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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.