Do Not Thing

[ By Clovey Lye ]

Image credits: Do NOT Thing Movement Facebook page
Image credits: Do NOT Thing Movement Facebook page

On Fear Factor, a man ate 40 live scorpions.

Somewhere in the Middle East, a magician cut off his ear in front of a large audience.

And while we are at it, let me introduce you to the man who broke off his left arm, and carried it home with him.

Why would they do that? Do they have any sense? Oh, look. Someone is tweeting about it.

At 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, 11 April, I made my way to the launch of the Do Not Thing Movement at Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus, which will be running various workshops over the course of the next four weeks. When I first heard of it, I wondered “Why such a name for an event providing workshops? What is it supposed to mean?”

As put by Cynthia, the person in charge, it simply means to do the “Not” thing — the thing you say you’re “Not” good at but you have always dreamed of doing. The purpose of the event is to challenge the youth to recall what their dream is. Now that we are in university, this is the golden period to set the foundations for what you think and to explore your own potential.

Esther, who was part of the organising committee, added that in her opinion, people study one thing and no longer take time to explore their other talents and skills. Through this short event, they hope to help students rediscover the dreams and happiness deep inside them once again; to do things that they want to do but are not so comfortable with.

Now I am interested.

Everything was very well executed. For once in quite a while, the icebreaker was actually an interesting part of the event. Throwing balloons across the room, the last person the balloon lands on when the music stops will be called on stage to do something. Throwing balloons the size of exercise balls across the hall would be enough to get me excited, but what made the icebreaker so effective had to be accredited to the emcees, who did a good job in getting the crowd and those who had been “picked” by the balloons to interact with one another to solve the tasks given to them.

Image credits: Do NOT Thing Facebook page
Image credits: Do NOT Thing Facebook page

The proof of the pudding was in its eating. By the time it came to the speaker’s turn at the mic, the crowd was wild. Now I have gone to some big events in the past, but let me tell you, what they lacked in number, they made up for in enthusiasm. So much so that I think it was rather genuine when the speaker, Pastor Sky Jung, asked the crowd “Is this real? Wow, this is the best welcoming I ever had in the 22 countries I have spoken in!”

The message Mr. Jung gave was entertaining yet thought provoking. Few manage to capture that balance. He started out by recounting an embarrassing situation he encountered in the Korean subway rest stops, and challenged us to look beyond our current perceptions of ourselves, step out of our “toilet cubicle” and live life with a bigger purpose that goes far beyond that of instant gratification. “Our biggest misconception,” he said, “is that doing what we want to do will make us [happier]”.

“We don’t know. We think, but we don’t know what will make us happy.” – Sky

To reach this bigger purpose, he challenged us to find true happiness, and to find true happiness, we need to know two major things.

It cannot be connected to anything that is temporary.

You need to be able to be happy, even when you have nothing.

In short, in his opinion true happiness requires a reason. A cause. A bigger purpose. Meaning, changes the value of the things we own.

He gave another example.

Sherlock Holmes and John Watson went camping. At night they grew sleepy and went to sleep in their tent. At 3 o’clock in the morning, Sherlock woke John, asking him,”John, what do you see?” John replied, I see the stars.” Sherlock replied,”Yes I see stars too, but look further. What else do you see? John gave it some thought, and answered, “Well, Scientifically, I would be looking at little balls of suns millions of miles away, Theologically, I would be looking at the wonderful creation of God, from a philosophical point of view, I would be compelled to contemplate my place in this universe… Why did you wake me up for this Sherlock?”

Sherlock looked up, and said, ”John, someone has stolen our tent.”

Look at the bigger purpose: do not be bogged down by the smaller, more temporary purpose to the point that you get stressed out and lose focus.

Coming back to the 3 men which we talked about at the beginning of the article. We called them crazy. But. They had a purpose.

The first man downed forty live scorpions to pay for his daughters hospital bill.

The man who cut of his ear did it because the authorities told him that if he didn’t do it, he would never see his family again.

The man that broke off his own arm did it to survive. He was in the wilderness and rocks had fallen on his arm, trapping him. He had no food, and was surviving by drinking his own excretion. In order to free himself, he broke off his arm. He did it to live another day.

Mr. Jung left us with this. They had purpose. They aren’t as crazy as we thought they were. Now we – some of us don’t even know our purpose for doing what we do…so who is crazy now?

Maybe it’s time to find our bigger purpose.


The DNT 2.0 movement is an event which will be running on campus for 4 weeks, offering university students the opportunity to pick up 4 different skills – Dancing, by Mr. Ang Wooi Hong; Singing, by Ruey Wen; Ukulele lessons, by Malaysian Idol Daniel Lee; Chinese Presentation Aid, by’s Ms Angeline; and English Presentation Aid by Pui Yan Foong.

By ETC. Magazine

ETC. Online is the Taylor’s University online campus magazine, entirely operated by students of Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus. The ETC. online magazine is an offshoot of ETC. Magazine, a club run by TULC students and supported by the university.

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