Poor Sandals




One of my sandal straps torn off yesterday!

I joined my family shopping in a clothing complex when I realized that my sandals were getting loosened.

I continued walking until my feet couldn't carry my heavy body anymore....

Hurriedly I looked around for place to sit down...

Then I discovered the front edge of the building had some place to sit down.

My wife was busy shopping for bed sheets and curtain fabrics, and my two daughters were busy helping and disturbing.

But my son decided to follow me....

While sitting on the edge of the front porch, we had a long and nice chat.

We reasoned on some issues and we analyzed things together....

As the saying goes, two brains are better than one.

We reached consensus on certain things and we disagreed on other issues.

I made it a point not to press further...

Certain things need to learn through personal experiences...

But deep inside I was very eager to help... to save him the pain....

But nothing comes easy in this life; there is always a price to pay for everything we gain.

While talking, I got into the habit of massaging my leg and my foot....

Then I took a careful look at my sandals and discovered that the sandal straps were in bad shape and the glue was gone....

No wonder.....

I reminded myself to be extra careful with my sandals....

Just then, I saw my wife and my two daughters coming towards us, carrying big bags of things, and smiling and laughing away...

We greeted one another and we made plan....

We decided to visit another complex.

Then quietly I told my wife about my poor sandals.

We walked together slowly towards our van....

But one of my sandals decided to break....

Huh...Sad day.

My helpful family got me a new pair while I waited in the car.

The new sandals looked elegant and trendy.

But I missed my old sandals... and I told me I must glue it back....

Oh, poor sandals, I wouldn't give you up that easily....

He Is My Living Example




When I first knew him, he was a mechanic.

In fact, his brothers and relatives that I knew were all mechanics.

They had come to this small town from a nearby city 20 years ago.

They had made some headway and had individually set up their own mechanic shop.

*******

He was not that successful as a mechanic.

But he was friendly and helpful.

He made many friends and was very active in the local community.

He was a Jack of all trade and very skillful in many things.

Once he helped us in constructing the bathroom and toilet.

His work was meticulous and fast.

Once I asked him how was it that he knew a lot of things.

He told me softly that he took heart and learned.

I was amazed by his patience, humility and perseverance.

Since then, I considered him as my living example.

*******

I didn't hear anything about him for quite sometime.

Then I heard that he had a kidney or liver failure.

Since then, he no longer worked as a mechanic.

It must have been a very miserable time for him and his family.

Then I heard that he was making a lot of pau steamers.

And that he walked from shop to shop, looking for noodle shop owners and restaurants operators.

He requested them to allow him to sell chinese dumplings like char siew pau, bak pau, tau sar pau and siao bee in their venues.

He was indeed my living example.

I admired his high spirit, far-sightedness, and optimism.

*******

He made a good and decent living with his new found business venture.

His wife was a great help to him.

Together they also set up their own shop, selling chinese dumplings.

They worked day and night, making full use of all opportunities....

Once, I was told that his house was burgled.

He lost a lot of cash and many other things.

He was very upset and depressed for a while.

But he recovered fast and moved on....

I admired his resilience and mental toughness.

*******

For the past few weeks, I had been seeing him again,

Bringing his children and grandchildren around for breakfast.

He looked happy, talking softly to them, sometimes creating jokes.

But he looked old with sunken eyes, white sideburns, and lots of gray hairs....

We always greeted one another.

He was still very friendly and kind,

With lots and lots of friends around.

He is still my living example....

Understand Life With Feelings And Emotion




She didn't know that she was adopted by her late mother's sister until after her marriage and had two children.

It had been a very painful blow for her and she broke down and dissolved in tears.

She had a hard time reconciling with her real mother and her brothers ever since.

I remembered she was in her early 30s when this happened.

She must have many painful days and many sleepless nights........

She must have howled and heaved and wept and wailed.......

*******

When the story was finally unfold, apparently it was because of extreme poverty; the parents were unable to provide for the needs of the family......

They had a hard time making ends meet....

They had difficulties raising all the children....

They must be very sad and reluctant to let her go.....

But what else to do?

The poor mother finally had a long and painful discussion with her elder sister.

Her elder sister was barren and had not long ago adopted a son.

So instead of giving her daughter to others, she gave her to her elder sister, knowing that she would raise her up well......

********

She was having a wonderful and happy time with her foster parents, being the only daughter of the family.

She mixed around well with her cousins, not knowing that some of them were her own brothers.

********

Her mother came for her wedding but didn't mention that she was the real mother.

She was happy and ran down to hold the man in her arms.

And she married my brother....

*******

Many years had passed.

Her foster father and mother had died.....

Her real father and mother had passed away....

And then I saw her few days ago,

Holding hands with her brothers and their family members....

They had so many things to say, so much feelings to pour out.......

Under the late evening breeze,

Amidst the joy, the cheers and shouts of the people around.....

Celebrating the engagement of her eldest daughter.....

Oh, Who can understand life without feelings and emotion?

Playing Supporting Roles




Everyone needs support system.

The little children rely on their parents for everything.

But as they grow, they become more mature and self-dependent, and love to do things on their own. Nevertheless they will fall back on their parents when the going gets tough and the money gets tight.

The little students depend on their teachers for everything.

But as they develop, they become more capable and self-reliant, and love to do works on their own. Nevertheless they will come back to the teachers when the problems become more and more demanding and less familiar.

Younger people need a lot of care, attention, guidance, support and encouragement.

It is good to see and monitor how they grow and mature. And as parents we want them to outshine us and live a more fulfilling life. As parents we also want them not to make the same mistakes and errors that we ourselves have done.

Some of us parents refuse to let our little children grow. As a result, they are so dependent on us for their livelihood even after they have grown and developed. Some of us children still very much dependent on our old parents... to our very shame....

Some of us teachers fail to let out students self-develop their learning skills. We teach them using the same methods and strategies all over again. As a result, teacher-centered teaching and learning still abound everywhere, and many students do not have the opportunity, freedom and choice to develop, to explore and to discover, to attempt and to do things in newer and better ways.....

As we know, life is a journey of experimentation, exploration and discoveries.

We may be smarter and know better than our children and students, but we are not to mold them according to our wish, our ideal, our hope, our goals....you name them....

Let's spur them on to progress and development... let's lead, guide and motivate them for greater and continuing success..... Let's learn to understand and support them in their visions and dreams to build a better tomorrow....

They are our futures and the futures of the world.

And we are their support system....playing supporting roles.

Go Walking




Walking is fun and relaxing.

And walking is refreshing.

Often it is after walking for sometime that we learn how to adjust our posture and movement to walk faster and longer.

I used to go walking when I am tired and stressful....

... or sometimes when I have unsolved problems and unfinished work.

I love to walk in a park or garden, and enjoy the greenery and natural beauty, the smell of the earth and air around, and the sweet chirping of birds.

Sometimes a walk by a stream or around a lake will be nice when there are fish swimming and the sound of flowing water.

Some people love to compete in walking. They enjoy winning and think it is great.

Some people walk for fun and leisure. They take their sweet time, enjoying every single step they take.

Some people walk for weight control and weight loss. They are very careful with their postures, movements, and speed, and they have various strategies and training programs to suit their needs and aspirations.

Some people walk for problems solving and emotional handling. They walk to inculcate creativity, innovation and confidence in their work. They walk to quieten their hearts and minds.

But most of us walk with no apparent reasons.

We just enjoy walking.

I try my best to walk every evening.

To all walkers, happy walking.

Sleepless Nights




Sleep eludes me these days.

And it is getting more frequent.

Lately, I can only sleep for 3-4 hours a day.

And every disturbing noise can easily wake me up.

I remembered 10 years ago I could sleep 8 hours in one stretch with loud music and noises around.

And 5 years ago it was 12 p.m. to 6 a.m.

And now 12 p.m. to 3.30 a.m.

Is it because of the age?

But I do have very nice sleep.

And I feel really refreshed after that.

But the duration of my sleep sometimes make me worry.

Does it happen to everyone?

Do you wake up very early frequently wondering what to do next?

I just hope it is alright.

I did ask some of my friends and colleagues.

Many of them enjoy 6-8 hours sleep a day.

Quite a few have 1-2 hours sleep a day.

Is it normal?

I try to make up for it by taking a 20-minutes sleep every afternoon.

I think it should be okay.

I hope I wouldn't have 24 hours no sleep

..... or 72 hours no sleep.

It will be horrible.

Ho...sleepless nights worry me...

Are We Good Friends?




Everyone yearns to find good friends.

Not many of us can live in this world without talking to a soul, more so to a good soul who has so much to give and love.

It will be unthinkable and unbearable to live alone in remote land with no one to talk to.

I respect those highlanders and seafarers who are always lonesome.

I respect those soldier, border scouts and other enforcement officers who have to carry out dangerous missions in far away land.

But I know deep inside they are men like me, seeking for their good friends.....

Yah, Good friends are a wonderful thing to have.

Good friends share thoughts, feelings and actions together.

They look for mutual edification and enrichment.

They seek to promote mutual respect and understanding.

They foster mutual interests and tolerance.

And....

Good friends don't hurt one another for fun.

They don't speak carelessly and make irresponsible remarks about others' private lives.

They don't spread rumors and gossips.

But.....

Good friends are difficult to find, hard to leave, and impossible to forget.

They are to be treasured, and good friendships are to be nurtured!

Don't be afraid to reach out to others.....

The best way to find good friends is to be a good friend yourself.

Are we good friends?

The Moment Of Love




It was the last day of the school.

Most students had packed their bags and gone home.

The Upper Six students remained.

There was an assembly for them.

I presumed it was held to boost their spirits and morale to face the coming public exam.

The principal of the school gave a heart warming speech.

He received many attentions, then the overwhelming claps.

Then came a round of shaking hands...

Then the many best wishes....

Then the many reminders and last minute push-up.

Then come the uncontrollable tears and sobbing, both teachers and students......

Many moments of sweet memories...

Many instances of arguments and debates....

Many hours of teaching and learning, reteaching and relearning....

Many times of well-phrased advices and tips fell on the deaf ears and stiff necks....

And teachers on many occasions were reasoning among themselves how to bring this group of students up....

Then came this moment... when the world came to a stand still.... so unexpected and so sad...

It was indeed a touching moment where the hearts no long lie.

Everyone looked at one another, so sincere and so giving.

It was a moment of truth...

It was a moment of love...

It was a moment to treasure and remember...

Forever and ever.

It's Never Done Until It's Done




At the end of the day, when the work is done, there are surely things and people that we must not neglect.

There are certain things that we are to reconsider.

There are processes and progresses that we must analyze and evaluate.

There are mistakes and errors that we must learn to correct and minimize.

And if we remember.......

There are certain tasks that are done without proper or thorough planning.

There are redundant tasks that are really a waste of funds and resources.

There are important tasks that are swept under the carpet.

There are on-going tasks that are done on an ad hoc basis.

And these and many more have adversely influenced and affected the outcomes....

If only we make it a rule to assess and reassess our tasks, we would be able to correct and improve our work, and be more successful in our working life.

As it is, too many of us have burnt out.... and no longer enjoyed our work.

----------------------

There are also certain individuals to remember.

We have to celebrate our success together.

There are trophies to give, prizes to win, and achievements to cherish.

There are success stories, ideas and advices to share for the betterment of the team.

Of course, there are times when we may have to share our failures and frustrations, and hope to improve our works the next time round.

And there are times when we may have to console and pacify ourselves for not meeting our goals.

Nonetheless, we must not leave out anyone.

Everyone is vital to the team.

They command our respect and appreciation.

They determine the future and health of the organization.

And so at the end of the day when the work is done......

It's never done until it's done.

Miss My Moment Of Silence




A moment of silence is always helpful when the mind is confused and perplexed.

Nature shows us its reactions when under adverse condition.

Looking at the trees under the onslaught of the wind......

They look so flexible as they continue to resist the wind.

Many of them have developed deep and strong roots after years of experiences.

Many of them learn to keep together to stay strong.

And they are that calm and organized.

********

A moment of silence is always helpful when the heart is stirred and agitated.

Nature shows us its calm when under adverse condition.

Looking at the waters with its ripples and waves.......

They look so still and quiet again.

That tested patience after years of experiences.

That outflowing love that shares its inner wealth with all.

And they are that cool and appealing

********

As I ponder more... I really miss my moment of silence.



Those Many Moments




There are many different moments in our life.

There are sweet moments that tickle our hearts,

There are miserable moments that give us stress,

There are sad moments that cause our hearts to ache,

There are scaring moments that still haunt us from time to time,

There are nostalgic moments that cause up to stay still and remember the past,

There are joyous moments that make us tear in laughter,

There are humorous moments that dispel the blue mood,

There are the uncertain moments that bring us to our knees and pray for help,

There are thanksgiving moments that we learn to say praises and appreciation,

There are moody moments that we just don't know what to do.............

*******

There are moments to remember,

There are moments to forget,

There are moments to treasure,

There are moments to let go,

There are moments to linger,

There are moments to cut short............

*******

Some of us have many happy moments to remember,

Some of us have many sad moments to forget...........

*******

The LORD God knows,

If only we will submit to Him.

He will help us to forgive and to forget,

He will lead us to remember all the sweet and happy moments..........

*******

Bowing down to depression is never the answer,

Pretending to be happy is never a cure,

Facing our moments of truth is what we have to do...........

*******

A bigger heart can brings us happiness,

A narrow mind always brings us undying enmity,

Let's take charge of the moments,

We are the lord of our moments.

Talking Behind




We are talking about certain individuals in our lives.

We are so full of praise to our family, relatives, friends and neighbors who are so kind and loving and who have helped us so much in our life journey.

We can tell about their good deeds, their distinctive character, their favorite hobbies and pastimes, their progress and achievements, their whereabouts, and many other matters.

But we have nothing much to say when it comes to sharing about family, relatives, friends and neighbors who are not that close to us.

We don't remember some of their names, we don't know their whereabouts, we have nothing to say about their family, and we have never greeted them though they are our next door neighbors.

But surprisingly we have a lot of bad things to talk about them......

We regard them as unfriendly and inconsiderate.

We regard them as unhelpful and rude.

We regard them as arrogant and proud.

We regard them as a loner and a loser.

We regard them as disorganized and undisciplined.

We regard them as reckless drivers, filthy old men, womanizers, wife beaters, great grumbler, and many many more.

We seem to know so much about them than they realized.

I am afraid sometimes we are wrong.

And this habit of talking bad behind others' backs is not healthy and can have serious repercussions.....

And so I sit down in a corner and ponder...

We need to know them very well before we form any judgment at all.

We need to talk and listen to them personally instead of talking behind their backs.

We need to learn to think and speak nicely of them.

Then I start to think nicely about some of those around me...

Then I shake my head and tell myself it will be difficult...

... I realize I have been very negative these days....

True Friend Indeed




It took me quite sometime to settle down after a slight argument. Then I have a hard time listening to all the insinuations and accusations......

The hurt is deep and painful, especially when it comes from someone dear.

A little idea, a little suggestion, a little opinion, a little insistence, then the spark of anger and argument ignites.

Those of us who have been hurt badly many times have become so self-protective and so cynical of others. They just cannot tolerate different views and opinions.

They welcome views and opinions, only to shoot them down one after another.

It is getting more burdensome and sick to get together with friends who never give up winning.

And they don't always win.

It is sad and frustrating to see and hear them fall... they can really go down.

A road of no return, yeah, and that is it.... when the majority have lost faith in you.

A road of no return, yeah, and that will be.... when the majority have decided to vote you out.

It is not easy to entertain them...

It is not easy especially when we don't take side......

But it is equally difficult to listen to continuous pouring of sad episodes of arguments, complaints, and grievances.

And that are what friends are for.

Only that I don't know I can bear it for how long....

Tell Me Where Else To Go





Living in high-rise building can be very scary and dangerous today.

The increasing rate of earthquakes in recent months has caused many buildings to collapse or simply sink into the soft ground.

Many are buried alive.

.......

Living near the hill or mountain can be very scary and dangerous today.

The increasing frequency of landslides in recent weeks has caused many villages to disappear.

Many are buried to death.

.......

Living near the sea or the river mouth can be very scary and dangerous today.

The increasing number of flash floods and tsunamis in past days has caused many to be swept away to the sea.

Many have drowned and disappeared.

.......

Many are buried alive...

Many are buried to death...

Many are swept away by the water...

Many are drowned....

Many have disappeared....

They are no more.......

.......

Piles and piles of death bodies are found...everywhere...

They stink and smell bad...everywhere...

.......

Many are so used to them....... they don't cry anymore......

Many continue to shriek and scream....... for their losses......

Many have no one to cry....... they are all dead......

Many just sit still everywhere....... like a dead corpse.

No more tears to cry....

They have no more tears....

......

Oh, please tell me where to go?

Where else is the safest place of the world?

Some Thoughts of The Sudden Rain




It was a sudden rain.

It surprised everyone.

As usual, before the rain, some were seen walking slowly, talking with friends and colleagues, taking their sweet time enjoying jokes, humors, or some nice stories.

Some were walking alone, thinking and dreaming, sometimes smiling or laughing to themselves.

A few groups of students were chasing one another in the open field. They looked so energetic, so full of life, so innocent, so carefree....

It wasn't break-time yet; it was in-between lesson time.

Some had rushed to the school canteen or to the washroom.

Then the sudden rain, soaking everyone all over.

I reached out for my books and rushed to class. Nothing was to stop me from delivering my lessons, not the students, not my wet body, not the rain, not the strong wind, or the lightning and thunder.

It was time to drill the students with many questions and answering techniques. The public exam was less than two months away.

None must fail, not one.

All must score well, if possible.

Words of encouragement and praise were given to inspire the students and spur them on.

I could see confidence in their eyes and hope in their faces, though some were still struggling to make a head start.

They must strive to achieve reasonably good result, both for their own future and the future of their family.

Struggles and challenges are unavoidable as long as we have our being. And we must never give up and run away from them.

....No, no. They must not fail... their family and their community need them...

The sudden rain receded at last.

The weather turned cold and windy.

But the lesson continued.... It must not stop and will not stop...

So are we on our journey of life...

There may be many obstacles and hindrances...

But we must go under them, go through them, and go over them....

Food...Food




Everyone loves good food.

Some enjoy eating by the roadside. You can eat and drink fast and continue your journey, or you can take your sweet time enjoying your food hunt. It has its own thrills. But it also exposes you to the risk of unhygienic food. Besides, the narrowed road with the continuous flow of traffic can be risky.

Some enjoy eating in a food stall, situated everywhere. Sometimes you can see them near the riverside, the pond, the garden, the grave or the temple. There are varieties of delicious food and drinks. You can watch and hear people talking aloud on current issues, ideas, and controversies, or some wonderful jokes, humors, legends and folk tales. You can see people arguing, laughing, walking about, and busy doing their daily activities. Everything seems to be so alive here.

Some enjoy eating in a quiet, peaceful, comfortable and distraction-free environment. It allows them to relax and focus on the process of eating. They take their sweet time eating, reading, thinking, discussing and relaxing. It can be a very wonderful experience especially after a hard day work with tight schedule, or a stressful time with difficult problems and worries.

I enjoy all three... as long as there are good food around.

And I wouldn't mind to pay more...after a hard day work. LOL

A Moment Of Silence




I enjoy my moments of silence.

A moment of silence gives me time to reflect and think of the tasks that are ahead of me.

A moment of silence helps me to deal with myself and every day routines.

A moment of silence helps me to alleviate my stress and worries.

*******

I enjoy my moments of silence when in meetings and gatherings.

A moment of silence allows me to listen and hear beyond the words that are said and helps me to make better judgments and decisions.

A moment of silence makes my response seems more thoughtful and comprehensive.

A moment of silence helps to open up the door for new voices to be heard.

*******

I enjoy my moments of silence when there is a quarrel or a fight.

A moment of silence helps to calm down a situation that has gotten out of control and can give me the time to consider the best way to proceed.

A moment of silence helps to defuse strife and prevent further arguments.

*******

I enjoy my moments of silence when I am alone.

A moment of silence helps me to explore my inner self.

A moment of silence helps me see how blessed I am.

A moment of silence leads me to prayer and supplication.

A moment of silence guides me to understand how unforgiving and unforgetting I am, and helps me to make amend.

......A moment of silence can really make all the difference.

And... I really need my moments of silence.

Undecided or indecisive?




It is helpful to consider whether we are undecided or indecisive.

Undecided is situational, and indecisive is personal.

Being undecided is a normal step along the way. It means we need more information before we make any decision. The assumption is that if we have necessary pieces of information, we will be able to make a decision.

We need more information about our options, more information about our personality, and more information about what criteria to base our decision on.

Being undecided is okay. It means we are generally able to make good decisions in other areas. Given enough time or resources, we will be able to do all things well.

Being indecisive is different. It indicates that we have trouble making decisions in many areas. It indicates that we need to struggle to make a decision in spite of having a lot of information.

The cause to be indecisive is because we see too many options and we see how each one can effect every little thing and we have a hard time letting go of things.

The cause to be indecisive is also because we don't know ourselves very well. We carry the internal conflict on what we want versus what others want from us. We don't know exactly what we want to choose.

The cause to be indecisive is also because we don't know how to make a right decision.

Below are some reasons why we are so indecisive:
  • We are fearful of making mistakes.
  • We have struggled and failed to make the right decisions in many areas of our life.
  • We have developed a habit to postpone decision making, hoping that others can and will decide for us.
  • We change our mind frequently.
  • We get very anxious about making decision.
  • We feel unready to face the consequences of our decisions.
  • We are worried about what others may think of our decisions.
  • We feel very uncertain despite having all the information we need to make a decision.
  • We are worried that our decision will be a wrong one.
Some of us cannot even make the smallest decisions. They cannot decide on what to eat, where to go or what to do. They always have to look to others for help.

They leave it to others to make decisions. They don’t dare and don't want to take responsibility for anything that happens. They would rather blame it on others or on fate.

Maybe the best way to stop being indecisive is simply to force ourselves to make a choice.

If it so happens that we made a stupid decision, so be it, after all a lesson is learned.

The point for us is that we must learn to be decisive.

Or let us put it in writing before we decide what to do. Make a short list of the pros and cons and then go ahead with our decision.

Let us start small, like planning a meal or what clothes to wear. Then work our way up to more important things.

To start, limit ourselves to a maximum of five minutes of internal debate and then say "I want that one." Go for it and do it.

Breakdown our options and trust our past decisions, which have helped us along the way.

Let us be confident to carry out and stick to our decision.

Are we undecided or indecisive?

If it is a trivial one, like what food are we hungry for, we don't have to take that long to decide.

If it is a life altering decision, we have to be very indecisive, because we want to make sure that we are ready for this change. We have to take time to decide so as not to regret it at a later date. We have to very carefully evaluating our options. We must not let anyone rush us into anything or influence us too greatly. For at the end of the day, it is our decision and we are the one who is going to enjoy or suffer the consequences.

Anyway, it is good to be undecided once in a while because it help to make better decisions.

But indecisiveness will definitely get us nowhere.

Sometimes I Feel Like Giving Up




Sometimes I feel like giving up when the journey of life is getting too tough for me to continue on.

Sometimes I feel like giving up when people around are going all out to get me, pinpointing my mistakes and weaknesses.

Sometimes when everything is getting worse and worse and I am upset, I feel like screaming.

Sometimes when anxiety reaches its peak, I feel like giving up on all my struggles. And I will say to myself, "What is the use?"

Sometimes I no longer have passion for life anymore. It seems I cannot care about people anymore and I don't seem to feel interested in anything in life anymore.

Yeah, sometimes we do feel like giving up on our career, our family, our relationships, our dreams, our faith....

*******

Someone has said, "When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place."

Sometimes when I feel exhausted, harassed, stressed and discouraged, I will sit in a corner trying to calm myself down.

I will look at the people at work and the people who pass by. Then I will try to find purpose in my life and then continue my journey.

I learn not to give up because I still have my families and friends.

Though sometimes I need more. But I can always confide to someone I love and care, and I will find my peace and my joy in God.

Life is a journey that must be traveled no matter how bad the roads and accommodations.

Maybe we should think about our past, once in a while, and find out how things have worked out fine for us all these years.

Maybe the followings can help when we feel like giving up:
  • Change our approach
  • Step away from the situation
  • Be still
  • Keep our enthusiasm
  • Use our imagination
  • Write out our dreams dan goals.
  • Have faith.

The Rise and Fall of a Morning Star





It was late afternoon when my family and I decided to scout for delicious food available during the fasting month for the Muslims.

The weather was fine. And the traffic was not heavy.

We were hungry after the afternoon nap.

Besides, it was the school's one week break.

We arrived at a park where there were lots of Malay hawker stalls.

My wife and my younger daughter went happily to the stalls while I enjoyed a stroll in the park.

There I saw one of the ex-students of my school.

He was lying down on a bench, sleeping soundly.

And he looked really dirty. I believed he had not taken any bath for the past few days.

Then it was drizzling.

I watched him for sometime.

He didn't even move.

I thought he was dead and I was concerned.

Then I saw him wipe his face a couple of times, but continued his sleep.

I didn't know what has gone into him.

I remembered he was a smart boy, very inquisitive and cheerful.

And he was always ready with a sweet and innocent smile.

But...... he had refused to come to school anymore.

I didn't know his family.

And I didn't know what had happened to him had anything to do with his family.

But there he was, lying on a stony bench.

He looked really tired.

He must have been exhausted from the way he slept.

I was told that he worked hard everyday.

He would help anyone who needed assistance.

In return, he would be paid in money or in kind.

Someone told me that he had become slightly crazy or weird.

But he was approachable and adorable sometimes.

And He was lovable and kind.

Nearby, an excavator was digging the land to extend the market place.

But the loud sound didn't wake him up at all.

A few passersby took note of him and mentioned something to their family or friends.

But no one went near him.

I didn't know what had happened to him.

I didn't see any future in him in his present circumstances.

He should be in his mid 20s.

He should be able to decide for himself.

Each year we see many prospective students.

Some work hard for their future.

Some quit because of family problems.

Others give up for personal reasons.

But I didn't know about this boy...

But what I saw today was the rise and fall of a morning star...

Put On A Happy Face





It is nice to put on a happy face while we are with our family, relatives, neighbors and friends.

It is polite to put on a happy face for our visitors.

It is refreshing to put on a happy face as we go to school.

And it is welcoming to put on a happy face while at work.

Putting on a happy face boosts up our confidence and capture people's attention as we introduce and promote ourselves.

Putting on a happy face also help to foster relationships in meetings and conferences.

It is also wonderful to put on a happy face when we are stressful as it can reduce wrinkles.

And it is wiser to put on a happy face as we grow older.

However, it is difficult to put on a happy face in the midst of pain and suffering.

But we must try. It can help us develop positive attitude, optimism, and the will to persevere on through the toughest of times.

*******

Putting on a happy face can take off the gloomy mask of tragedy and emotional turmoil.

Putting on a happy face can boost our confidence to tell others of our amazing life and achievements.

Putting on a happy face can help us to see the big picture and not overcome by our short-sightedness in our problems and fears.

Putting on a happy face can help us to restore and strengthen family bonds, build up better friendships, and foster love, courtship, and marriage.

*******

Life can be tough at times.

By putting on a happy face sometimes help us to clear up the gray skies and brush off the dark clouds.

Yeah, the depressing old weather will clear right up – at least in our mind.

Putting on a happy face can brighten up our day.

Let us put on a happy face everyday so that we are always in a better mood.

*******

So if we are feeling cross and bitter, let us not sit and whine.

Let us put on a happy face and practice smiling!

It is going to get easier and better as we do them more.

*******

Put on a happy face and strive to appear happy at all times.

Put on a happy face as we face the world.

Put on a happy face and forget about the past.

Put on a happy face and have a positive attitude about the day in front of us.

*******

So....

Please put on a happy face and smile all day through.

Please put on a happy face and keep moving forward.

Please put on a happy face and have a good time regardless of the chaos.

Please put on a happy face and gear up for the day's challenges.

Please put on a happy face and start spreading sunshine all over the place.

Please put on a happy face...and a happy head.

Strive To Live





All living things strive to survive, through propagation and dispersal, including humans, plants, and wildlife.

And we are to take protective, proactive, and corrective measures as we strive to survive in our life times.

It is the nature of life. To live we must be alive.

If we and other animals did not strive to survive, we would not survive because we all compete for the same food and resources.

So in the face of adversity, we must refuse to give up. We must always rise above to become survivors.

And if we are enduring a trial now, we must be ready to face it with courage, determination and conviction.

If we have recently made it to the other side of an obstacle, we can rejoice and shout that we are a survivor.

All plants need sunlight, water and soil in order to grow. Some wild plants have no rich soil to hold their roots. It seems impossible for them to survive. However, they still grow well, although the environment is not inviting at all.

We should strive to survive like these wild plants. Life is full of obstacles and difficulties, we should stand strong and face our problems bravely. We have to face many challenges in our daily lives and it is only with hard work and courage that we could succeed.

The ground is full of rocks and rubbish which is not suitable for a plant to grow. Just like us, even though we may not be provided with all the things we need, we should try our very best to get hold of them with our own effort. We will have a bright future if we can work independently and overcome all difficulties positively.

Remember, a plant or animal becomes extinct when the last living individual of its species dies, causing it to vanish from the earth forever.

*******

We should not only strive to survive. We must also strive for much more than survival. We must strive to make a meaningful impact, to unlock our opportunities and to make the most of them. We must strive for meanings in life.

We must strive to progress and thrive on challenges. We must be vibrant, determined and motivated. Our purpose is to create a brighter future for generations to come. And we must believe that we have the power to achieve it.

Every day we must actively strive to progress, reaffirm ourselves and realize ambitious goals.

Our goal in life is to constantly strive to progress while having fun and enjoying ourselves on the way.

In short it is the desire, discipline & dedication in our strive to make us succeessful in life.

Let us be committed and always strive to succeed at everything we do.

Holding You In Our Heart





I remembered we did not own a vehicle at that time. We had our evening walk after our dinner to the town 1 km away. You preferred to walk, and you would not beg for us to carry until you were really tired. Then the rain came and the distant thunder sounded. You never grumbled or complained, but you dared the rain and continue your journey home. Oh children, we were very proud of you.

I remembered we had to hold the handle for you as you steadied yourselves on your bicycle. Then we pushed the bicycle while you learned to peddle. You giggled and laughed as you slowly learned the art. But then, you wanted us to let go of our hands. We refused but you insisted with your terribly loud screams. We had to let go of our hands and saw you fell. It really hurt to see you suffered and cried. We dared not laugh at you. Still you got angry and hit us. We had to console you and massage you. Then we held the bicycle's handle again and you happily peddled again. You had a nice sleep that night while our back ached.

I remembered we had to help to hold the pencil every time you learned to write. Your writing was terrible and your book was full of holes. Sometimes you were so hot temper. Sometimes you were so lazy. Sometimes you spilled your food and drink everywhere. We had to learn to be patient with you. It was not easy, but you were our children. We loved you and strived our best to teach you.

Everytime when you went to school, we would walk with you, carrying your school beg. We had to hold umbrella for you. We had to hold your hand. Sometimes you complained we walked too slowly, and that you might be late for school. We smiled in our heart and promise ourselves to tell you when you had grown up.

Now that you have grown up, you learn to do everything on your own.

Two of you have gone to college and university.

We have nothing to hold for you, only our hand phone.

We wish you well, our children.

And we continue to hold you in our heart, until we can hold you in our arms again.

Sometimes I Feel Helpless





There are times when I want to help someone, but I am unable to do so.

Our son who studies in a college in West Malaysia has just informed us that there are suspected H1N1 cases in his college. The school authority has given them one week holiday. Our son doesn't know what to do and where to go. Our son needs help.

Though we are far in Sarawak, our hearts are with our son.

We ask him to follow his course mate to a certain place in Kuala Lumpur where our pastor will meet with him.

We were anxious and worried about our son. We are not sure whether he can make the trip. But there is nothing much we can do to help him.

But we quietly submit our son to the LORD God who always knows how to take good care of His people.

*******

A year back, we had to travel daily for few weeks to the hospital to visit our late mother. She was having terminal lung cancer and wouldn't be able to live for long.

We stayed with her, talked with her and took good care of her. But we saw her weaker and weaker each passing day.......

We were anxious and worried for her but we couldn't do anything to stop her from dying.

But we quietly submit our mother to the LORD God who always knows how to take good care of His people.

Our mother passed away peacefully in the hospital, after she finally knew the LORD God as her personal LORD and Savior.

*******

Feeling helpless is common among us.

But it is horrible when you discover that you cannot help someone you love.

But we are not to be too anxious and worrisome.

There are always alternatives.

We may ask helps from our family members, relatives, and friends or we can ask help from the LORD God.

Yeah, the sensation of feeling helpless can be overwhelming and overpowering.

But for those who knows the LORD God personally, they needs not be too helpless.

Children Handwriting




Teaching children to write their names correctly is not easy.

It is not easy to teach children to hold a pencil.

Some press the pencil too hard until the pencil nib breaks.

Some hold the pencil too tight with all their fingers, making it difficult for them to write.

Some have difficulties holding the pencil steadily with 2 or 3 fingers.

Some lack the patience to write within the confine of lines and boxes.

Some lack confidence in writing, erasing what they write until the whole sheet of paper is in a mess with many holes.

Parents get unduly worried and agitated as they see the other children progressing faster.

But the moment the children can produce a decent and readable handwriting, they are relieved and easily satisfied.

Many parents tend to let their children write on their own when they see their children can produce reasonably good handwriting.

They don't realize that their handwriting maybe too small, giving an impression that the writer maybe lacking the necessary confidence to write with bigger letters.

They don't realize that their handwriting maybe too big, giving an impression that the writer maybe lacking the necessary practices in writing beautifully.

They don't realize that their handwriting maybe too skewed toward the left or right, giving an impression that the writer maybe lazy and moody.

They don't realize that their handwriting maybe too tall and thin, or too fat and small....

Handwriting is a skill that needs constant practices to perfect.

It is like music, flowing naturally from the thought.

It is like an art piece, always ready to satisfy the readers' needs.

It is like the cooling stream, urging the readers to continue reading without in any way distracted to do otherwise.

Oh! How I wish I can write beautifully, spreading and filling the world with the wisdom and knowledge of God, without bringing any attention to myself.

Driving Behind A Very Slow Driver





Driving behind a very slow driver can drive me crazy.

Sometimes when I was enjoying a smooth drive, I got easily provoked by someone driving very slowly in front of me.

As I drove close and overtook the driver, what I saw made me really mad.

The driver was talking or listening to a phone call.

The driver was having a romantic moment with someone.

The driver was bringing a family with kids jumping up and down in the car.

The driver was eating and drinking, most probably after a very long drive.

The driver was half asleep while listening to music.

The driver was puffing cigarette and reminiscing.......

*******

There were instances when someone threw away tissue papers, empty drink packets, cans and bottles, empty food parcels and boxes, and cigarette butts.

There were times when someone threw away fruit skins of all kinds, including bananas, rambutan, langsat, and the king of fruits – durian!

There were moments when the driver just spitted and sometimes landed on my car.

There were incidents when the driver stared angrily at me when I overtook the car.......

*******

Initially I felt like doing something.

But after thinking through, I had decided not to retaliate against them.

There must be some reasons why the LORD God has allowed them to stand in my way.

I found out that I was driving beyond the speed limits.

I found out that I was driving too fast, eagerly wanting to get behind a car and sped through with a winning broad smile.

I found out that I was very impatient in dealing with unpleasant situations.

I found out that I had always wanted to have my own way.

I found out that I was actually a nuisance to everyone, endangering the safety of my passengers and the lives of many out there.......

*******

There were instances where I saw people lying dead on the road on a hot sunny day.

There were times when I saw family members hugged the dead bodies during heavy thunderstorm, with screams of anguish and cries of heartbreak.

These were terribly sad memories that still haunted me today in my daydreams and nightmares......

*******

So the next time I meet a slow driver, I learn to be cool.

So the next time I see some drivers who love to litter and spit, I learn to slow down and drive at a distance of a few cars away.

So the next time when I decide to get angry, I learn to remember that there must be reasons why the LORD God allows them to stand in my way.

Maybe I should learn to count my blessings when I am driving behind a very slow driver.......

Walking Tall Or Walking Small




Standing amid a crowd of people, I turn around. Feeling of fear and horror seeps deep inside me. Is this a crowd of walking tall or walking small?

Many seem to be mindful of what is before them. Few people speak. Few people look around. Few people smile. Few people look up and greet one another. Everyone seems to mind their own business and oblivious of all others.

Some speak on the handphone. Some have their meals and drinks. Some read newspapers and magazines. Some discuss on their lottery numbers. Some loners are puffing cigarettes. Some just sit on the staircase musing and looking around.

Standing beside me is a group of young people enjoying the music video of the late Michael Jackson. Many seem to have missed him after his demise. And the music video is so entertaining that many are moved to tears.

I lean against a pillar waiting for the numbness of my legs to subside. I have a long walk, accompanying my wife in choosing some clothing for our son.

[Sigh] The present economic crisis has robbed many of their laughter and smile. The price hike has caused many to look into their pockets and wallets. Many deliberations and discussions before going shopping and outing. Many arguments and tears before making ends meet.

Many do not look that confident anymore. Many become more reserved in their speech. Many dare not boast at all.

No more big gatherings and parties. No more big scale celebrations or festivals. No more late night entertainments and weekend sprees.

Yah, everything goes small again. Many become dispirited and bitter. Is this a crowd of walking small?

When will we step out of our despair and hopelessness? Where are the walking tall?

How long will we bow down to our present crisis?

Are we the walking small or the walking tall?

Let us not all float down the River of Despair, drifting towards death.

Let us start anew by having some confidence in ourselves to mend our lives.

Be Positive





It is never an easy task to think positively when we are in a world of uncertainties. The bleak economic outlook, the rising social problems, the political turmoil, the natural disasters and H1N1, all have filled us with fear and negative perceptions about our Mother Earth. We no longer look forward to each new day with confidence and expectation. We pray and hope that none of the disasters fall upon us. Negative thoughts like these are definitely not healthy and will surely make us more pessimistic.

It is also not easy to have positive feelings. People are running in all directions, trying to fulfill their needs and wants. Not many seem to care about human relationships and fellowships. Most people keep a distance and largely oblivious of one another. Life is more money-centered, work-centered, self-centered... so much so that many of us lose our jokes, laughter, smiles, and sense of humor. Life is getting more stressful and difficult. Negative feelings like these will definitely bog us down and crumple us.

It is also difficult to have good attitudes towards others, with the growing distrust and suspicion among people. Some people resort to lies and deceptions to get what they want. And this happens even among close relatives and friends. Some resort to gangsterism and extortion. The world is getting upside down again. Sadly morality, ethics and just plain fairness have all taken a back seat. Negative attitudes like these will definitely tear us apart and cause more dissensions, conflicts and rivalries.

I don't know what you think, but as for me, positive thinking, feelings and attitudes all play a major part in my life to spur me on and to keep my family together with the ever growing uncertainties.

I can't teach you what to do. But I firmly believe that a positive outlook towards life is far better for us... But I must admit that sometimes it can really be frustrating when many others think, feel and behave otherwise...Sigh...

Living With Cats




We have 2 wonderful kittens that love to jump, run and climb up and down around the house. They are our cats number 8 and 9.

We have started living with cats when we decided to show mercy on a little crippled kitten at the back of our terraced house. Her mother has left her on her own, most probably because of her inability to move around.

We have fed her with milk and water as she was still unable to eat solid food. But she was a loving cat and just loved to snuggle around us or lying lazily on the sofa watching TV.

She was very happy to be with us and she never left our house for long. She slept inside the house. By morning she would go from room to room trying to wake everyone up.

She was clean and took many hours to clean her body. And she would never shitted around everywhere. The bathroom hole had been her usual toilet place.

I can still remembered the night when she gave birth to 3 premature kittens. She was inexperienced and begged for help. No knowing what else to do, we decided to lock her in a room. That night, the kittens all died when she had accidentally bitten them as she carried them around. It was a sad moment for her and she mourned for her loss for a long long while. We were sorry for the outcome.

She had no problem of delivery in later days. She gave birth to more than 30 kittens.

We are happy to have them and we always cook extra food just for them. Neighboring friends and colleagues did ask for them and we gave them freely.

We are very happy to notice that all our cats just know where to shit except one. The old mother cat had taught them well.

We have proper times for their meals and they will always come back in time. And every time they come home, they will greet us with their meows until we answered them.

The old mother cat had finally left us. She was nowhere to be found. We hoped that she died in peace and not knocked down by any vehicle.

Early this morning, the neighbors has phoned and requested for our cat numbor 8 and 9. We hesitated but we decided to give them willingly.

Looking back, we are really happy. We have kept more than 40 cats.

They are our beautiful and beloved cats and we love them. They are part of our big family.

Yeah, they are always welcome to stay in this house and we will always take good care of them.

I Just Love Singing





I love to sing. I don't have a good voice and I don't know how to sing. In fact, I know nothing at all about singing.

But I just love to sing alone, though not in public.

I sing when I am happy. Singing always makes me smile and laugh out loud.

I sing when I am sad. Singing helps me pour out all my feelings.

I sing when I am lonely. Sometimes I even talk to myself while I am singing. I thought as I grew up this odd habit would go away. But it never left me.

I sing when I have some inspirational thoughts. I love to turn my thoughts into songs. It helps to organize my thoughts and give me peace of mind.

I sing when I know not how to solve my problems. Singing always helps me to forget them for a while. Singing always gives me the calmness I need to deal with them.

I sing when I am angry at people. Singing helps me to control myself; singing helps me not to use abusing speech at others. Singing also helps me to get away from contentious people.

I thinking I will continue to sing with my hoarse voice. Though not many will appreciate my voice except myself and my loved one, nevertheless singing always helps to calm me down and makes me a better and a happier person.

I just love singing.



Live Well And Stay Well





Everybody is different, and I think a lot of it depends on you.

Some of us are better at thinking logically and creatively. They are able to handle a lot of problems and they always make wise decisions.

Some of us are emotionally stable and mature. They are able to put everything under control and their every presence always makes people more confident, enthusiastic, and competent in accomplishing the tasks given.

Some of us are hard-working and dedicated in everything they do. They are able to concentrate and focus on their tasks and produce quality, innovative, and efficient works.

And many of us are specialists and professionals in our fields of expertise.

Very few of us are very good in everything we think, feel or do.

And there are also those who are not good at all.

Maybe we need to be more observant and inquisitive. We must have the interest to learn and eager to master the various survival and life skills. We must be humble and willing to learn from others. We must learn to take notes and listen well what others have to say.

Many of us only pay attention on the things we like, neglecting everything too easy, too difficult, or too boring. We excel in study and work. We are good in sports and games. But we never like house work, child care, elder care, shopping and marketing, or meal preparation.

Some of us are quite an entertainer in our circles of friends but feel very awkward and downright difficult to deal with strangers and kids.

The worst scenario is when you feel that you are a born loser; nothing you do seems to work. You become pessimistic and cynical, and less confident about the future.

This needs not be so because everyone of us is richly bestowed with many talents.

Maybe we need to pay close attentions on certain life skills to live well and gain the respect and good will of the people around us.

Better still if we humbly pick up other useful skills as soon as we master some.

A man is a man when he takes responsibility for his actions. And the weathered man is the handsomest of all.

Live well and stay well. That's what many of us are learning to do...