21 January 2015, by Jim Lim
This is my first blog post of the year. Time really flies and we are actually nearing the end of January!
Anyway, my year started with a very interesting event. I was bringing my family for dinner one day. We needed to take a lift to the food court as it was on the 2nd floor. As we were about to enter the lift, my eldest child, Ethan, wore a concerned look on his face. “Daddy…” I began to get a bit worried when I heard him call me with a cautious tone in his voice.
“The lift floor is not there!” Ethan remarked. He then began pulling his little sister and brother away from the lift and not let them enter. After investigating, I realized that the lift floor was depressed further than normal. However, I thought the lift should still be working and immediately went in and pressed the 2nd floor button. I told my wife to stay outside with the children first while I checked it out.
The lift door closed. Nothing happened. I shouted at Ethan to press the lift button outside. He did so and nothing happened again. Then the lights went off, followed by the ventilator. I was trapped.
Although this is not my first time being trapped in the lift, it was my first time having my family outside while I was trapped. Instinctively, I tried to force open the door. I made some progress but managed to only open a small slit.
It was only then that I was able to see the horrified looks on my children’s faces. Ethan kept shouting at me to ensure that I was safe. Chloe began to cry. Brandon kept asking my wife if I were ok. Many passersby came by and the children kept asking them to save me. They were terrified of losing their Daddy.
I was trapped for about 20 minutes before the technicians came to my rescue. I was perspiring, a little shaken but ok. When I came out, I saw the relieved looks on my children’s faces. They told me that they were so afraid that I would die…
This “trapped in the lift” episode really set me thinking. My January 2015 flew into a flying start and I was immediately bogged down with a ton of work. Being trapped forced me to really do nothing and take stock of things. It’s interesting that this happened at the start of the year. It was a very surreal feeling when I was in the lift alone, with no lights and ventilation. Somehow, my attention shifted to why I am so busy. I run many workshops for parents and constantly remind them to remember whom they are working for. I realized I needed to ask myself that same question sometimes, as work can really take on a life of its own. I needed to realign my life compass again to remember that the reason why I am working so hard is for my family. Yes, I have ambitions that drive me too but family is always a big factor. Being trapped in the lift with my children screaming outside really reinforced this point.
Seeing how fearful my children were when they thought they were losing their Daddy made me realized how important I am to them. My wife and I are a big part of their world. Although most of the time they acted like we didn’t matter, we are the world to them. Psychologists have been telling us for a while now about how a parent’s interaction with a child can mold his character and contribute to his self-esteem. As parents, we play a very sacred role of bringing up our children as responsible, loving and sensible adults. Children who learn how to love people and use things, not love things and use people. And yes, I needed to be trapped in the lift to be reminded of this.
What a memorable start to the year!