The Heat Is Killing Me




It was a Saturday morning and it was nice and cool.

Traffic was few and far between.

It would be nice to have a family outing or trip.

But I had replacements classes today.

And I was on my way to work.......

*******

Upon reaching the school and entering my office, I found out that I had not brought my spectacles with me.

I had to make a trip home.

Traffic was slowly picking up and the road was getting busy.

Driving these days is difficult with many reckless drivers and speeders.

Maneuvering vehicle in tight spaces in congested areas is always risky but there is no other alternative.

Any way, I arrived safely home.

I got hold of my spectacles, and I then made a second trip to work.

*******

As I walked along the alley of the office, an older colleague told me that the air-con was down.

Oh! I sighed to myself, knowing fully well how a stuffy, dusty, hot and humid room would smell and feel.

As I entered the common room, a colleague was sweating profusely and complaining.

I smiled to myself; a heated room was indeed a big deal to many people.

But getting stressed up was no use.

It was better to just keep still and stay cool.

I got to my workplace and switched on my laptop.

A little prayer and meditation might help......

*******

Getting into my work was not easy, but became easier with time.

I began to enjoy my work and forgot about the heat.

More colleagues were leaving the place.

Some had gone for a long while.

I was sweating too.

I tried to enjoy the thought and sensation of sweating.

It had been quite sometime that I had not sweated in this office.

It would be nice to have a thorough sweat, I said to myself and chuckled.

*******

A good Samaritan came.

He was our office assistant, a Jack of all trade and a master of many.

It was rather difficult to find dedicated and loyal workers like him these day.

It was the switch that had tripped, he told me.

He then reset it and switched on the air-con again.

To everyone relief, it worked perfectly.

Everyone started to smile and laugh happily from ear to ear.

*******

I was very appreciative of the office assistant who had saved the day.

Sometimes things look easy, but not for everyone around.

And that was the thrill and joy of living together in a small community, and working as a team.

What we need is just a little kindness, patience and understanding with one another.

*******

God is not found in the storm.

We need not complain or seek troubles all the time.

God speaks through His still small voice in everyone of us.

....... if only we can hear it.

The heat is killing me......

....... not not for long.

I smiled.

Learning Is Fun




How best can we do something to assist students who performed poorly in the public examinations?

Every year we have students who fail to excel or score rather poorly in their public examinations.

These students will not be able to get places in high school, matriculation, polytechnics or universities.

Over the years, these weaker students has been neglected to deal with their own destiny; they have been left behind on their own to either help or hurt themselves.

Not many have understood their struggles and frustrations.

Not many have come to assist them to make ends meet or to be successful in life.

Not many are willing to listen with patience their grievances and complaints.

Some of them have eventually become social outcasts and marginalized people of our society.

Lately, the Education Ministry is finding ways to assist them to obtain the necessary skills, to ensure that they could still continue with their education and careers.

These students will participate in skills training programs, which will then lead to certificates at different levels.

This provides an alternative way for weaker students to obtain the necessary skills training that would lead to professional qualifications.

It is a great effort on the part of the Ministry of Education.

In fact, it should have been done a long time ago.

There should be more trade, skills and entrepreneur courses for our students!

It would have helped our weaker students to learn about their career paths and be ready for them.

It is depressing, frustrating and disappointing for parents, teachers and the local communities to learn that these children have given up studies and are causing problems in school and society.

In fact, it is more depressing, frustrating and disappointing on the part of the weak students who know fully well that they will not perform well in the public examination.

Some of us are emphasizing too much on having white collar jobs.

White collar job or blue collar job? They both pay well, with the same hours, benefits, etc.

With enough skills and training, these weak students will excel too on blue collar jobs!

I would say that every student in school should learn to have fun, enjoy their studies, and know well about their career path.

Sometimes I wonder whether our school is for educating our students or for producing national champions with excellent academic and sport achievements.

Oh my dear school........ What have you become?

Where is the fun in learning and learning is fun that I used to hear and enjoy in the past?

If only they know about our children. sigh!

The Small Hill




It's just a small hill.

But it is the hill I love to climb.

I frequent it because it's easier and faster to reach the top of the hill.

Climbing up the hill takes sometime. But it's worth the time, effort, and energy.

It is cooling and refreshing to take a morning climb before the daily activities begin.

It is relaxing and calming to have an evening climb when the busy day is done.

Here, from the top of the hill, I can see how nature runs its course. Nothing runs too slowly and nothing rushes too fast. Everything flows and goes just nice and easy.

No one makes unnecessarily noise and no one complains.

Everyone and everything work together in peace and harmony.

I enjoy my every climb up the small hill.

I always come and climb with eagerness and anticipation.

And as I leave the hill, I bring along inspiration and extra energy.

Here, on top of the hill, nature opens up my eyes and mind, and widens my horizon and perspective in life.

Here, on top of the hill, I see life as it is and not as it should be. I see God's hand in everything; everything just follows.......

There are many hills and mountains around the area where I can see much further and better.

But the small hill is just enough for me to see what I desire to see.......

It will be nice to live on a hill, to really relax and to unwind from the stresses of life and work.

It will be heart warming to look at the innocent faces of the wonderful people in the hill....... It feels me with joy incomprehensible!

It will be amazing to listen to the sound of the waterfall and the overflow of water, the chirping and singing of birds and insects, the rustling and dancing of the leaves....... It nourishes my mind to the beautiful music of the rain forest!

It's just very wonderful and wonderful.......

But then, come the busy activities of the towns and cities at the bottom of the hill.

It's time to climb down the hill with this clumsy body..........

It's time to go back to the busy towns and cities that refuse to sleep........

Oh, my small hill........

As I walk slowly down the hill, I notice a signboard advertising a new housing estate up the hill........ I sigh and cry....... for my small hill.

If only they know the value of the small hill.......Sigh!

Telling A Lie




Have you ever tell a lie? Have you ever tell a lie that you would later regret? How can you stop a liar from habitually lying to you?

Many of us have a hard time dealing with lies and deceptions. Some of us are trying ways and means to recognize liars and cheaters to run away from them.

We seek true friends and true love. But the issues of rampant lies and deceptions make us weary and adversely affect our mood, behavior and emotion to want to cultivate good friendship and relationship, and to build up trust.

Sometimes we are puzzled why it is so easy for people to tell lies after lies. They have no qualms of conscience and no sense of shame.

For them, the first lie comes just too easily, and subsequent lies will come naturally. They have very quickly become habitual liars and cunning deceivers. From then on, they just don't hesitate to lie anymore. Sad to say, many of us have fallen preys to their mischief and trickery.

It is easy to lie but not easy to cover a lie. It is easy to tell a lie but hard to tell only one lie. To tell the first lie, we need to cover it with a second lie. To cover the second lie, we need a third lie. To cover the third lie, we need a fourth lie. And we will lie and lie until we are discovered and uncovered, or until we are fed up of lying.

It is never okay to tell a lie, no matter its size or content. A lie is something concocted to deviate from telling the truth. And we have the right to tell only the truth and not any lie. It is always wrong to tell a lie.

But sometimes people say, “You can tell a lie as long as you do not hurt people. Lies add spice to our lives"

But how do you know? When people are hurt, they don't necessarily tell you. Besides, word does build up or tear down, and help or harm a person. Word will either encourage or bring comfort to us, or it will bring despair and distress. No...no. It is better not to assume things. In fact, you wouldn't be happy with your pack of lies. Instead, you will be haunted by it all the time.

But sometimes people say, "You must not hesitate to tell a lie if you can save a life. It is actually not a bad thing to tell a lie in order to do a good deed." In other word, it is the ends that justify the means.

I have no answers to this kind of reasoning. I only hope that God will be pleased with me and my doings in the Judgment Day.

But I am against people who will not hesitate to tell a lie in order to shift the blame onto the other party and save their own skins. These people will not hesitate to tell a lie to better themselves and to demean others. As long as they look good, nothing else mattered.

In conclusion, I would say, "Please do not lie. To tell a lie unintentionally is a mistake. To intentionally tell a lie is stupid. And please do not bluff. The truth will eventually come out. No use to be too defensive."

It is better to tell the truth. It makes life easier, happier, simpler, and more enjoyable.

Please don't lie before people see through your lies.

Have a nice day.

The Dark Alley




It was a dark and narrow alley. Many used it in the daytime. It was a fast access for the people there to the town, passing through the back sides of 2 low-cost flats and climbing down a 100 steps staircase.

It was next to a dirty and polluted river. Everyone threw their rubbish there. it was the fastest way to clear, clean and beautify the compound. The authority was happy because the buildings in front were clean and beautiful, and so were the people with their house. But not the river and everything in it.

I had to use it once, to visit my Valentine girl in one of the flats. I was told the only way to melt her heart was to climb a 6-storeys back staircase with my bulky body. Oh, what a challenging test!

It was 9.30 in the evening when I walked up from the town into this dark alley. There were many lights around, but they all looked very dim and far away. As I walked and looked around, I had a creepy and eerie feeling. Was it haunted or was it just me? I asked myself.

I could see no one around, not one, except the swinging of trees and the flowering pot plants. And... oh... that foul smell coming from the rubbish heaps and bins.

Sometime I could feel gushes of cold wind blowing from behind all over my ears and body, causing my body hair to stand up on end.

And I could hear the dripping of water from high places falling down fast and hard on the wet floor, making it even more slippery and dangerous to walk.

Eventually I reached the back staircase. Standing still for a while and relaxed, I took a deep breath and then had a good look at the narrow and dirty staircase. Oh, climbing up this 6-storeys of back staircases with my bouquet of 99 roses was a great feat for me, but I could do it, I told myself and gritted my teeth.

As I climbed, I panted heavily and sweated profusely; it was not an easy climb after all. I could hear people talking and the sound from the TV and radio. I could hear the shuffling and clacking of mahjong, and people talking and laughing with excited voices. In a distant, I could hear the shrieking of cats fighting or mating. The climbing made me bent down a lot more, and I could see cigarette butts, papers, empty packets and plastic begs everywhere, and the floor was so dusty and dirty. Oh, I had a hard time drawing my every single breath.

By the time I reached the floor, I was sweating all over. I looked at my bouquet of flowers... okay, it did not droop at all. I stood still and relaxed, then I wiped my face and hands slowly and carefully.

I knocked at the door. The beautiful young lady was there to open the door, and was surprised at my coming at this hour with the bouquet of 99 roses. It was love at first sight, though both of our faces turned red with embarrassment initially. Good thing I didn't listen to the salesgirl's advice of bringing the love shaped balloons. We had a good time after that but I was not going to tell you about it.

Climbing down the staircases was relatively easier, though a few times I almost fell down with my 200 lbs body when I was too tired to hold the handle of the stair.

It was 12 midnight. The alley was still dark and cold.

The cold wind continued blowing, stronger this time, drying all my sweats.

More and more water fell down from the top. No...no... it was not only water. It was drizzling, and it looked very beautiful in the night sky.

Then the rain was slowly picking up momentum. It was going to rain heavily soon. I started to run, forgotten that the floor was wet and slippery.... and I fell.... terribly. Shamefully, I looked up at the windows of the flat, no one was watching, oh yeah, my beautiful girl was not there to see. I chuckled and smiled.

Getting out of the alley and climbing down the 100 steps carefully, I walked slowly back to town again. I finally reached my car... in one piece.

I started the engine. Then I saw the two mandarin oranges on the front passenger seat. I remembered putting them there, reminding myself to bring them along my bouquet of 99 roses for my Valentine girl. Oh how absent minded I was, I slapped my forehead, then another, harder this time. But nevertheless I had a wonderful Chap Goh Mei, a Chinese Valentine's day, a very opportune day to meet someone we love.

*******

That was many years ago, I told myself as I returned from my daydream.

I sipped my cup of tea slowly. Then another sip. Oh, it tasted fragrant and sweet, and not to be missed. I shook my head, feeling very satisfied.

Then my Valentine girl came to me from the kitchen. No... no. It was not the one from the flat. It was someone very special to me that I met in a village.

There.................. came my wife, bringing along another pot of jasmine tea.

And that was how I spent my many Chinese Valentine's day, with my Valentine girl, in our sweet sweet home.

No more dark alley.....no more.