Thoughts for No One in Particular

Changes within the unchanging

I mentioned briefly a few days ago that I had planned an outing to go on with a dear friend. Well, here is where we went today:




This is the stage for traditional comedy plays, which used to be inserted as short comic reliefs in between acts of long and serious traditional theatre dramas, but played on its own as well nowadays.


It is said it has its roots that can be dated as far back as the seventh century. But despite the overwhelming time that has passed since it was originally established, the actors (all men) are still dressed in traditional wear and still speak their lines in traditional language. So unless you are well-familiarized with the ways of the olden days, the only way you can guess what is humourous about the plays is by the exaggerated actions of the actors.


Sounds outdated and uninteresting? Not at all! You would be surprised to see how much of what made people “LOL” in the olden days have remained unchanged over time… husbands being bullied around by wives and mothers-in-law in the household, fathers looking silly going too far trying to give the best of everything to their sons, oppressed servants cleverly making fun of their masters who think they are being flattered, etc., etc.


These stories have been played from past to present over and over again, so they could have easily gotten drab. But although the comedic gist remains the same over time, they have been adapted by the people of each era to suit their time. They are kept afresh at all times by both the actors who play them out and the audience who give evaluation by the volume of their laughter.


Maybe nothing that remains seemingly unchanged remains the same.

Maybe they actually go through small changes constantly to remain seemingly unchanged.

Maybe in order for them to stand the test of time, they must keep seeking something new and exciting within the old and mundane.

Or else, maybe they become quickly outdated and uninteresting, and get lost in the sands of time and eventually forgotten.


I learned recently that this concept of finding something new in the familiar is called “vujà dé,” supposedly coined by an American comedian G.C. (what a coincidence!) to signify that it is a concept opposite of “déjà vu” – finding something familiar in the new. I understand it is referred to in the business realm as the many growth opportunities that has always been lying right in front but too often go unseized.


Maybe they are growth opportunities in individuals as well.

Maybe sometimes, we should not wait for changes to come from the outside but seek changes within.

Maybe our potentials – by definition, something we already have that can be developed to make better – are waiting to be discovered.


You will become more you than ever, remaining seemingly unchanged as you make the discovery. But maybe it will be a good short comic relief in the long and serious drama that has been playing out in your life, making a big change in you.


Here is a “vujà dé” I had today… this is a photo of the front yard of the playhouse I took before entering and seeing the stage:




I thought nothing of it when I was coming in, but as I was leaving I suddenly noticed its resemblance to the painting on the back wall of the stage! (Scroll back up to the first photo… see what I mean?)


Intended? I do not know. What do you think?

Whatever the case may be, I am feeling I have gained a little deeper understanding for the traditional arts from this discovery. Maybe I will FINALLY grow on my artistic side?! Only time will tell, I suppose.


2 thoughts on “Changes within the unchanging

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