Monday, December 28, 2009

Fly, My Children, And Fly High


Everything nice must come to an end.

My daughter had come home after her semester exam for a 6 week holidays.

We had enjoyed meals and feasts together, outings and visiting together, shopping and cooking together, talking and laughing together, and many more....

But the time had come for her to leave home, to take a flight from Kuching to Kuala Lumpur to further her studies.

It was with great sadness to let her go, but we wouldn't stop her from chasing after her dreams.

After all, in another 6 week time, she would be back home again for her Chinese New Year holidays.

Then in another few months time, her long semester holidays....

*******

Every stage of our life is full of exciting, surprising, happy and even challenging events....

And now we are beholding our fast growing children...

Wasn't it just yesterday that they were still in our arms, so delicate and helpless, wailing only for our attention?

.............................

We sent her to the airport.

Everyone was rather quiet today....

The time for living together had come to an end....

Our eldest daughter is flying over the South China Sea to further her study in a prestigious university.

In a week time, another flight for my son to his college.

For myself and my youngest daughter, we will be back to school.

And my lovely wife will be at home alone, overseeing everything and keeping in touch with everybody every now and then....

And that's life.

Whether we like it or not, time waits for no one!

And the best time to start is now, when we are filled with zeal, enthusiasm, and energy to do what is ours to do.

Fly, my children, and fly high...

Stay safe and come home to us when the job is done....

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Another Bus Service Is Gone


A public bus transport company is closing operations this coming Christmas.

After operating for 56 years, the company has to shut down due to heavy annual losses.

The company had its golden era during the 60s, when there were few private transport around. Most of the buses were fully packed with 70-80 people day and night.

The company was doing well and expanding fast, taking over other bus company and new bus routes.

I could still remember how the bus conductor charged everyone in the bus according to their heights, which always put me in the disadvantage....

As the bus company prospered, special monthly bus fare for students and old folks was introduced.

And the good news was that there were always enough buses around to cater for early birds and the midnight movie goers.

The bus transport company had really done a great service to the people in the city and the nearby districts and towns....

During its prime, it had more than 120 buses and provided jobs for more than 200 workers.

But today there are only 60 workers, majority of which are in their 40s and 60s, and the oldest is already in his 80s....

As the saying goes, things don't always stay the same.

As the economy of the country booms, more people could afford to buy cars and motorbikes, and less people would prefer to use public transport.

And the developmental needs of the rural people required the government authorities to legalize private van transport services to cater for the daily needs and wants of the country people.

What happens next was beyond control....

More and more private transport services moved freely in the city, districts and towns.

Competitions between the bus company and the private transport services became fiercer and tougher....

As a result, the bus company was incurring losses of hundreds of thousands every year.

In order to sustain the business, pieces of land and properties had to be sold....

The bus company held discussions and negotiations with the government authorities to resolve the situation. But no effective measure was taken.

For the past 10 years, more and more legalized and illegal private transport services abounded everywhere and at every time.

The board of directors finally came to this decision: The bus company must stop operations.

It was reported in the paper that another bus transport company would take over, to run the city and the international airport.

But can it withstand the onslaughts?

And how about those bus routes that had been abandoned?

Now that another bus service is gone, it leaves us with much feeling of hopelessness and frustration.

Will the bus service be gone forever from this country?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

So Long My Friend


One of my colleagues passed away last month.

It struck me with surprise and dismay

I had known him since school days.

I didn't know the family well......

I didn't remember knowing his father.

I had seen his mother a few times but I had never talked to her.

Vaguely I remembered he had only one brother who was still around and happy married.

I didn't know the whereabouts of the mother now.

And I presumed he lost his father since early his childhood.

His house was very near to the main road, a wooden house near a junction with a sloping road leading far into a chinese village.

I remembered he had a few fruit trees around his small house.

He had most probably come from a very poor family.

*******

I didn't talk to him much during our school years.

But I clearly remembered seeing him in the public library, reading those chinese sword fighting books, literature, and novels.

He was of a quiet and modest disposition, keeping things mostly to himself.

I was told he was very diligent in his study.

He was one year my senior and we used to greet one another with a smile.

We didn't commune much, but I thought I knew him...He was contemplative and calm, and an experienced and thoughtful chinese chess player.

*******

Many years later.......

I met him in the same school where we studied.

I was surprised that we were both teachers in the same school.

I laughed heartily and enjoyed his company.

He had graduated as an engineer and had been an experienced mathematics teacher before I came.

I loved to talk to him; he was very philosophical and had many great ideas.

I loved to play chinese chess with him, only to realize he was cooler and wiser.

Then he told me that he had stomach ulcer because of his gastric problems during his school days....

And he had taught as a temporary teacher for many years to finance his monthly medication....

*******

Then came his fiancee teaching in the same school....

I used to tease him about his relationship...

Then the unexpected happened!

His fiancee broke up with him.....

He told me how he had sponsored her in her studies.... shaking his head always with tears swelling on his eyes.....

*******

Not long later, his ex-fiancee died of leukemia....

.......And he ultimately left the school to continue his study.

I had no news about him until few years later when I met him again....

....He was teaching in another town......

*******

Then he came back to my school again.

He had advanced health and mental problems......

He didn't talk to me much, except an occasional greeting and talking.

He was a totally different person......

He couldn't teach much and I could see his frustrations.

******

He had spent thousands on medication that has side-effects.....

But his conditions were getting worse and worse.....

Then he started to skip school and went elsewhere during the school days.......

He started to do things as he pleased.......

He had taken a few cars....

And he was happily married to a beautiful girl.....

Then he started to wear charms and amulets......

And he started to behave weird and crazy....

I felt sorry for him and I followed him a few times.

*******

I didn't remember seeing him after June this year......

Then the unexpected news came early last month.....

He had collapsed on the road after shopping in a pharmacy...... Most probably after buying his monthly medical supplies.

He was unconscious and someones sent him to a hospital......

He remained in ICU until he passed away.......

*******

This is a sad end of another story of a common man....

It happens everywhere and every time.....

No one seems to care or mind...

Only those who are close and familiar....

Nonetheless, he was my friend....

A respected and dear friend....

So long my friend...

May you rest in peace.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My Computer Died


My computer crashed!

It was a miserable early morning when this happened.

It was the Acer TravelMate 3210 model which I bought 5 years back.

And today was the first time I reformated it.

It was one of my better computers which seldom gave me trouble.

I had upgraded the RAM to 2 GB beginning of this year and it sped so much that I didn't have to sit down like a log again.

But today it just refused to boot to the XP window.

The famous Microsoft Blue Screen of Death had finally decided to show its ugly face.

Sigh 3 times (don't too longer, not good!)

Time to reformat.............

I had to change the boot sequence to CD-Rom drive as the first boot.

Then insert the system disc... the reformat started off well and I was smiling happily to myself (Imagine the grins of a middle aged computer zombie?!)......Then the instruction to insert the Recovery disc 1......Then the Recovery disc 2........My heart went throbbing faster and harder......My breathing was shorter and quicker....the waiting was the hardest part.....a lot of prayer was offered LOL....and.... tried very hard not to go to the washroom....

Then...........

Wow! I finally made it!

I smiled to myself from ear to ear.

Today I had learnt something....

....... don't panic, it is not the end of the world.

....... reason well and think through, the problem at hand may not necessarily be difficult or braincracking.

....... Try.........no try no gain.

Life is a journey of discoveries.

Everyday has its own thrills, challenges, and rewards.

You may wait til you are older and readier.....

.....or you may always rely on others to help you and make money from you.......

..... or you may just read more resounces and tips.... try and try and try.... somehow somewhere there maybe a good solution.

Computers may crash, people may die, relationships may fall apart..... but don't make them a big deal.

...... enjoy life and enjoy solving problems in life.

...... live to the fullest and put the past behind.

Of course, if the problem is beyond our capability and control, then we have to seek for professionals.

But sometimes, problem is not problem if we are willing and ready to try.

I smile to myself :) ..... now that my computer is alive and well.... :) .... and new :)........ LOL

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Engagement Announcement


My brother gave me a call last week....

... His daughter is getting engaged this Saturday.

Time flies so fast........

She is in her mid 20s now.

She has completed her degree course and has worked as a temporary teacher in my school.

And now she is getting ready for her engagement.

And that is how life works: it waits for no one.

There will be a gathering and we are all looking towards it.

We will have fun and wonderful time when we meet the rest of the family members.

Now that our parents are gone, our family ties are getting better and stronger.

We are more sensitive and responsive to each other's needs and wants.

We are more helpful, loving and kind to one another.

I presume it takes times, efforts, and determinations to foster, maintain and strengthen relationships and ties.

And that is what we do and continue to do ever since we lost our parents.

It gives us great joy and comfort to behold the ever expanding family.

I can still remember the broad smile on my late mother's face when she counted and recounted the number of grandchildren and great grandchildren that she had........

Yah... Time flies so fast.

People come people go, but memories remain forever.

All my best wishes to my niece who has made up her mind for her engagement.

May God bless you and keep you two forever in his grace!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

O God, Thank You So Much


There are many things to thank God for.......

.......when it comes to the end of the year.

Thank God for His sustenance and abundant provisions.......

He has continued to give us a decent living with enough salary for the family needs.

And He has never left us without ample food, decent clothing and a home.

Thank God for His goodness, faithfulness, and longsuffering.......

He has continued to bear with us, despite our shortcomings, indiscretions and disobedience.

And He's always been good to us though we are not being good to Him.

Thank God for His instruction and guidance.......

He has never left us without someone to take care of us and help us.

Sometimes it's He Himself staying close to us, inspires us, comforts us, and assists us.

Thank God for His many answered prayers and blessings.......

We wouldn't be able to continue our life journey without His grace and protection.

And we wouldn't be able to live through our days without His daily and constant mercies.

Thank God for bringing my family to His Kingdom and His Church.......

Thank Him for His spiritual guidance, inspiration and protection.

Thank Him also for His many spiritual quests and conquests.

Thank God for His strength and healing.......

All things have become possible and tenable with Him.

And all wounds, weariness, and pains have become light and bearable when they are laid down upon His Cross.

O.......If only I have known God earlier and better.......

.......and continue to meditate on Him day and night.......

I will have look up to Him always and sin no more.......

O God, thank You so much.......

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Life Can Be That Simple


Sipping a cup of black hot coffee, I looked around the noodle shop.

The coffee was not that thick, but good enough to wake me up.

Not many customers were taking their meals during this peak hour. Many still felt the pinch of the ongoing global economic recession.

The noodle shop was rather quiet.

There were intermittent laughter and the occasional sound of moving chairs.

The shop owners tried their best to greet every one around with their usual business smiles.

I smiled back and enjoyed my quiet moment.

I like my quiet corner, though a bit too near the big fridge.

The coffee felt extraordinary tasty today.

Then came my dry noodle.

Quite a big bowl, most probably they were used to the request of a big sized man.

I knew it would cost me slightly more, but it didn't matter. What really mattered was I enjoyed my meal.

The noodle was not that hot, but rather oily.

No wonder many customers were rather big size.

The meat was slightly burnt round the edges but a perfect pink on the inside.... not bad.

And the stuffed tofu was nice, mixed well with the noodle.

And I was satisfied with my food, though it was just a simple meal.

Yah, I still have my durian for my tea time. LOL

...not bad for a quiet day.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I Think I Believe In Fate


Do you believe in fate? I think I do.

I believe in fate because very few of us are born into rich and influential families. Some of us have to congregate in slum and squatter areas, bearing the brunt of poverty, prejudice and injustice.

I believe in fate because very few of us have knowledgeable and supportive parents. Some of us have parents who don't even value education and think schooling is a complete waste of time.

I believe in fate because very few of us have a teachable and humble spirit, and willing to learn from others. Some of us are so rebellious and vulgar, and are of bad tastes and bad thoughts.

Nonetheless I am not to be led into my unfortunate destiny without a fight.

I am determined to turn my fate with my knowledge and abilities.

I want to change, improve and enrich my lifestyles.

I want to expand and develop my horizon in my chosen fields and noble profession.

I want to strengthen and extend my controls over life issues and care.

In fact, I believe in a better tomorrow if I can change for the better.

But deep inside I know that there are things beyond my control.

There are things that I have tried long and hard on many occasions with varieties of means and ways, but nothing much or significant is accomplished so far.

These are the moments when I have to shout and scream because life becomes so dragging, so dull and so boring.

But I believe life is a journey of discovery, there are still many things under the sun that I must try.

I will not spend much time and effort mourning and agonizing myself with the unforeseen future.

In fact, I will quietly labor in faith in my present disposition and work for the future.

Yes, I do believe in fate... but that is no all... It's more....

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Neighbor's Children


She is such a sweet little girl. How can I miss her?

She stares at me with a pair of cute little eyes.

She plays with her skirt and bites her nails.

She is a little bit shy because of my serious face, but she tries to smile.

But the moment she sees my wife, she will scream and greet her with a broad smile.

She is my backdoor neighbor's youngest daughter.

And she knows and loves my wife.

How we miss that little girl.

Her innocent and carefree look on her face really melt our heart.......

Our youngest daughter will be in her 16s soon.

It has been quite a long while since we have children running in the house.

And I think both of us miss the fun and the excitement.

Nonetheless, life is a journey of discovery.......

More will come our way that is fun and exciting........

And there is no need to repeat the same routine........

We hold our hands together and smile to each other........

.......We can always take good care of our neighbor's children.

Yeah..... Why not?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Don't Know Much About Love


Some say love is logical. There must be proper reasons why we fall in love. There are the various steps taken. And we can anticipate different outcomes because of different techniques and strategies used. And they say, stable love is based on mature and thoughtful reasoning.

Some say love is sentimental. There must be that intense feeling and passion about love. There must be that sudden encounters and excitements. There must be those meetings of eyes and beating of hearts before we fall in love. And they say, romantic love is the result of those chemical reactions.

Some say love is persuasion. There must be those careful plots and drives to generate moves that can win and capture hearts. There must be those bright ideas and skills found in romantic books and movies that culminate in the winning of noble prize. And they say, winsome love is the outcome of many persuasions.

I don't know....

I am getting more confused about love.

Sometimes love is not just logical thinking, sentimental feeling, or persuasive action.

It just comes naturally out of understanding, feeling or mutual consideration.

There are people who say love is a destiny and is not for everyone.

Others believe that love is a learning curve that requires much passion and planning.

But this is always the nature of love, a world filled with mysteries and amazing things.

Come love... Love is in the air

Though many, including myself don't know much about love.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Let's Love


Some see love as a possession.

They want to acquire everything good in their lives.

And they will take very good care of them.

Some they keep for life. Others they keep for a time.

And they are happy with what they possess.

****************

Some see love as a sacrifice.

They want to please everyone in their lives.

And they will take very good care of them.

Some they have for life. Others they have for a time.

And they are happy with their sacrifices.

****************

Some see love as a sharing experience.

They enjoy mutual love and understanding.

And they treasure everyone of them.

Some have wider circle of friends. Others have few close friends.

And they are happy with their moments of sharing.

****************

Love is never easy.

Love is never perfect.

But once it starts, it will grow and blossom.

But love is not difficult.

Everyone can love and do love.

And it can be so hot and embracing.

****************

True love never dies.

True love tries hard not to lie.

****************

The greatest gift of all is love.

When there is true love, there is life... and life everlasting.

So let's love.......

...........and love to the fullest.

Friday, October 16, 2009

One People One World



A kind gesture, act, or favor goes a long way.

That is what we used to hear ever since we are young.

We are told that we will not miss our blessings if we desire in our heart to do good.

We are told about certain bad repercussions will haunt us if we refuse others their rights to be heard or favored.

And many of us still believe these to be so.

*******

We are all administrators of God's gifts and talents.

None of them belongs totally to us and for us; we are to share them with others.

If we refuse, they may be taken away from us.

But the beautiful thing about giving is this – the more we give, the more we will receive.

*******

Therefore the spirit of generosity and care begins to dwell in us ever since we are young.

And it begins and continues to show its fruits in due time.

*******

Yeah, many of us may not be cheerful givers at time, but we have learned to be more generous and kind as time goes by.

Of course, there are times when we will have to contemplate and give with discretion and discernment.

As the Scripture says, we do not give pearls to swines; they will not appreciate our efforts and contributions.

The spirit of togetherness must be kept in our hearts.

Do not let anyone or anything tear it away.

That is how a household is built.

That is how a community is formed and maintained.

That is how a nation is being measured.

And that is how the world stands as one.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I Want It My Way



Life can be pretty lonely sometimes when we are on our own. We may spend much time doing gardening, exercising, reading, shopping, or some charity works. But there will surely be times spent sighing and shaking the head when no one is around us or willing to speak to us.

We are social beings and we need family, relatives, friends and neighbors around us. Their present will brighten up our day and influence our lives.

Some of us always hold on to our ideas and beliefs. We always insist that we are right. And if we are wrong, we want to be proved wrong.

Many of our good friends are finding it more and more difficult to bear with us and tolerate all our flaws. Eventually they leave us one after another. They just cannot continue that way anymore.

We say to ourselves it is okay that they have left us. We start to have new friends and continue to spread and teach our ideas and beliefs. This time we try our best to adapt to their ways. Time will tell just how long they will bear with us and our ideologies.

We are what we are on the inside and not how we portray ourselves..... We can't hide.

Some of us insist on speaking our heart out. Some say maybe we need to hold up a little. Others are still undecided, with their ever growing internal struggles and fights.

I can't tell you which one is right; to please ourselves or the people around us. But sometimes what we have said hurt others to the core and many just don't like it.

Some of us insist on doing it and end up a loner.

Some give in a little and walk with a few friends on their life journey.

Some compromise so much that they make no stance.

The choice is our – our ideologies or the people around us.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Stretch My Thoughts A Little


Lately I wonder if I have stretched my thoughts a little or have become too emotional.

If I have been eager to stretch my thoughts, I will have less queries and complaints about my life and daily activities.

I will be more imaginative and creative to do all things well and easy.

I will be eager to occupy my time on all my works and hobbies.

I will find ways and means to correct, improve and expand my abilities to excel.

And I will not entertain empty and meaningless talks.

And I will not meddle into other people's affairs unnecessarily.

As it is, there are always the inclination to slow down and enjoy life and see how others are performing.

It is okay and there is nothing wrong with that.

But I realize that I have the tendency to linger longer...

And as I do, I become more emotional and moody.... and refuse to continue the struggles.....

Life is a lonesome journey that needs much encouragement and support.

And I think I am badly in need of that.

Stretch my thought a little.... and a little more.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Even A Man Can Cry Too


I don't think I have seen him cry before.

He is always very strong and emotionally stable.

He doesn't shout, scream, or cry in public.

He is always stable, the pillar of the house in times of crisis or disaster.

Everybody in the house looks up to him when they have problems.

He is always helpful and kind, ever ready with ideas, suggestions and solutions.

And he will not rest until everything is settled.

He has, for the past many years, stands strong like a tall and big tree, ever ready to shelter all who comes near.

Everyone takes it for granted that he is truly the man of the house.

But that night in the hospital when my mom breathed her last, when others were not around, for the first time I saw him cry his heart out.

He was truly broken down when he cried out those words, "Mom, forgive me for not talking to you. I just don't know what to say."

He is my 2nd elder brother.

And he is truly a man.

But even a man can cry too.

Monday, September 21, 2009

If I Have Been More Consistent


Consistency is an important key to success in life.

Consistency is very important to self-improvements and group works.

Consistent parenting advice is vital to build up a happy family.

Consistent saving can bring good returns and accumulate tremendous wealth.

Consistent exercises and training can keep our body fit and healthy, build up our muscle and abilities, fill us with zeal, and prolong our lives.

Consistent good habits can make us feel young and energetic, build up our confidence and people's trust in us, get the results we desire and achieve our dreams, enhance our health and enrich our lives.

Consistent spiritual practices and disciplines can make us study through the Bible at least once, modeling God's love and truth in our lives, and constantly seeking spiritual growth and positive living.

But consistency is one of the hardest elements to master in life.

If only we have been more consistent
  • If we are more disciplined to follow every single step.
  • If we are more disciplined to go through every time.
  • If we are more disciplined to continue whatever our thought.
  • If we are more disciplined to persevere whatever our mood.
  • If we are more disciplined to struggle whatever our will.
  • If we are more disciplined to go on whatever the situation.
  • If we are more disciplined to stand up whatever the outcome.

... then life will be sweet and happy.

... then there will be peace and harmony.

... then there will be love and laughter.

... then there will be growth, progress, and development.

... then there will be less complaints and disputes.

... then there will be less jealousy and prejudice.

... then there will be less strife and contention.

... then there will be less quarrel and fight.

.......Yeah, the world will surely be a better place.

........If only we live our lives with more consistency.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I Also Love Sunset



At the close of the day, a beautiful sunset will be nice.

It is good to be able to sit on a beach, on mountain top or on high places, watching the sun sinking in the horizon and leaving us with lovely colors.

The sunset always reminds me of the close of a long day, a time to relax and rest, and to get back our strength.

The sunset also reminds me of a time to recount and contemplate on what I have done, and a time for prayer and thanksgiving to God.

The sunset also reminds me of a time for gathering and reunion with my family and friends, a time to reconcile and to restore, a time to love and to cherish, and a time to speak about the good old days.

And I enjoy watching sunset with my wife. It gives us more intimacy. It gives us more time to talk about love and everything under the sky.

I love sunset because it is the close of the day.

It is the time when the sun has to sleep also.

I love sunset because sometimes it ends all the unpleasant memories on a bad day.

Yeah, I love sunset.... I don't know why.... I just love sunset.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I Love Sunrise


I love sunrise.

I love sunrise because it is God's every-24-hour new beginning. Every day, we get to try again, and I love that.

I love sunrise because it is the birth of the first day of the rest of my life and I can hope for good things to come.

I love sunrise because it begins my new day to live and to love.

I love sunrise because it gives me a ray of hope.

I love sunrise because everything is really calm and peaceful. Not much is going on yet. Not many people are up and about at that time of day.

I love sunrise because I can learn a lot of things.

I love sunrise because it means I have made it through the night, and everything is okay now.

I love sunrise because it means I can get up for a long and nice day.

I love sunrise because it is nice to watch the sun comes up and sees the darkness fades away.

I love sunrise because it is inviting to see colors come back to the world in all its glory.

I love sunrise because it is thrilling to see the birds, the insects, and the squirrels reappear and making all those noises.

I love sunrise because I can see butterflies flying around and watching me.

I enjoy watching sunrise because it makes me feel happy and ready to start a great day.

Do you love sunrise?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Judgmental


It is in our nature to be judgmental.

Being judgmental is not stating an opinion or labeling something as "good" or "bad".

Being judgmental is to evaluate based on our quality of someone or something.

Most of us make up our minds about the people we meet in the first few seconds.

What is it in our minds that creates judgment of other people?

Our judgment of others comes swiftly, harshly and sometimes quite frankly and correctly.

But being judgmental is not always useful to us.

It is not good to look down on others, as if we are so much better.

Judgmental parents tend to be over critical, shaming and controlling their children.

I, for one, can be judgmental with people who are too judgmental.

Some women are extremely judgmental of men. But when that judgment is getting thrown back in their faces, men become the bad guys.

Are you a judgmental person? Do you like assuming and analyzing?

I am definitely not a judgmental person when it comes to someone's weight (I'm fat). But I am very judgmental regarding other things.

Is it good to be always judgmental?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Local Panic



It was early morning when my wife received a telephone call from my mother-in-law living in a village 20km away. She screamed to the phone... One of my nieces were having a high fever.

For the past few weeks, everyone seemed to be afraid of the H1N1. Due to lack of exposure to the medias, not many people knew what proper measures to take. Besides, more and more people were getting more and more confused as to what precautions to take when there were so many "experts" around.

Everyone who had flu, cough, and high fever would be panicky and afraid to move around. What if the spread of the H1N1 virus became uncontrollable and unmanageable? Will the world come to a stand still?

We phoned our sister-in-law who was working 100km away. And we decided to buy the necessary medication in a local clinic. It was just not safe to bring her to the nearby hospital where there might be suspected cases of H1N1.

Oh... How can we do to stop the spread of H1N1?

How do we contain it?

Will there be a proper cure?

The local folks look up helplessly to the sky.

They were panic-stricken.

So many natural disasters and epidemics these past years...

When will the Judgment Day be?

God have mercy upon our souls....

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Smile Can Make All The Difference



Smiling can make us look younger and more attractive.

Our smile is always the first thing people take notice.

*******

Smiling can change our mood.

Smiling can boost our confidence.

A smile can always brighten our darkest day.

*******

Smiling can be contagious.

When we smile, we help to change the moods of others, and make them happy.

A warm and genuine smile can go a long way in making all of us happy.

*******

Smiling can relieves stress.

Smiling helps to prevent us from looking tired, worn down, and overwhelmed.

*******

Smiling helps our immune system to work better.

When we smile, our immune function will improve because we are more relaxed.

A smile can make us live longer.

*******

Smiling reduces our blood pressure.

A healthy smile can last a lifetime.

*******

Smiling can make us more successful.

Smiling makes us more confident.

We are more likely to be promoted.

We are more likely to be approached at meetings and appointments and people will react to us differently.

*******

Smiling can help us to stay positive.

A bright and beautiful smile may land us the job we want.

*******

So let us remember to smile more often....

Remember, when we smile, the whole world will be smiling with us.

Don't wait for others to smile at us first.

Let us start by smiling at them first.

Remember, a smile can change lives, alter situations, calm us down, and break down walls.

A smile can make a tremendous impact both on our personal and professional relationships.

A smile can even have a positive effect on bullies...

Let us smile more often, and live a better day.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Blogging



Sometimes I have a hard time trying to figure out what to write in my blog.

I will walk around the house, up and down the staircases.

I will find a quiet place to ponder and wonder, sometimes smiling and laughing to myself.

I will flip through the newspapers or watch television, scouting for something interesting and meaningful to write.

I will go for a walk and enjoy the fresh air, admiring the beautiful surroundings and closely examine something interesting.

All these wonderful ideas do help in one way or another.

But the best of all is just to sit down and start writing in my blog.

*******

Inspirations flow as I think and write.

Many times, I have to switch from one topic to another as more ideas come into the mind.

Some topics are ridiculous and crazy, but really fun to share.

Some topics are food for thoughts, serious contemplation on things important in life.

Some topics are helpful tips and guides.

As I write, I try to list down all my topics.

Then I choose a topic to write.

I list down all my points.

I try to rearrange them.

I try to rephrase them in simple language.

I try to write with one common idea in mine. Sometimes it seem impossible, as my thoughts are carried away by so many considerations.

I try not to write with the intention to hurt others.

I tell myself that if I can't find something edifying and constructive to others, then I don't write. The world has enough troubles and ugliness of its own.

I believe in building up people and communities, not tearing down people and institutions with our ideologies, strong feelings and assertions, or some very serious contemplations.

*******

I believe all of us have the gift to write down all our thoughts.

Writing down my thoughts help to organize my life.

Writing down my thoughts help to improve my reasoning.

Writing down my thoughts help me to stand by my words.

Writing down my thoughts help me to understand just how insufficient and shallow are my thoughts.

I love to read through all the comments in my blogs again and again.

I believe readers out there are a great help to me to improve on my writing.

*******

I think I will continue blogging.

Blogging heals my soul when I am downcast and lonely.

Blogging calms my thoughts when I am provoked and get really mad.

Blogging fills me with strong emotion when there are so much concern and love out there in the bloggersphere.

Blogging inspires me and fills me with enthusiasm to live positively and productively.

Yeah, blogging is my life.

I wouldn't give up blogging

Saturday, August 8, 2009

We Are Not That Poor



Many of us work in government or private sector with fixed and ready income. For some of us, that is our only source of revenue. Some of us do get ourselves involved in many other money making activities. Nevertheless, working with other people has taken up a major portion of our time everyday.

Many of us are unable to meet our ends with our meager salary and ever increasing food prices. And the fact that many of us are thrown out of jobs during the present economic crisis has caused many of us to give up all hope of living.

Some of us have put our money in the property markets. We buy shop houses, shop space, or commercial property. We invest in houses, flats, villas and resorts. We collect rentals and charges. We buy and sell properties.

But situation changes fast. The economic crisis has adversely affected the business world. Not many are willing to invest in businesses and real estate. Not many want to buy properties. And there are the high operating cost and interest payments on bank loans to look after.

Some of us invest most of our money in stock market, commodity market, and foreign exchange market. Market sentiments are really bad and many of us are losing money. We have incurred great loss but too late to get out. We are badly burnt by the markets.

We want big money but many of us just don't want to work hard.

I have seen newspaper vendors working hard at 3.00 every morning, distributing newspapers despite the heavy rains and thunderstorms just to make ends meet.

I have seen vegetable, fruit, fish, and meat hawkers who are smiling away every evening with their daily sale.

I have seen food, drink, souvenir, and various retail stalls that never run out of customers.

These are people who desire just to live and feed their family with their own hands.

And there are many more among us.

Yet, here we are, still not satisfied with what we have and what we are.

Look around and see how so many of the poor are still having a decent living.

We are not that poor. Aren't we?

Shouldn't we fare much better than them?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Loneliness Kills



I am alone in my double storey terrace house when I realize just how quiet my house can be.

Initially there are five of us living in this house.

But my elder son and daughter are now studying in West Malaysia.

And my wife and I, and our younger daughter remain here in Sarawak, on the island of Borneo, the beautiful land of the hornbill.

Already the three of us have openly or silently complained about the big house.

And now I am left alone at home.

My wife has gone jogging and my younger daughter cycling.

Oh! Just how lonely can a loner be?! I start to question myself.

And so I start to think about it and let my thoughts flow freely... to this blog.

*******

I believe Adam was lonely.

God had given him the garden of Eden to cultivate and to take care.

He must have been happy with his daily workload. Everything thrived and grew well under the most wonderful conditions, by the grace of God.

He must have been happy with the natural surroundings and the beautiful landscapes. He must have been enjoying the amazing and breathtaking scenery. And his personal experiences everyday must have given him sweet dreams every night and caused him to chuckle in delight.

He had all the living creatures as his friends and neighbors. He must have taken good care of them and they in turn must have taken good care of him.

The beautiful flowers, plants, and trees must have brighten his days and made him even more optimistic and enthusiastic about life.

But Adam was terribly lonely even with what he had.

And he made his request known to God the Creator.

*******

Adam needed family ties.

Adam needed human relatives and friends.

Adam needed the humankind for companions and fellowships.

Adam needed the human race community.

*******

And so God granted Adam's wish.

He gave him Eve as his life partner and soul mate.

And God promised to bless him and give him a big family.

They were to multiply the earth.

*******

And so the human race evolved and spread across the globe all these years.

And with it came human happiness and sorrow.

And with it came human culture and civilization.

And with it came human history and dominance.

And with it came tender loving care and......loneliness.

*******

Some say loneliness kills.

And so they want to relive the old Adam.

They become nature enthusiasts.

They become animal or plant lovers.

They become outdoor explorers and adventurers.

They live a secluded life away from the eyes of the public and the troubles of the world.

And they think they will be happy and free.

They are yet another Adam in agony.

*******

No, with so many people around, loneliness needs not kill.

If no one seems to understand us, learn to show interests to those who need understanding. Sooner or later, there will be mutual understanding and fun.

If no one seems to care about us, learn to show tender loving care to those in need of love. Sooner or later, they will be mutual love and care.

If no one seem to want to talk to us, learn to show concerns and interests to those who are in-need of listening ears. Sooner or later, we will be able to make our voice heard.

If no one want to be with us, learn to be with someone who need our companion and friend. Sooner or later, we will be beaming with smiles and laughter.

*******

It is common among us to be lonely.

But no one needs to be a loner. Do we?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Life Is Not Just Work


Some of us when we are working, we don't care about any other things. We don't want to move away from our workplace. And we pay undivided attention to our work. We just want to get our work done well.

We don't want to be disturbed. Nothing and no one must stand in our way when we work or something bad will happen.

We don't want to talk. We just want to concentrate on our task at hand. We don't want to waste time on talking any other thing. No one must talk or make noise when we are doing some "important" work.

We don't even look up and smile. Our aging parents, our spouse, our children and our loved ones eagerly anticipate a little attention from us. But we just cannot squeeze out a simple smile. How sad.

We don't even have time with our family, relatives and friends. We don't waste time on petty talks. We don't waste time on a little game with our children. We don't want a quiet moment with our spouse or a few kind words to our aging parents. We don't care about relaxing and a simple coffee-break with our friends.......

We don't have time to exercise. We no longer enjoy our leisure time. We don't go for a mountain hike or a walk on the beach. We don't enjoy window shopping, watching movie or playing some games. We always look so tense, so stressful and easily agitated.

We don't have time to meditate and pray. We neglect our quiet moment with God. We forget the ultimate source of inspiration. And we never go for any gathering and fellowship.

It is good to get serious in all we do. But to neglect our loved ones because of our insistence and indulgence in our work is uncalled for.

Don't throw away a relationship because of our work.

Don't neglect our physical needs because of our work.

Don't neglect our family, relatives, friends, and our social groups because of our work.

Don't neglect the time for leisure and exercise because of our work.

Don't neglect our quiet time with God because of our work.

And don't ever neglect anyone and anything important in life because of our work.

Enjoy work and enjoy life to the fullest.

After all, life is not just work.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

If Only We Care


I was stunned when a heavy book landed on my head that day.

It was my form teacher who gave me the heavy blow.

I was a good class monitor and I managed my class well. My form teacher was just not happy with my academic achievements that fell far below his expectation.

*******

It was not the physical pain that I had to endure that day.

It was the disappointed look on my form teacher's face that stunned me.

Tears swelled up in my eyes. No, no... They were not allowed to drop to my face.

Gritting my teeth and looking blanking at him, I spoke to my heart that I would prove him wrong.

Soon the school bell rang and I squeezed out a smile to everyone....

*******

Since then, I was always the top three in my class. Then I was always the top three in my form. And then I excelled in my school examinations and public examinations.

No, no... My form teacher did not apologize for his action.

But my confidence and my friendly look always made him greeted me with a smile.

I was able to walk tall and proud because of my form teacher.

No, no... I couldn't and wouldn't condone his way of punishment.

But I thanked him very much for waking me up from my lethargy....

*******

It was many years later after I had become a secondary school teacher that I realized that it was not easy for him to punish me that day.

He could have punished me using another way. But my stubbornness and rebellion must have given him hard time that he was provoked to land what was handy on my head.

*******

Sometimes some sorts of corrective measures must be carried out to bring up a child properly.

A stern look, a lifting of the hand, or a rise in the voice sometimes is good enough for an obedient child.

An encouraging word, a pat on the shoulder or back, a small token or reward sometimes can do wonder to an active and rebellious child.

A warning, a disclosure of your past failure, or a closer analysis and examination of the issue at hand can help innocent and ignorant child to avoid pitfall.

*******

But the sad fact is that most of us only take corrective measures when it is too late.

We have to scream and shout with anger to get our voice heard.

We have to threaten and intimidate with bodily injury to make them obey.

We have to visit our children in detention because of house breaking, extortion, theft, rapes and other wrong doings.

We have to deal with children with alcoholic, smoking, and drug problems.

We have to visit our children with long jail sentences or witness their execution....

*******

If only we care, we can make a lot of difference.

If only we care, we can save them from all these punishments.

If only we care......[sigh]

Monday, July 13, 2009

Simple Lifestyle


Some people among us enjoy living a simple lifestyle.

They do their daily routine unhurriedly but always in time.

They wake up early, slowly tidy up their bed and get their room cleaned.

They spending their sweet time washing up and then make themselves a nice hot drink.

They always keep a friendly and cheerful face.

And they are always ready with a smile.

They never stop greeting their family members, friends and neighbors with kind words and a caring heart.

They do their work responsibly, yet enjoying every minute of it.

Nothing seems to perturb them and disrupt their usual routine.

Everyone around is satisfied with their work and no one complains about them. They can really be counted upon.

Their day passes by smoothly and quickly and they are always satisfied.

Now they are ready for their evening walk, shopping or visiting their neighbors and friends.

They have no enemies, not one.

Misunderstandings and differences seem very easily settled with their kind attitude and composure.

In the evening they have their usual meal and entertainments.

Then they are ready to go to bed.

They sleep early and soundly with sweet dreams.

Everything runs smoothly everyday.

And they are always hopeful for a fresh new day.

I wish I'm like them.

I really admire them.

They really know how to enjoy their simple lifestyle.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Why All These Stimulants?


I remembered more than 20 years ago, the first thing I did when I woke up from sleep was to light a cigarette. Puffing cigarette for 5-10 minutes had become a daily routine before I started my day.

In my younger days I loved to start my day with a mug of coffee. Drinking a mug of well-brewed coffee for 15-20 minutes can be great fun.

While living in the village, the first thing I did when I woke up was to soak myself in the river for 10-15 minutes. It was just plain fantastic!

Sometimes I wondered why sleeping nowadays made me even more drowsy. Was it because of late night sleeps? Was it because of work overload? Was it because of peer pressure and family commitment? Was it because of too much worry and anxiety?

And why all these stimulants?

Gone were the days when I sprang up from my bed fully refreshed and restored, ready for big time adventures. Rushing through breakfast and taking a quick bath, and I was ready to go.

But the usual question that kept on popping up nowadays seemed to be, "Why the hurry?"

Is it because I no longer have the desire to look forward to a bright new day?

I don't know. Life seems so boring and everything looks so sick.

Why the hurry? Oh! when have I fallen into this mire pit?

Then I started to ponder, "Just how do I enjoy my life?"

I don't know.

The journey is long and the future looks bleak.

It doesn't have to be that way, isn't it?

But just how do I learn to live a self-motivated life without stimulants?

I resort to meditation and prayer, and I realize that simple fact that I'm alive and breathing.

I try to understand and to enjoy the simple things I do. It does help to brighten my days.

I smile. Then why all these stimulants?

I sigh... I don't know...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

You Are So Wonderful To Me


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I just can't imagine how important she is to me. She is leaning on me when we are on our trip home from Kuala Lumpur to Kuching. She is plain tired and her face is really pale, and.... she is snoring. We have accompanied our eldest daughter to Universiti Malaya. Earlier, on Monday, we have accompanied our only son to Kolej Mara Banting to further his study. Traveling twice in a roll within a week have really bogged her down. Besides, the intermittent shopping trips and the many house chores had really drained her. I can't imagine how the children fare without her and I for sure can't live without her. My shoulder is made especially for her, anytime and anywhere. She is my beloved wife in her early 40s. And I'm glad to have her beside me.

Love is not just a feeling. But love is definitely emotional and affectionate. God has prepared my wife specially for me. Our life together is a journey full of challenges and struggles. But our love for one another is full of tender loving care. And with each passing moment, our love for one another has deepened with better understandings, respects, and concerns.

Love is not just a thought. Pictures and videos may hold many sweet episodes of romantic moments. But love is that moving pictures that seem to form and reform and transform into many lovely images that tickle my heart and my soul continually. We began with love of many words and many egos. But we have fewer words now but more concerns and considerations for one another. Love has become an on going thought that fill us with optimism and ambition to proceed to quality lifestyle.

Love is not just acting. Gifts and intimacy may do wonders and fill our lives wit more energy and excitement. But true love means sacrificing all we are and all we have. Love has become an on going habit and hobby to satisfy our love ones.

I stare at my wife with love and sympathy.

Her snoring has stopped. Her face is no more pale. She is breathing steady and she is smiling in her sleep.

Thanks, my dear. You are so wonderful to me.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Helping Hand



Helping someone in needs can be very fulfilling and satisfying.

It gives us better days. It gives us good thoughts and great feelings. It instills in us the desire and the zeal to do more good deeds.

Helping someone who cannot return our favors is really great. We can see their gratitude in their sparkling eyes. We can feel their overflowing joy that fills their hearts. We can enjoy their companies and the closeness of their fellowship.

But doing favor to those who never ask for help can have serious repercussions. They may not treasure or appreciate our offer, they may even look at us scornfully, and they may be full of criticism and bad reviews.

Sometimes we feel like giving up doing all good deeds. It can be very disheartening and discouraging when our free and willing services are not even acknowledged. It can be really hurt when others suspect us of bad motives and selfish intentions. Whatever it is, let us not refrained from doing good deeds to others.

Good or bad deeds always have its own rewards and punishments. And God is not blind. He will never forget a cheerful giver and a selfish and self-centered evil person.

Yeah, sometimes we do grumble when we do not receive our rewards. But as we ponder over, we realize that God has indeed blessed us many times over without we realizing them.

We are happy that everyone in the family is healthy and strong.

We are happy that all our children are diligent and hardworking in their studies and works.

We are happy that we are always surrounded by our family and friends who have never ceased to bring us joy, love, peace and hope.

We are happy that our living conditions have greatly improved over the years and we are now enjoying a higher and better standard of living.

Each day always brings us fresh hope. Each hope is always so fulfilling and satisfying. Day by day, blessing after blessing have been our manna and our drink. We lack nothing and we are always blessed in all good things.

Come what may, our God is working behind the scene, making our lives better all the way through thick and thin.

And who can say that God never bless a helping hand?

Monday, June 15, 2009

I Am 48


I am 48. Today is my birthday.

As it is, I want to keep a low profile.

But early in the morning, as I entered the office, my good friend readily shook my hand and wished me happy birthday. I was really touched. Personal greeting like that always brought me great joy and I really appreciated what he had done. I thanked him, but asked him to keep quiet about it.

I did my work as usual, making sure that everything was done tidily and accomplished in time. I enjoyed my quiet solitude. I was like someone knowing something really nice and trying to keep quiet about it. I had to pretend and hid my smile and laughter away.

Imagine, I am 48 and successful in life. I own a decent home, and a supportive and loving family, always living in harmony and peace, and always stay united and strong. And I have a great career and a good earning, and I really enjoy my work and my workplace. And I enjoy my small town and my neighborhood. And I enjoy the grace and mercy of God in everyday life. It is just wonderful and nice.

I was informed later that there would be a meeting at 11.30 a.m. To my surprise, we had a birthday gathering for me. My friend smiled at me and told me that birthday is to be celebrated. I thanked him for organizing the gathering. It did help in fostering ties and cooperation among us.

Later in the evening, we had a family feast, a happy moment when we savored all the nice food and drink. Stories and jokes were in the air and everyone was filled and satisfied.

Yeah, I am 48 and I have great family and friends. And I am really happy and satisfied with God's guidance in my life.

Given another 48. Will I be happy and satisfied? Sure! Why not?