Time To Get Ready

It was 9 a.m.

The shop was opened an hour ago.

There was no customer around; not even one.

It was a bright, sunny, and cool Saturday morning, a very good day for business; most people would be taking their day off.

A food stall owner was busy preparing her dishes; her assistance was busy washing vegetables and chopping up meat. They looked happy and not worried, talking, smiling and laughing away as they did their work.

The shop owner was sitting at one corner, reading his favorite newspaper. He was doing the drinks. Surely he must have everything ready long beforehand to serve his first customers. He looked tall with his bright red cap, and there were patches of white hair on either side of his head.

The small shop looked clean, neat, and comfortable. It would be a nice and quiet place to calm down, do some thinking, and get away from the hustle and bustle of the day.

I arrived in front of the shop with my youngest daughter. She was planning to have her haircut at the corner shop.

As I was musing in my van, I could see many vehicles moving along the main road, but few pedestrians walking along the sidewalk. I could see a Chinese school opposite the shop, looking unusually quiet and peaceful with its beautiful garden and landscape.

The small town was busy with people but not this area. But the school opposite could readily supply more than enough customers for the weekdays.

The weekend business would be a bonus. It was time for the working people to run away from their daily routine, take a break and meet with their family and friends, and have their sweet time. Surely some of them would frequent the shop if the food was tasty and delicious.

I smiled to myself, hoping for some solemn faces to come around soon. Seeing them bursting into awkward laughter would be fun, and food for the day.

An adjacent food shop was doing fine, serving some customers. But it wasn’t big deal. Every shop had its own customers and they would come later.

The shopkeeper and the stall owner continued what they were doing. The assistants were wiping and setting the tables.

It was 9.30 a.m. The shop was getting busy. The food seller smiled a broad smile, so did the shopkeeper with his drinks, showing his solid white teeth.

The preparation stage was over, now came the money.

Everyone was smiling, laughing, and talking. The small town was unusually busy again.

Life Is Simple If We Don’t Make It Complicated

When uncertainties abound, when opportunities are getting scarce, when choices made are becoming much more complex and critical, and when immediate decision is imminent, we tend to become very upset, not knowing what to do. We walk blindly and aimlessly. We refuse to sit down and are unable to pause to reflect.

Many of us are content and satisfied with our lives. We don’t want to change. In fact, we are opposed to changes that would disrupt our lives.

But there will be times when these happen. There will be times when things happen and make life complicated. There will be times when problems at hand are not easy to overcome. When that happens, what would you do?

It is time to speak to family and friends. We can analyze the problems together. We can go for a walk or a meal, have some jokes or fun, or play some games, trying everything possible to bring things down for a while.

We can try to sit down, write down everything, and analyze the problems slowly and carefully on our own. Then we plan out what we can do and desire to do. It will not be easy, but it becomes easier and simpler with practice and experience.

Not every problem can be settled on our own or with the help and support from family and friends. Certain problems take time and effort, and can be with us for some times.

But we can always commit problems that we cannot solve to the Almighty God. We can tell Him everything, including our personal decisions and the opinions, guides and tips that we have obtained from our family and friends.

Life is simple if we know that we are not alone.

Life is simple if we know that our family and friends are around to help us.

Life is simple if we know that the Lord God is right here beside us to help us.

Life is simple if we don’t make it complicated.

What Can You Give Us?

Some of us love to receive more than give.

They will try every conceivable way to get what they want from others.


Some of us use authority, power, and position.

They order and direct others to get what they want.

I was told of a certain person who lost all his friends, fellow workers and subordinates the moment he retired.

No one wanted to come near him anymore. Everyone just deserted him, avoided him when they happened to see him from afar, turned their faces away if they were close, and turned down his invitation to a drink or a gathering.

People hated him because of his strong-arm techniques; he had arm-twisted them into doing what he wanted. People mumbled and grumbled because they were forced to have long working hours and countless weekend sacrifices.

They missed the family joy and love, the happy hours, the weekend shopping sprees, and the holiday retreats. They yearned to meet up with their loved ones and make up for their losses.

He had got all he wanted, but everyone suffered under him.

Now that he was gone, everyone jumped up cheering.

But he lost all he had the moment he retired.

He was then made to realize that he was a loner and a loser.


Some of us use deception and trickery.

They put on nice and pretty faces, and use very sweet smiles and pleasant personality.

They behave very friendship, kind and helpful, and look very caring and loving.

These people just know when and how to ask for favors.

They know how to coerce and encourage others to do what they want.

They are smart and sleek without appearing overly pretentious.

Sometimes they employ divide and rule tactics and politics, if they can’t obtain the favor they need.


Some of us are considerate, generous and forgiving.

We share all we have and we give abundantly.

We are sensitive and sympathetic to those in need.

And we assist whenever and wherever possible.

We are truthful, helpful and loving,

And we forgive others for their wrong doings,

And we forget all the harm we have received.


They are various kinds of people in the world.

They all have their needs and wants.

Some they do on their own.

Some they depend on others.


There are many different ways to get what we want from others.

And we have employed many of them.

But it is the man inside that people see.

And they will judge us according to our means, methods, and motives.


Some of us are truthful, helpful and loving.

They do things from a sincere heart.

But some of us are authoritative, manipulative, and deceptive.

They force, coerce and trick others into doing what they want.

But ultimately all will be revealed and discovered when the time is ripe.

There will be joy, love, peace, and hope.

Or there will be quarrels, fights, walkouts, and resignations.

Everyone and everything will either be built up or broken down.

And It is seldom a good and happy ending.


How have you helped others?

What can you do for others?

Questions like these seldom come inside us.

How have others helped you?

What can others do for you?

This is always what people want.

This is always what we desire.


Favor is to be given.

Good work is to be done.

And what we have received is to be shared in turn.

Freely you give, freely you receive,

It is always this faithful saying.

Give and share all we have and can,

Give and share all that is good, loving and true.

It makes life better for everyone,

And it makes this world a better place.

There Is No Need To Grumble!

It had been quite some times my car's air conditioner couldn't provide cool air.

It was blowing warm air and I was sweating profusely!

I had the gas refill a week ago.

I was smiling away the first day.

Then my smile faded away when I realized it was not that cold anymore.

I suspected that the weather was too hot or the van was too old.

What I didn't know was that the gas was leaking!

I sent the van for repair yesterday.

After examining, it was discovered that it was the sub-seal that had caused the trouble!


The shop was owned by an ex-student.

Two of the workers were also ex-students.

The mechanic who repaired my air conditioner was a man from a neighboring state.

He worked here because he married a woman from a neighboring country nearby.

Love is amazing; it could bring people far away together.

I remembered seeing a western man married an Asian woman, living in a remote village in Borneo.

Anyway the repair man was good.

The work done was meticulous and very professional.

But the two ex-students workers were not that good and appeared rather lazy.

Maybe we need to go far from house before we realize the importance of working faithfully and diligently.

The two local workers continued to grumble about the boss.

The ex-student owner was seen smiling always though he did not know much about repairing.

He was a good entrepreneur.

It was not easy for a young man to set up a car accessory shop with no experience at all to begin with!

My mechanic just smiled away, quietly repairing my air conditioner!


They were all students before.

They all started the same.

Of course, the owner of the shop might have rich parents.

But it is always the attitude that determines our day to day living.

There is no need to grumble!

Away From The Old Me

I just wanted to be ordinary,

So that no one would take notice of me.

I just wanted to stay in the background,

Lingered quietly for a little while,

Remained obscure and anonymous.


I never knew it could be like this,

When I first appeared on the stage of life.

So much exposure in the limelight,

So much acting and overacting.

It was not me!

No...no. It was not the real me!


I couldn't live like this anymore!

I badly needed some rest.

Away from the crowd,

Away from the surrounding people.


Appeared everyday on the live show,

My mind wandered and I couldn't think straight anymore,

My heart was dead and cold.

As I moved along more and more,

I was like a walking corpse,

Though no one paid much attention.


Time to step back for a while,

Time to disappear into the dark.

Casting quite a long shadow,

Under the yellow neon street lights,

The shadow continued to move and turn,

As I moved with slow and deliberate steps.


It was dark and cold,

Windy and rainy at the same time.

But it cleared my mind and my heart,

In the way that I least expected.


As I walked through the dark alley,

To the other side of the street.

The rain stopped,

The wind died.

But my heart was warm,

My way was bright,

And my steps were light.


Away from cold people,

Away from scrutinizing eyes,

Away from blank faces,

Away from the old me........

I finally laughed and cried,

As the other world greeted me with happy smiles.