Come, the Spirit of Christmas


Talking with friends and strangers during Christmas days can be real fun and thrilling.

In fact, it is really not that difficult to get to know one another.

A friendly look and a simple smile, a little eyes contact, a timely and courteous talk and manner, some warm handshakes, polite greeting and small talk... can all help to cultivate good friendships and relationships.

Some of us enjoy visiting big houses with large gatherings because they will be left to their own, doing what they like.

Some of us love to visit small families, with less visitors, so that they can have a heart-to-heart sharings.

Bringing children along during visiting can be both fun and stressful, especially in a congested house with not many empty or open spaces.

I enjoy seeing spacious sitting rooms with attractive views over open spaces.

And some houses really make me feel homely, warm, and comfortable.

I enjoy interacting, sharing and learning from others.

God has given us each special talents and skills, and I believe knowledge and wisdom must be shared to help others.

Of course, it will be nicer to have delicious food and drink to go round....

Yeah, Christmas is for love, joy, peace, hope.....

...for giving and sharing,

...for laughter and other good feelings,

...for reuniting with family and friends,

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

Christmas is for us to know, to experience, and to cultivate our love and our good feelings for one another, under the shelter of God's wings.

Come, the Spirit of Christmas...

Family Shopping Is Fun


It was raining the whole afternoon.

We were shopping in one of the shopping malls.

People everywhere were busy shopping for the Christmas season, buying many presents, clothing, flower, food, decorations and a whole list of other things.

I personally don't enjoy shopping in group.

But for the past many years we had helped and coached the children in shopping.

But lately they are more independent and can buy things on their own.

Shopping in group can help in making wiser and better decisions.

But sometimes it can be a waste of time, loitering around and wandering without purpose.

So we planned our shopping trip before we started.

My wife and my two girls went straight to the women's department to do their shopping.

My son enjoyed himself picking and trying some shirt and trousers in the men's department.

And I entered a few computer shops making a survey on computer accessories... So much changes and so many things to learn.

I asked around and got the information that I needed about computers.

The salesmen and technicians were customer-oriented and efficient.

I really enjoyed my trip and I had made up my mind on my future computer upgrades.

I laughed heartily to myself, feeling very satisfied.

Then I bought some computer accessories and was ready to join my family.

*******

They had all bought their needs and they were happy.

Everyone was smiling broadly and started to share with one another.

Then we made up our mind to go to another shopping mall, this time to shop for our daily needs and wants.

Once again, we assisted one another in the different sections of the hypermarket.

We bought more things because we wanted to celebrate our youngest daughter's birthday the next day.

We paid at the counter and we were ready to make our way home.

Now our van was rather packed, so everyone had to squeeze a little.

We stopped along the way to buy some barbecued meat and chicken.

We had cooked our rice earlier before we went shopping.

Wow! Mouth-watering dishes were waiting for us home....

******

The sky was getting darker, the wind stronger and the rain heavier.....

By evening we were home.

We had our dinner and we had more stories to tell....

My family had bought some clothing for me, and I had some computer accessories for the family.

And that was our family shopping, visiting our familiar stores and remembering one another while shopping.

Yeah! I love family shopping.

Family shopping is fun.

That's Life


When we are young, with much zeal and energy, we want our lives to be exciting and full of joy.

We think a lot, and spend much time planning, trying and doing.

We are so full of emotion, and perceive life as an expression of meaning and feeling.

We move and travel a lot, seeking, searching, finding, and making use of everything we see, smell, hear, taste and touch.

We are very carefree and adventurous......

Sometimes we are careless, reckless and thoughtless......

We are selfish, self-conscious, self-absorbed, self-pleasing and self-centered......

And we make many unnecessary mistakes and errors.....

And we hurt and harm many others........

We have done many things that we feel ashamed, embarassed, depressed and disappointed to this day.......

*******

When we come to age, some earlier, some later,

We become more contemplative and reflective, and we are more thoughful of others.

We learn to manage, control and conceal our feelings, not wanting to simply hurt others anymore.

We remind ourselves over and again not to be too self-centered, too assertive and aggressive in our approach and doing to others.

We told ourselves to be more tactful, seeking to live in peace and harmony with others.

*******

Sometimes we sigh and mourn for all the wrongs that we have done in our younger days...........

If only we have been more careful and considerate............

*******

It is wonderful to know that we have gone through the same life circle, when we are brought to know that what goes up ultimately comes down.

And now we learn to be more forgiving and forgetting.....

And to treasure life....

And enjoy every single moment of our lives.

We watch our children and our children's children with a hearty smile and a cheerful heart.....

reminiscing our lives..........

Family Reunion


Family reunion is great and really fun.

We used to visit one another during festive seasons, some happy occasions or some memorial services.

Most of the time, we will give a call and come in group to visit a brother or a sister.

Then we regroup and "attack" another brother or sister. And the journey continues....

It is really fun when we visit with very short notice... the owner of the house has to hurry to get everything ready fast.

Then the time comes when we ourselves are being attacked in group......

Then all the laughter, happiness and love.....

We will take out all the best things we have to serve one another.

It is really heart-warming to be together after missing each other for so long.

Absence makes the heart fonder and the mind wonder......

But the moment we meet and hold each other's hands, that is all the matters....

The families have multiplied and the children have grown... the physique, the attitude and behavior all have changed...the way of life, the customs... have also changed.

But then we are filled with our many sweet memories and stories.

And after sometimes, we will just look at one another silently... and smile.

All have changed........

Some of us have entered our middle age... and some have hastened to the old age.

Then the stories continue......

We talk about ourselves, our children, our grandchildren, and our great grandchildren...

Everyone seems so different, but we are smiling from ear to ear.

Who would have thought that family reunion was great and really fun?

Troubles


When troubles come, we often have to resort to ourselves or seek helps from others.

When troubles come, they come in bunches, in a way that can destroy us.

Most troubles start as a result of circumstantial situations.

But sometimes there are people among us who love to create troubles.

They start by generating some misunderstanding and misconceptions among people, then they concentrate on giving and listening to comments and judgments that tickle their ears and delight their senses.

They start the spark of fire that ignites into flames of strife and quarrel, and they enjoy watching people suffer and inflicting more pains.

And I will never enjoy friends of a quarrelsome and contentious spirit.

These people do more harm than good to the people around.

Sometimes I wonder whether it is because of their upbringing or their experiences in life that make them so violent, so rude and so full of hateful rage and racism.

But I must admit that I enjoy my moments of daily troubles.

They spur me on to wonderful discoveries...

They make me analyze my decisions and choices.

They cause me think more cautiously and take precautions.

And they help me see who my true friends are and who do not deserve my time.

When trouble is at hand, it brings much sorrow and pain.

When trouble is over, it brings much happiness and benefits us too.

Maybe what we need to let go is the unwanted and unnecessary ego troubles.

Ego troubles are well known and have caused much harm and pain.

Each day has enough of its troubles.

Yet many of us still cannot let go of past troubles...

... and still many who anticipate more troubles in the days to come.

Let's just deal with the troubles at hand instead of fighting the shadows of troubles and distress.

Love Is Like A Cool Breeze


If there is one important thing that we really lack, it is love.

Love is a wonderful feeling for ourselves and others.

I am surprised there are people around who claim they don't have love.

The fact that we occasionally look at the mirror means we love ourselves.

The fact that we wash our face, brush our teeth, comb our hair, shave and cut our moustache and beard, put on makeup, blow our nose..... mean we love our appearance.

The fact that we put on clean, ironed, stylish and appropriate clothing on every occasion mean we care about how people look at us and evaluate us.

And look at the way we enjoy our food and drink....

And look at the way we enjoy our environment and a high quality of life.

And look at the way we speak and behave....

Yes, we all love ourselves.

Even those who desire to kill themselves do so because they love themselves. Don't believe them when they claim they hate themselves because of their circumstances or situations, they just don't want to suffer anymore.

Therefore I do see the element of love in various degrees in everyone of us.

And no one should ever deny the fact that they do have love.

If only we love and know ourselves more, we would realize just how miserable and helpless is everyone of us.

And that's why the LORD God gives us family members, relatives, friends, neighbors, enemies and competitors...

Just how fulfilling and satisfying is our lives very much depend on how we express and propagate the magic of love among people around us.

Love is like a very cool breeze blowing on our face and surrounding us for a long long while, tickling, poking and teasing us to share and bring it to everyone around us.

Have love will travel...........seek love.......and......more love....

Teachers Do Get Mad These Days


As a teacher, I find it difficult not to get mad with my students.

Sometimes they have very small and light handwriting, making it difficult to read and understand their sentences.

Sometimes their works are so untidy and full of errors, giving me a hard time to correct and evaluate their works.

Sometimes is their "couldn't care less" attitude, so easily get bored and give up trying.

Sometimes is their lack of enthusiasm, not paying much attention no matter how much I try.

Sometimes is their lack of common and basic knowledge, not paying much attention to their surroundings, and always emphasizing so much of their dream world.

Sometimes is the way their behave, so rude and bossy, so blunt and provocative, and so full of filthy and inappropriate speech and gestures.

Sometimes is .............

It can be very frustrating, making me sometimes wanting to give up teaching.

But that is part and parcel of life, no matter how much we want to avoid them.

Parents who have a few children know how tedious it is to raise them up.

But many of them don't understand the role of teachers in managing a huge school.

If only they know and give their very cooperation, there will be more dedicated and motivated teachers these days.

And perhaps teachers will have less frustration, both from pressure within and without.

Yah, teachers do get mad these days.

Smile Back To Others Who Smile


I smile back whenever others smile at me. To me, respect must be repaid with respect. The feeling that we are a class above another does not come in here. We are human being and we must return fellow human being with respect.

I smile back whenever others smile at me. To me, we can and do learn from others through social interaction. The thought that we are wiser and more knowledgeable than others do not come in here. The world mystifies us and there are a lot more that we are unable to fathom under the sun.

I smile back whenever others smile at me. To me, this is the most natural thing to do. The urge to put on a "holier than thou" face does not come in here. We are all terrible sinners and none of us can meet God on our own accord.

Sometimes I wonder just how expensive and difficult is our smile.....

Of course, we don't smile at those who simply accuse us and condemn us without any apparent reason.

Equally true is that we don't want to show terrible faces that will bring us many strangers and enemies.

So I always tell myself to smile often before I lose them all.

Smile always.... remember the hundreds of people who smile at us everyday.

Isn't life more wonderful with more smiles?

The Lady Behind The Man



Can't remember when is the last time I say "I love you".

Can't remember when is the last time I say "Thank you."

It is so easy to take things and people for granted.

It is so easy to neglect our spousal relationship and find ourselves merely tolerating each other.

And that is how many of us treat our wives.

....And I am no different............

They say, "Man works from sun to sun, but woman's work is never done."

And that is what many of our wives are doing, day and night... till dawn.

Sad indeed to know that many of us are not very sensitive and loving to our wives.

....And I am no different............

We are happy when food is readily served.

We are happy to have clean and ironed clothes.

We are happy when the house is always clean and tidy.

We are happy when our children are well behaved......

But we forget the mastermind of our home.

We sometimes works so hard that we forget our wife and children.

But our hardworking wife take very good care of our family.

There she is.......

.......no grumbling, not even a sound.

And always ready with a beautiful smile and tender loving care.

Thank you, my wife.....

You are ready great.

I love you.

....please forgive me.....

Work is Toil


We all have our commitments to our work.

We stay focus on the task at hand.

We avoid every negligence and mistake.

We plan our way around so that we can have a smooth run to the end.

We seek cooperation and team work at time.

We want quality outcomes with maximum profits.

Work is really an achievement of goals.

But many a time, work becomes very boring....

... when we cannot do the things we want.

... when we don't have the necessary facilities and equipments.

... when we don't have enough manpower.

... when we don't have the necessary cooperation.

And work can be very depressing ....

... when no one appreciates what we are doing.

... when there is no forthcoming remuneration.

... when it is just plain hard work and toil.

But work can be fun when we look more on the positive side of things...

Till then, let's keep our grievances among ourselves....

And don't bring them home....

Please.... everyone at home needs a little rest.

Missing Mother's Love


The kind and careful thought of a mother is often taken for granted.

The overwhelming love and concern of a mother is often not appreciated.

The wise words and the good deeds of a mother are often gone unnoticed.

Gone are the days when many will return their mother’s love and care.

Gone are the days when many will pay frequent visits to their mother.

Gone are the days when everyone will have the patience sitting down and talking closely with their mother.

Those who have often retaliated and quarreled with their mother seldom notice the helpless tears in their mother’s eyes.

Those who have often neglected doing housework seldom know that their hardworking mother already has backache and weak legs and knees.

And those spoiled children who have often depended on their mother seldom look into the dark rings and eye bags of their mother’s eyes due to many sleepless nights taking good care of them.

And that are what many of us do and still do....

.......Waiting for tasty and delicious food and drink to be laid nicely on the dining table.

.......Waiting for the rooms to be cleaned and tidied for our sleep and rest.

.......Waiting and waiting..... for everything to be taken care of.

.... then those soft footsteps as our mother wakes up in the middle of the night and walks to our bedroom, covers us with blankets, and closes the windows for us when the air is chilly and cold, and when the rain beats against the windows.......

Oh.......Thank you mother..... How I wish I have realized earlier...... Now that you are gone.....

Computer Woe



Last night my daughter told me that her computer was unable to boot up.

My initial reaction was to feel annoyed, because I had got so fed up of bringing computers back to the shop for repair.

I told myself to be calm and contemplated what to do.

I might not be a computer wizard or expert but I did have some basic knowledge about computer.

I went to her room and examined her computer. Her computer would not boot up to the window screen. And the keyboard was not detected and so was unable to function.

I knew there was nothing I could do except to open up the computer casing.

I asked my wife whether the computer was still under warranty.

We checked the invoice and discovered that it was bought less than a year ago.

Yeah, it was still under warranty.

So I decided not to open it up. We would send it for service during the weekend.

We had a spare computer and my daughter continued to play her Facebook's games there instead.

Everything remained calm and we continued with our other agenda: to book a return ticket for my other daughter for her holidays back home.

And that was our quiet family life when we worked as one. It was that simple and we were contented.

And it would continue to be so if we always got everything under control and not easily provoked.

May the LORD God be with us. Amen.

Getting Organized


Getting organized with my life hasn't been that easy after all.

For the past many years, my life has been pretty unorganized.

I used to act on impulses and not after careful contemplation and reflection.

Decisions are often made on an ad hoc basis and based on personal preferences and popular demands.

Over the years, I must have done many things wrongly and less satisfactory. I must have hurt many others because of my insistence on doing things my ways.

I remembered I used to have a popular excuse, "We cannot please everyone."

But then, I realized that sometimes I was over sensitive about certain things.

I was over emotional; I feel things deeply and personally when it doesn't have to be that way.

I was over zealous in my beliefs, always wanting others to listen to me.

I was over relying on others on getting things done, only to realize that the outcomes were not as I wished.

Maybe I need to getting things organized.

Maybe I need to do most of the things myself.

It is just that – How to start get things organized?

Why 3 in 1 Disaster?



Lately, natural disasters like the earthquakes, the tsunamis, and the typhoons have really caused much heart aches and pains to many. It is so saddening to hear that they all occurred on the same day in the same place at the same time.

One is bad enough... but now 2 in 1.... 3 in 1....

And before this, the long draughts, the devastating hurricanes and floods, the deadly diseases....

Heaven knows just how bad it will continue to be......

Many are talking about the end of the world....

It is disheartening and distressing to see and hear people shriek and scream out loud on the TV screen. Many break out in tears and weep along.

The forewarned signs were bad enough.... Surely we must not wait until it is 6 in 1 or 10 in 1.... Where will we hide?

I have no answer to all the disasters around us.

Oh, God be merciful to us and spare us His wrath.

Wearing A Smile


Wearing a smile everyday is just nice for me.

It becomes so naturally a part of me that I continue to put on a fresh new smile everyday.

And I am not going to throw it away just because someone doesn't like it or has a bad comment or feeling about it.

Some people are asking me, "Why are you so happy? Anything to share?"

It is time to talk and listen. It is time to sit down and reason. It is time to open up and share some thoughts and feelings. It is time to smile and laugh. If we have nothing to share, a joke or some sort of humor or a funny story will be nice. It brightens everyone's day.

Of course, there will be some people who will be talking to themselves or among themselves, "This fellow must be sick, smiling unnecessarily."

It doesn't matter to me. There are so many things to thank God for that I am smiling, laughing, and hopping around. It is a fresh new day with its many adventures and challenges ahead. It is a refreshing time for building, maintaining, consolidating and mending relationships and fellowships. It is another day to start continuing my pilgrim's progress.

Besides, I have so much to learn and to share with friends that I don't have time to make enemies. Leave those who are sarcastic and annoying alone, to wallow in their ignorance. We live together in a community and we have an open and honest relationship with one another.

I enjoy friends and good relationships.

Let my nice and natural smile do the rest.

Withdrawing Money From ATM


Standing in a queue to withdraw money at an ATM can be a stressful experience.

Sometimes certain people are having a hard time understanding how the machine operates, but the surrounding people are unwilling to lend a helping hand.

Sometimes certain physically imposing people cut queue and squeeze into the front line, but no one dares to stop them.

Sometimes certain people just cannot stop talking aloud and laughing incessantly in the small confine, disturbing the peace and harmony of others.

And imagine, there are those who smoke, cough and sneeze openly, and then those with dirty and sweaty body squeezing you....

And how about those who enjoy pushing and stepping on others?

And when it comes to your turn to withdraw money, the ATM is out of order, out of bigger notes or your card gets stuck.

And imagine a town with only 2 banks and 2 ATMs, supplying the needs of the general public during paydays and festive seasons....

And imagine the ATMs in a small separate room with glass door....

Imagine the number of unconcerned people inside....

Imagine how they litter the place with cigarette butts, tissue papers, bank slips.....

Oh, it is just horrible, horrible, horrible.

And that is living in the modern society with easy access to all sorts of modern technologies,.

.... Yet we cannot change our people... their mindset and their behaviors.

... How sad.

.. And the public outburst is always the same – Why do you complain? Why don't you do something about it?

A Giving Life


I never see him rushing.

He just takes his sweet time doing everything.

I believe in him, trust in him, and depend on him.

He may not do everything the way I choose.

But he always does everything well and with style.

And he makes very few mistakes.

Not many are like him.

*******

I never see him get angry.

He just keep quiet with a very nice and natural smile.

He doesn't retaliate, never with words or actions.

When the heat is too hot, he will apologize and leave the place.

I always see him in a quiet place, talking to himself or with friends.

No, he never talks bad about people.

He just takes his sweet time unloading his stress.

He may not do everything the way I do.

But he always regains his composure and is smiling again.

Not many are like him.

*******

He is always ready to help.

He is always dependable.

To him, a good life is a giving life.

He expects rewards from heaven, and not from men.

No, he doesn't need earthly rewards for heavenly services.

He may not do everything the way I will.

But he is always forgiving and forgetting.

Not many are like him.

I am sure... for I know I still cannot...[sigh].

A Nice Cup Of Tea


I am sipping a cup of tea after my dinner.

A cup of tea can really make all the difference.

  • Enjoying a cup of tea can be relaxing, both mentally and physically. Drinking a nice, hot cup of tea can be the perfect way to unwind after a difficult day at work. And it can be a very relaxing way to wind down before bed.

  • A good, hot, and strong cup of tea can be a very refreshing drink, with the remarkable ability to revive and afterward to set one off with fresh determination.

  • In times of crisis, there is nothing better than a nice cup of tea. It can help to lower our stress levels and increase our ability to focus. It can also make us calmer than before. A nice cup of tea can calm the mind and soothe the soul.

  • A cup of tea can alleviate or cure minor physical ailments and indispositions. Tea contains antioxidants that may help protect us against cancer and heart disease. Besides, a cup of tea can also lessen the cravings for high fat and sugar laden foods.

  • Tea can be a nice way to connect socially with family and friends. In some culture, making a pot of tea can be a great way to honor our guests.

  • The simple act of drinking a cup of tea can teach us a whole lot on the practice of mindfulness. A cup of tea can improve the memory and help prevent Alzheimer's disease. A cup of tea can make us more alert and responsive within minutes.

A hot cup of tea can melt away the stress and worries of the day, providing us with a sense of calm and well-being.

A glass of iced tea is refreshing and stimulating. When the heat of the day takes away energy and leaves a feeling of fatigue, a frosty glass of iced tea can be uplifting and invigorating.

Drinking a cup of tea can also break a bad mood. Sit down, hold the cup and feel the warmth. As we sip it slowly, feel the warmth of the tea going all the way down to our stomach. When we drink tea in this way, it's like a meditation. Sit with our tea until the cup is done. Then begin our day anew...

Do you drink tea?

Can you make a nice cup of tea?

Look Serious


Some of us look serious all the time or most of the time. It is just their natural face expression.

They are quiet and conservative.

They are unapproachable, unfriendly and sometimes even dangerous, when they are not smiling or laughing.

*******

Some of us look serious when they are at work.

They mean business in everything they do, or else others may think they are just joking.

They look serious because they are professionals concentrating hard on their moves.

*******

Some of us look serious only when they are well-dressed and smart.

They look serious in executive suit, with their tie, and with their glasses.

And they look serious with their beard.

*******

Some of us look serious when taking their photos.

They look serious because they hate smiling for the camera.

They look serious because they are taking their self portrait.

*******

Some of us look serious when they are having an emergency.

They look worried and scared when something bad is up.

They look nervous and tense at the doctor's office.

*******

Some of us look serious to other people but not to their family, relatives, and friends.

They are easy to get along with and they love to joke around.

They look serious, but not always serious.

They look serious but most probably laughing on the inside.

*******

Some of us look serious when they are with God.

They look serious when they are in the church.

They look serious when they are praying.

*******

Some of us look serious when they are in serious competitions.

They are confident and tough when they play.

And they focused their full attention on the match.

*******

How about you?

When is the last time you look serious?

Exam Fever



I have a public exam tomorrow.

They call it PTK, a competency level assessment for government servants, aims to measure the level of attitude, skills and knowledge required to accomplish tasks at a particular grade in its service scheme.

By attaining a certain level of competency, a government officer proves that he or she has the required competencies to serve at that grade.

PTK can also provide an indication of the future or potential of a government officer to be assigned a more challenging assignment or position.

I have cleared my PTK with flying color in my former grade and I have smiled from ear to ear.

But this is now my third time that I am facing it in my present grade.

And my heart is throbbing fast at the thought.

*******

A little excitement is good for health, especially when we are young and energetic.

But lately I would rather enjoy a little peace and quiet and learn things at my own pace.

I have faced many exams with success.

And I am thankful to God for my present achievements.

But deep inside, I never like any competency exam.

I no longer enjoy challenges, reaching new heights, and getting great rewards.

Just how rich is rich?

How high is high enough?

Just how often we want to win over others?

I don't know.

I am just contented with what I have and what I am.

I am satisfied and happy with my life.

I don't give up learning.

It is just that I learn what I want.

It is just that I learn at a slower pace.

I am still progressing steadily and I learn new skills everyday.

I am still perfecting my talents.

I am just wondering when will they test on our life skills, leadership qualities, problem facing and solving abilities, working experiences, and skills and talents that develop through lifelong learning?

As it is, another paper exam.

Come what may, life still goes on.

Yeah, I am always ready...[sigh]

Rainy Thoughts



It was raining heavily.

It had been raining everyday for the past few days.

The thick haze was now cleared and gone.

The open burning of the paddy smallholders and oil palm estate developers stopped.

It was nice and relaxing to be able to see the clear blue sky again.

It was refreshing and invigorating to be able to breath in deeply the fresh mountain air and enjoy the scent of nature unspoiled.

It was fun and exciting to be able to see people smiling, laughing, and carrying on with the every day activities of life, eating, drinking, and celebrating marriages etc.

The rain stopped.

But it was still dark and very cold.

Many still snuggling in bed, covered with thick cloth and blanket.

Then came the distant thunder.

It was getting really dark and threatening.

Nonetheless I had decided to dare the rain and the cold.

It was almost nine in the morning.

And my stomach was so hungry that I could not sit in front of my laptop any longer.

Sorry, food was more important.

Oh no, I forgot to wear my t-shirt.

And the standing fan was blowing fast.

"No wonder."

I grabbed my car key and started my journey for food....

When Things Don't Go Our Way



When things do go our way, we are happy and optimistic. Everything is incredibly beautiful and enriching.

When things do go our way, we are convinced of our potential for control. And we wish to believe in our ability to guide our lives.

When things do go our way, we tend to praise God for His grace and favor.

When things do go our way, we are really satisfied, though deep inside we still want more of the same things or any other needs.

*******

When things don't go our way, we think we are the only person in the world with problems.

When things don't go our way, we tend to blame God, our environment, the recession, the bad forces, etc.

When things don't go our way, we whine and scream and cry at the world.

When things don't go our way, we get angry and frustrated. We get mad and sad. And we waste valuable energy on emotional outbursts that hurt us and the people around us.

When things don't go our way, we want things to get back to "normal" and are very discontent until they do.

When things don't go our way, we always insist on instant answers and immediate responses to our questions.

When things don't go our way, we sometimes want someone to take the blame.

*******

The next time when things don't go our way,
  • let us remain focused on being the best we can be.
  • let us continue to trust in God and thank Him.
  • let us pray.
  • Let us not harm others.

Finish Your Race



I was watching intently at the students running when few interesting thoughts came to my mind.

Some students had really set their minds on running. I was surprised at their concentration on the track and the finish line under the scorching hot afternoon sun. Besides, the haze was rather thick and this would add a strain on their breathing.

Some students wore the proper shoes and sport attire. They were dedicated to their roles as runners. They would not let anything hinder their way to success.

Some students didn't sway from side to side as they ran. They didn't want to waste time and energy on unnecessary moves. They were set to win the race.

Some students didn't look from side to side as they ran. They just wanted to concentrate on their race and won. They didn't want to be unduly perturbed by external thoughts and pressures.

Some students had traveled far and waited for a long while for their race. They were well prepared and they were ready to bring glory and honor to their team. And they were eager to bring the trophy home. Nothing must be allowed to stand in the way, no, not even the late journey home.

Some good friends were cheering their friends on. Some helped in carrying their friends belongings. Some worried for their friends. Some waited with anticipation. It was not just a race for them; it was a battle of honor.

Some fell along the way. Some in tears and dismay. Some limped and hopped along the way. Some slowed down to a walk but persevered on. The winners crossed the finish line in triumph, beaming with smile and satisfaction.

The uniform groups were faithfully carrying out their duties and responsibilities. Nothing was amissed. Everyone was pleased with these silent workers. They were indeed a great help in any school function.

The first day of sport came to the end, but not for me.

I have learned the importance of dedication to meet my goals.

I have learned the importance of concentration on all I do.

I have learned the importance to get rid of anything that may hinder and slow down my progress.

I have learned the importance to be helpful and useful to friends.

I have learned the importance to be faithful to all my duties and responsibilities.

And I believe this is what life is all about.

Of course we may continue to look at the negative aspects of things and throw in 1001 complains.

But to what benefits does it help the world?

Thanks, my beloved students.

You have continued to be my source of inspiration.

What would you do to reduce stress?



What would you do to reduce stress?
  • By playing sports?
  • By working out in a gym?
  • By listening to music?
  • By reading?
  • By doing something with your hands?
  • By taking a deep breath and saying the word “calm” silently to yourself?
  • By physical exercise and activities?
  • By using humor?
  • By using the mind to release tension by a process called visualization?
  • By dancing?
  • By traditional massage?
  • By joking and laughing together with family members, relatives, and friends?
  • By blogging, venting all the grievances and outrages?
  • By swimming or sailing?
  • By managing your time and your workload efficiently?
  • By using breathing techniques, such as those found in yoga and tai chi?
  • By taking hot bathes, saunas, and steam baths?
  • By gratifying your own needs?
  • By sleeping?
  • By screaming?
  • By using punching bag?
  • By cycling or brisk walking?
  • By admiring flowers and plants?
  • By visiting neighbors and friends?
  • By window shopping and people watching?
  • by prayer and meditation?

Whatever you do, please do not throw your problems, tensions, and anger onto innocent people.

Lonely People


Life is a long and lonely journey.

Some people walk alone most of their life. They manage their own lives. They concentrate on their own works. They maybe highly sensitive to noise and disturbance. They may have certain weird habits and hobbies. But they just love to be alone. They can be very satisfied at times when they have found the right kind of friends. But they love to be alone and live at peace with people, domestic creatures, flowers and plants, musics and songs and dances, books and novels.......

Some people just cannot live without company. They may have their privacy in their secret room. But most of the time they just love to linger around friends and relatives. They have so much to talk. Some are rumor mongers. Some indulge in petty talks. Some just cannot live a day without criticizing others. Some can never talk seriously on any topic. Some just want to boast and draw attention. But there are many around for heart to heart talks and some quality discussions.

Some think lonely people must stay together often. Some feel that lonely people must get married. Some try very hard to gain friends and relatives, only to see them slowly walk away and disappear.

I believe lonely people must learn to manage their own lives first.

I believe lonely people must learn to be independent and self-sufficient in their own lives.

I believe lonely people should not come together because they are lonely, but because they have something important and necessary to share.

Lonely people need not be lonely.

Adam lives at peace with God and nature and he was happy.

Adam only yearned for Eve because he had something to share. He needed a companion and a helper.

Life is not lonely at all if we learn to live at peace with God, men and nature.

Enjoy your life and your "lonely" journey.......

Family Stories Go A Long Way


It is good to find someone in the family who can tell stories.

In my younger days, I loved to listen to all kinds of stories.

Not many people are good story tellers, but when I found one, I would stick with him or her for a long while.

There were many touching and inspiring stories that I had heard that moved me to tears and literally made my heart ache.

There were scary and creepy stories that made me screamed even on my bed and made my stomach turned.

There were many fairy tales with good moral lessons that seeped into my dreams and instructed me how to live a better life.

There were adventurous and mysterious stories that always captivated my imaginations and propelled my ambitions to further pursuit my dreams and visions.

There were funny stories that made me laugh and smile.

*******

Not many of us had TV and radio in our younger days.

And so in the evening we always grouped together around our family members and neighbors nearby.

We listened to their talks.

We played chinese chess and animal chess.

We urged them to tell us stories.

Sometimes we had dances, singing and sketches where everyone clapped and laughed with tears.

*******

I enjoyed my family closeness.

And I was always attached to my relatives, neighbors and friends.

We knew one another by names and family history.

And we had many stories to tell.

Every time we met, we would hugged one another, holding our hands tight.

Our stories always filled us with tears and laughter.

Yeah, family stories go a long way...

You Are Not Slow, Old Man


How many times have we made poor and bad decisions, hurting others and harming ourselves?

How many times have our careless words and idle-talks torn apart relationships and home?

How many times have our outbursts and self-indulgences caused more disagreements, conflicts and wars?

How many times have our careless, ruthless and indiscriminate actions threaten and brought shame to many including ourselves?

When we were young and inexperienced, we were curious and inquisitive, we were ambitious and daring, and we were zealous and adventurous.

But we did more harm than good then. Our progress, advancements, and achievements came at great cost. We earned more rivalry and bitterness. We had more discouragements and disappointments. We fell, and we fell hard and deep. Some never returned from their quests. Some struggled to come back but had since lived a defeated life.

No, old man, you are not slow.

It is just that you are more careful in your speeches, decision-making, and every single step you take.

It doesn't matter what others say. Some may think that you are wiser, others may think you are timid. Some may say that you are too slow and you worry too much.

It doesn't matter what they say. Just be more careful and consider all aspects. Be cool, and relax a bit.

I believe the price of growing up is the many mistakes and wrongs we make. We have become more humble and quiet. I believe it is a good sign. After all, God has called us to be slow to speak, quick to listen, and slow to become angry (James 1:19).

No, old man, you are not slow.

H1N1


The river water flows unhurriedly towards the sea. The falling leaves drop slowly onto the ground. There in the middle of the garden, the groundsman is trimming the plants with his skillful hands, enjoying every moment of his job. I am sitting on the bench by the sidewalk enjoying the sunshine. It is indeed a beautiful morning. Then I chuckle to myself silently as I think of a recent episode...

Someone had come to the school to evaluate the teaching of certain subject. He had talked to the school management staffs, the subject teacher, and also interviewed some students. But he acted awkwardly and he was wearing a mask. Of course, visitors are always well received in my school. But then, as he continued to cough and sneeze, the school got suspicious of his well being. Everyone started to get worry. Is he having H1N1? The person admitted that he was not feeling very well. This had caused a great havoc. Why did he come to the school in the first place? The school authority rushed him to the hospital, and the hospital attendants suspected him of having H1N1.

Everyone started to blame one another. Grumblings and mumblings were heard everywhere. Doors were opened wide, and people started to point fingers. Everyone was anxious to hear the latest development of the case. Oh no, please, not in this school of more than 3000 students... Some were shaking their heads and a few drew very heavy sighs. Suddenly people everywhere were getting very concerned. Words were few but anxious looks were everywhere... That night many must be a sleepless night.

Then the next day someone broke out the news that it was a false alarm. Now the happy mood returned. Everyone started to smile and tease one another. And you could hear laughter in the air. But the fear of H1N1 still lingered and everyone once in a while looked very worry.

What can we do? How do we know we have H1N1? What precautions to take and what medicine to take? How effective is the latest cure? No one knows.... No one knows.....

But God knows and He cares. And so I will take things easy and believe that the Almighty God can take care of me, my wife, my children, my relatives, my friends, my colleagues....

And I pray for more rains and subshines, hopefully the disease will go soon....soon.... please....

But I will continue to feel uneasy if H1N1 refuses to go....

Fewer Words But Bigger Heart



Oh my children,

When you were kids, daddy loved to hold you tight and caressed you until you fell asleep. Daddy always had a lot of stories and jokes to tell you. Daddy loved to bring you around the shopping complexes and the recreation parks. And everytime when you fell down and cried painfully, daddy also cried with you.

When you began to go to school, daddy's heart also went with you. Daddy guided you and taught you patiently. Daddy remembered you had a lot of complaints about your homework. It was real joy and fun to see your determination to complete your school works. You looked so eager to learn and you were easily instructed. Daddy could still remembered the many prizes and praises you received.

Oh my children, you were so special to daddy that daddy loved you with many words and a big big heart.

When you were in your secondary school, daddy's heart still went with you. You were more ambitious, more emotional, more courageous and adventurous. Daddy started to worry for you. You had a lot to grumble and to criticize. You had made daddy scared sometimes. But daddy tried to stay calm and not to over-react. Daddy tried to stay open-minded and more reserved.

Oh, my children, you were so special to daddy that daddy loved you with fewer words but bigger heart.

Now that you have grown up. Daddy sometimes thinks you are big enough to do your own things. But as it is, you still need more guidance, encouragement and instruction. Everyday, you are facing more and more challenging and complicated problems. You have to make wider choices and bigger decisions. Oh my children, daddy's heart still goes with you in everything you do. Daddy still worries that you will make wrong decisions and that you will succumb to bad influences. Daddy scares to lose you.

Oh, my children, you are so special to daddy that daddy loves you with very few words and much bigger heart.

Oh my children, daddy scares to lose you but just doesn't know what to do...

***Happy Father's Day – 21th June 2009.

Children Without Heart



A little child comes forward and hugs his or her parent, and makes requests. The parent looks at the little child, smiling happily and grants a positive answer promptly. The little child laughs happily and hops around the house. The whole family is filled with joy and contentment. Parents just love to give everything to their little children.

The little child grows up and goes to school. More requests are made. But it is not that easy as before. The parents have to think longer and harder this time. Nevertheless, they will still fulfill the many requests of their children so long as the family can effort them and the requests can help in cultivating positive developments.

The little child becomes an adult, starts to work and stays away from home.

The parent requests the child to come home once in a while. The child grumbles that he or she is not free. The child complains about the heavy workload, the family responsibilities, the long journey, financial constraint, or their many commitments. The parent just has to live alone.

The parent requests the child to phone home once in a while. The child talks grudgingly, get very angry for no apparent reason, talks loudly and rudely to the parent. They just don't feel like phoning home. The parent feels lonely in the lonely home.

The parent requests the child to come and pick. He or she wants to visit the grandchildren. The child grumbles and reluctantly complies. But quickly and quietly leaves the parent with the children, and refuse to talk and entertain the parent. The parent cries silently alone.

Yet times and again when the child needs the parent's help, he or she will come with a sweet smile and some gifts. The parent starts to feel very happy and grant the child his or her requests. Then the parent helps to look after the house, do the house chores, take care of the grandchildren, tend the garden, etc.

The parent will never complain openly about the child but the child is full of complaints and will voice openly about the parent.

The parent will forgive and forget the child for his or her rudeness, selfishness, insensitivities... but not the child – the child grows up without a good heart.

Will he or she ever change?

Will his or her children do likewise? Yet to see and know...


One Kind Of Rice Feeds Hundred Kinds Of People



The Chinese has a common saying that goes like this "One kind of rice feeds hundred kinds of people." And that is my continued reflection as I sipped my cup of coffee in a coffeeshop this morning.

Sitting quietly near a wall, I ordered a mug of coffee and a bowl of laksa, a spicy noodle soup native to Malaysia and Singapore. It had been quite sometime since I visited the shop and one of the delicacies I really missed was a bowl of Sarawak laksa.

As I swallowed my saliva, I began to look at the people around me. It was a blessing to remain anonymous and unnoticed as much as possible. And I enjoyed watching people while eating and drinking, and I was quietly smiling to myself.

A group of chinese youngsters were sitting together enjoying their meals. They were discussing about their businesses and their various plans and strategies. Some were seen puffing cigarettes. Those with many bright ideas were seen talking and laughing loudly, with many gestures. The rest reflected on the ideas and nodding their heads, and chipped in once in a while.

Then I paid my attention to a family enjoying their meals. They were talking and laughing softly, so as not to attract much attention. You could really see and feel the family warm if you sat near enough. Here was another satisfying meal.

Then I saw a crippled old man came in. He surveyed the place and sat near where I was. He was toothless and bony-old, but he was always ready with a smile. He ordered something simple as I could see that he was poor. But he enjoyed the coffeeshop and was just like me, smiling to himself.

I saw yet another old man, reading his newspapers and quietly enjoying his meal. He too looked very satisfying.

I was pleased with I saw and reflected on and on....

One kind of rice feeds hundred kinds of people. And that is what the Almighty God has given us. And He helps and guides us to prepare many different kinds of meals. And everyone is happy.