. And in the end… the “used-to-be” beautiful swan is still an ugly old swan, despite her billion IDR make-over. As the result nobody liked her anymore… her peers shun her away, her fans changed sides to other beautiful swans, her endorsement revoked and she is by herself again, left to die.

(Maybe she should call the guys from the make-over show on TV)

The moral of the story is… it’s your attitude that defines who you are. Even though you’re old and had lots of wrinkles it’s not the outer appearance that matters, it’s how you treat other people, your attitude toward your friends, families and new acquaintances.

I met with an old mall yesterday… and they had injected lots and lots of money (should I say hundred of billions IDR) to renovated their malls both inside and out. They used to be the best mall around, but they’ve grown old. The renovation started 2 years ago and it is now near completion, it looks pretty compared to its surrounding. However, just like the ugly old swan, deep down inside they are still this “old ugly wrinkly and had lots of major attitude problem at the top” mall. With lots of younger and more beautiful malls around Jakarta, they should have changed their attitude and embrace their suppliers if they want to survive.

CHANGE OR DIE !!! As my wisest professor once told me… let the dying die and and the striving strive…

*Broncho Lake is located at University of Central Oklahoma where I went to school… visit www.uco.edu to look at them and if you’re lucky you can see its beautiful swans swimming around the lake.

**Broncho Burger and Tratoria is located at Nigh University Center Food Court in University of Central Oklahoma, it’s where Tod’s worked as a manager (don’t know if he’s still around) Lots of my friends used to work there…

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