So, can you stand being told you did wrong? Or, do you wait for life to teach you lessons?If you can divide people into categories based on behaviour, two types you may have come across are — those willing to admit mistakes, and those who refuse to acknowledge they went wrong.The first will readily agree when you point out they erred and may even seek advice on making amends; or, at least be open to discussion. The second however will cut you out, change the topic or walk out on you. We have all come across people who have a pathological distaste to even mild criticism.Here we are of course assuming a modicum of intelligence that allows you to analyse a situation dispassionately, a bit of sensitivity, a degree of objectivity and a whole load of courage!If the one who resists correction is a relative or friend, you feel helpless and frustrated because as a bystander you may be acutely aware of where the problem lies. However, too much insistence may lead to a crack in the relationship. Under such circumstances, should you persist in continuing to point that finger or sheath it in the interest of harmony and let Destiny take its course?Most would consider it prudent to take a backseat at this juncture, but would that be right? The more sincere amongst us would go on and on with our warnings, especially if the fallout is likely to be unpalatable. You wouldn’t want your dear ones to suffer, even if due to their own fault! Others may consider it wiser to recognise the point beyond which no outsider can do anything, so strongly has a person’s own will power, mind or Destiny taken over.Of course, a lot depends on the manner in which you point out a mistake. Instead of an all-out aggressive attack, most people would be far more receptive to mild suggestions and advice.Sooner or later, even though you may be reluctant to hear others point out your mistakes, the fallout of your actions will be the first and strongest indicator that perhaps there was something that you didn’t do quite right. Unless you are a total slave to ego, such a situation leads to introspection, analysis and insights. That’s how we grow as humans.It requires courage to admit you were wrong and it’s normally the weak amongst us who cannot bear the burden or guilt of blame. That is not to say that the person pointing the finger is always right, but courage lies in being able to discuss and analyse your methods and decisions even under the most trying circumstances, prepared to admit you could be wrong.So can you stand being told you did wrong? Or, do you wait for life to teach you lessons? And once you do realise you may have gone wrong, do you have the guts to set right the mistake you made? What if you overcharged someone though they kept insisting you were doing so? What if you underpaid a poor man? Or, screamed at someone innocent? Would you be brave enough to make amends?Now that requires a different sort of courage, to make amends once you admit you made a mistake. Most people would instinctively not want to be troubled by guilt pangs; so they bury the thought and refuse to meet their own eyes for a few days because eyes tell you the real state of your soul.Many years ago, a friend on the verge of marriage told me how her fiancé made a tell-all pact with her. His candour and desire to be brutally honest delighted her. Smelling a rat, I warned her to be wary, saying if nothing else, go by your understanding of men in general, go by reams of literature on the subject, such as Thomas Hardy’s Tess of D’Urbervilles and yes, also by the wisdom passed down by generations. Don’t tell all, even though all in the case of a girl like her from a highly protected environment couldn’t have been much! She never paid heed.Unfortunately, her husband turned out to be exceedingly jealous and in later years, used her innocent confessions as excuses for his compulsive infidelity!Agreed, an easy way to learn would be to blindly accept the wisdom of generations; to learn about life through others’ experiences rather than making your own mistakes. If you start where another left off, you would have that much of a headway. But most of us grow up with the peer pressure of ignoring hand-me-down wisdom. Each generation wants to take their own decisions, make their own mistakes and learn from them. Our instinct is to question and revolt, and do quite the opposite if just to prove we are way ahead of time to our parents! Well, certainly no harm in experimenting with life so long as you are prepared for the fallout. So long as the stakes aren’t so high as to be destructive, one is well within one’s rights to say, it’s my life and I have the right to make my own mistakes and learn from them! And truth be told, there is a certain charm in making your own bed and lying on it…
BBC Crimewatch film showing how detectives tracked down the swindler who was given the nickname ‘King Con’ by the tabloid press. Paul Bint, who was finally brought to justice in 2009, posed as wealthy and important men to win the affections of women.
don’t fear this ’King Con’
In April last year, a London cabbie walked into the offices of Keir Starmer, the head of the CPS, trying to reclaim a £60 cab fare. Except the man wasn’t Keir Starmer. It was the prolific conman, Paul Bint, who had spent most of his life impersonating others.
The Police were alerted and once they started looking into Bint they found that he had spent his early life impersonating doctors. His exploits included stitching a man’s head, changing a drip in a lady’s arm and telling the parents of a car crash victim that she would live and just hours later, she died. In fact in 1983 he was jailed for pretending to be a doctor in 10 different hospitals around the North West.
His exploits continued throughout the 80s and 90s and in 2000, he began impersonating barristers. From working on the Lockerbie trial to claiming to be the prosecutor on the Jill Dando trial, Bint claimed to be various characters in the legal profession. As a result, he was jailed on numerous occasions for stealing flash cars, a lap-top, and a barrister’s wig and gown.
Finally in 2009 he answered an advert in a lonely hearts’ column. He met 41-year old Diane from Gerrards Cross who had no reason to believe that the man she then began a relationship with wasn’t Keir Starmer, the head of the Crown Prosecution Service. After all, he had all the patter and even came equipped with a wig and gown.
At the same time, Bint began emailing 42-year-old Viv from Hertfordshire. But this time he claimed to be another high-flying barrister, Jonathan Rees. Bint, who was homeless at the time, would pretend to be working in the nearby area so that he could stay at the women’s homes. Whilst there, he also began stealing from them. He booked a holiday to the Turks and Caicos Islands under Diane’s name and took money from her bank account. And he stole a bracelet from Viv and gave it to Diane as a present.
In March, Bint got into an argument with a car clamper in Windsor, once again, he claimed to be Keir Stamer. Only this time, he went to the paper with his story, vowing to fight the car clampers in the courts. Around the same time, Bint took a cab from Paddington to Diane’s house in Gerrard’s Cross. He told the cabbie that his name was Keir Starmer and to come to his offices and he would pay the £60. The cabbie went to Keir’s office, which is when they alerted the Police.
On 19 May, Bint was at a meeting in Reading and Police arrested him. He appeared to be very arrogant, saying that there was no crime in pretending to be someone else. After years posing as a barrister, he was very confident in the witness box but after a trial lasting 2 weeks, the jury found Bint guilty of fraud by false representation, burglary and theft. He was sentenced to 3 years in prison.
Dear blog owner of this blog and your other blogs
I am masterwordsmith and would like to inform you that since the beginning of January 2012, I have finally been enlightened.
I appreciate your effort to illuminate the minds of Malaysians who have been beguiled. Rest assured that I was also ‘lost’ and now see the light.
I wish to request that you remove my photograph from this blog and all your other blogs because I do not wish to be associated with RPK at all in any way! I have not visited his site since late December 2011. I trust that since we are like-minded now, you can kindly concede to my request.
Also, kindly remove the offending caption of “MASTERWORDSMITH ARE YOU RPK’S SLEEPING PARTNER OR LONDON STREET HOOKER?” from all your blogs.
I am NOT his sleeping partner, neither am I a London Street hooker. I am just a senior citizen who loves Malaysia.
I hope you can understand that I really do not want to be associated with him at all in any way and do not wish to be on the receiving end of such damaging statements. I am already old and would want to leave behind a legacy that my loved ones can be proud of. As it is, my entire family has been very saddened by the caption and the association implied in the caption including the posting of my photograph.
In fact, I have written a few hard-hitting posts criticizing him. You might have missed this.
You can read them at:
By the way, StraightTalking is my friend. I am sure he will be delighted to know that you have featured his writings.
I seek your cooperation and understanding in this matter.
Thank you very much for your kindness. Wishing you the best.