Monday, March 28, 2011

Remember The Dead

It was again the Chinese All Soul's day. We started out early to avoid the traffic jam.

It was a foggy and wet Sunday morning with few traffic. I was driving rather fast, feeling the icy cold breeze outside. It was an hour drive from my place.

It had been more than 30 years since our father had left us. Our mother had also left us few years ago. Memories of them came back from time to time; thinking of their love and care, their sacrifices and commitments, their goodness and kindness, etc.

As expected, the road to the graveyard was again jammed with vehicles. It was only 7.30 in the morning. The older people generally looked more solemn and serious, while the young ones were mostly smiling, laughing and looked more relaxed.

Smokes were everywhere around the hilly site. People were burning joss stick, joss paper, candle or any other kind of offering. Occasionally, I could hear some firecrackers. It was a serious moment for the elderly, though many of the young were happily smiling and laughing.

As usual, we cleared and cleaned the combined tomb. Many of us were there helping, though some of us were unable to make it during that hour.

A visit to the tomb had always brought back many sweet memories which we talked about. Here we poured our hearts out to one another; it was indeed a moment of truth, love, and reconciliation.

Looking far and near at the huge crowds of people; seeing their respect, honor, gratitude, and reverence to the dead, I had this overwhelming respect for them. Here we were remembering our loved ones who had left us, and many of us continued to miss their present.

It was scorching hot by nine in the morning. It was time to get back and get ready for Sunday worship. We climbed down the hill. In the distance, more people were still coming. There was a minor car accident but seemed not to draw much attention...

Sitting over a cup of coffee and a plate of fried noodle, I took a break and looked at the people. As usual, everyone was busy doing what they did everyday. It was time to carry on with our lives, now that we had paid our respects to the dead.

Sunday. It has always been a day to worship God and enjoy His present. But occasionally, it is also a day to remember those who have once been a part of our lives.

Sometimes, we just have to remember the dead.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

How Long Is One Minute?

How long is one minute? It depends whether you are inside or outside the toilet door, my friend jokingly answered. Everyone laughed. I also. Then I thought through the conversation. How true!

It depends...

Many of us are easily influenced by our circumstances and situations. When circumstances are good, we feel happy and we rejoice; life is really good. But when they are bad, we can get very disappointed and angry; life can be really miserable.

A good or a bad day can easily affect our thoughts, our emotions, our behaviors and our actions. Everything goes wrong when situation is wrong; but every moment is right when everything turns out right.

We are easily swayed with every wind of thought; we are often times misguided by what we see and hear around us; we are easily influenced by the media and pressure groups; we are easily led by the opinions and examples of others, etc.

But I believe we must learn to rule over our circumstances and situations. We must not easily be influenced by anything and everything around us. We must learn to still, quieten, and calm our bodies, our minds, our emotions, our behaviors, our actions, etc.

Of course, most of our times we can't do them on our own, and we will fail terribly. We need the wisdom and the grace of God; we need His blessings and protection; we need His guidance and direction; we need His kindness, compassion, and love, etc.

But one thing we should know: it is never how great we are and what we can do that matter; it is all about Him; it is all about the Almighty God who loves us and who looks after us.

So how long is one minute?

It depends...

A thousand days is like a day and a day is like a thousand days to the Lord.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Give A Child A Good Name

In a big family, where the children are living together with their parents and grandparents, things can be difficult and complicated at times.

Supposed you have a big family and you are living with them. Now you have a child. Your grandparents came to you and suggested a good name for the child. Your parents too, and insisted that you use the name they have suggested. Then your spouse, after careful study and consultation also came in with a good name for the child. What would you do?

Sometimes, naming your child can be one of the simplest or hardest decisions in life! It can be a wonderful and exciting experience for both you and your husband. But when it involves a third party, it can be a big headache!

But you and your spouse should have the priority and the right to suggest the first name, since it is your child. Unless your parents or grandparents can suggest a better name, you and your spouse should come out with a good name for your child.

Some parents and grandparents have very bright ideas when it comes to giving a good name for a child. It will be nice if there is a family gathering and discussion on naming the child. Usually it will bright back many sweet memories of the past and everyone will enjoy a good laugh, a good cry, and a good time.

But I would suggest that you and your spouse decide on your child's first name. It may displease your parents or grandparents if the name is too long, too foreign, too common/popular, too similar to one another, too difficult to pronounce, etc. But sooner or later, everyone in the house will get used to it; it will be alright.

Of course, if we lack ideas on naming our children, we should always consult our parents or grandparents. We should even allow a middle name suggested by them if it sounds nice.

So what do you think of this? How would you give a good name for your child?

Any comment or suggestion?

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lazy To Do

Sometimes, when we are lazy and have no discipline, there are many things that we want to do but are never done. But sometimes, when we feel like doing things and are determined to do them, we can accomplish everything in or before the allocated time.

Many of us are full of complaints and moans and noise. There were times when we told other people that we had so many things to do, and we began to mumble and grumble and made a lot of negative statements. But there were times when we couldn't stop boasting to others about how efficient we were, finishing so many things in a short period of time.

I remembered as a boy I used to grumble and complain about the many homeworks. Yet, amidst crying and screaming, I managed to complete them all; what was supposed to be impossible and insurmountable task was accomplished within the allocated time.

I thought as we grew older and wiser, we would have less complaints and emotional outbursts. Apparently it was not so, as there were more fields and scopes, and more things to complain.

Sometimes I wondered why we mumbled, grumbled and complained so much, when we could just sit down and did them one at a time, and we would be able to accomplish everything in or before the time.

Maybe it would be better if we try to think more positively, feel more positively, and behave more positively. Positive attitudes and emotions can always boost our morale, performance and commitment. Maybe what we need is a little bit more patience and determination to do them. Some would suggest that we learn to love the things we do. Maybe we really need positive attitudes and behaviors; maybe we should take everything as a good enough challenge for a day.

What do you think?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Stay For The Party

You are invited to your friend's party. You dress up nicely and you arrive promptly. Your friend greets you and shake your hand. You have a good talk, and you smile and laugh together.

Then you move into the house and look around. Except for a few familiar faces, everyone there is new to you. The few friends that you saw are not really close to you and you hardly know them. You nod your head, shake some hands, and try your best to communicate with them. But since they already have their own cliques, you can see that they are not that keen to talk to you. And so you slowly move away. You look around and look at some new friends, but you are just too shy to speak to them.

You decide to keep quiet and walk around to get familiar with the place. After that, you go for your food and drink, sit down or stand up in one corner, looking at people talking, joking, and dancing, and enjoying yourself listening to the music and songs.

You feel like leaving the place, but you know that it is still too early to do so. The host is busy waiting at the door; some of the guests have not arrived.

So, what would you do?

For myself, I will stay put, continue to walk around and have more food and drink, and enjoying myself looking at people, or continue to listen to the music and songs.

I will continue to look around, nodding my head and greeting certain people; hopefully, with time and patience, some around will take note of my presence and talk to me. We never really know what will happen in life; sometimes the least expected thing may just happen, and we may meet some new friends in our lives. Life is always filled with unexpected surprises, and the best way to deal with them is to wait until they come along.

And if it happens that I am not going to have luck meeting someone, then I will wait until the party is in full swing, and the host is ready to talk to me. Then I will talk to the host before I bid him or her goodbye. Walking out without saying goodbye is not polite at all.

What is your opinion on this? Do you think we should stay put or just walk out quickly?

Any comment or suggestion?

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