Monday, March 29, 2010

Yellow Neon Street Lights

It was evening when my daughter called us to fetch her from school.

She was back to school after her netball competition.

As I drove with my wife along the road, I was attracted to the yellow neon street lights.

I was surprised to see how those lights shone peacefully on the palm trees along both sides of the road.

I was excited to note how they blended into the environment.

A cool and calm feeling arose and made my heart sing along.

A stressful mind was slowly gone.

It was a nice and quiet drive with no heavy traffic.

There were also no street racers and speeders around.

The evening wind was slowly blowing my sweat away and made me smile.

Quiet and relaxing moment like this was difficult to find these days.

More and more vehicles are moving on the roads.

More and more people like to drive speedily and carelessly.

In some places, we have to wait until very late in the night to enjoy the luxury of driving around at our own pace.

Sometimes, I wonder what we are busily chasing after everyday.

Our daily life is so hectic and overwhelming that there is rarely time for us to just sit back, relax and breathe.

The yellow neon street lights continued to draw my attention.

I looked at my wife and smiled.

She looked back at me, smiling too.

I didn't know why.......

She looked especially beautiful to me tonight.

Was it because of the yellow neon street lights?

I smiled to myself, rather happily.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Humans Are Selfish After All

Are humans selfish by nature? Is it okay to be selfish?

I believe so. And I believe there is nothing wrong with being selfish.

Everyone needs their own room to explore, to experience, and mostly importantly to succeed.

Everyone needs their own room to think, to examine, to read, to reflect, to consider and decide.

There are times when we even need our room to scream, to shout, to cry, to mourn, to repent, to meditate, to pray and to submit to God.

We are born alone, each into our own room.

We have our own dreams, visions, and ambitions.

We have our own feelings, compassion and love.

We have our own doings and dealings.

Yes, we care about our own skin, and our everything.

We are concerned mostly about our own things, and everything that comes along our way.

And yes, we want to excel in everything we do and be successful in life.

There is nothing wrong in wanting to excel.

In fact, it is our duty to excel in everything we do.

Our chief aim in life has always been to please God and enjoy His present.

In saying so, I am reminded of the fact that God has created our forefather Adam to tend the Garden of Eden.

This has always been our lot in life: to live and work for the glory of God.

Of course, we are reminded to love others.

In fact, Adam couldn't live alone without human companions and partners.

And that is why we live together in family, community, society, and as a nation.

We are the world, and share and help one another.

We create our world and our civilization as a body of people.

While recognizing and celebrating our similarities, we also continue to maintain and tolerate our differences.

We each still go to our own room, and that is for life.

Yes, humans are selfish after all.

I cannot and won't deny it.

But we love one another.

We desire to share what is good, right, just, fair, true, beneficial, loving....... with one another.

Of course, there are many other considerations.

We don't give pearl to swine. We don't share with those who don't need or want it. It is just a waste of time and effort on our part.

We feed others what they need and want to know. We don't withhold truths and goods that inspire, encourage, build up, and strengthen others. But we also don't feed them excessively to give them the impression that we know more and we want to be distinguished and acknowledged.

When we share, we share with the intention to help and to edify.

To share for the purpose of advertising and portraying oneself will only bring about untold jealousy and strife. And there is no point in making enemies unnecessarily.

It is good and required of us to excel in everything we do.

But it is also praiseworthy to help others to live a better life.

Each of us must be made to know, feel and work all those that are excellent for life.

And we share what is necessary and helpful, for the betterment of one another.

Talking for the sake of talking is a waste of time.

So is idly around doing nothing.

It is time for us to work hard for the good of us all.

Join a good company to learn and share. Avoid companies that intimidate or magnify and glorify people.

If we can learn everyday a new thing and help others to make each day a better day, we have done our share.

Yes, humans are selfish after all.

But it has always been for the betterment of one another.

There is no secret in living together: Love your neighbors as yourself.

Keep to your own room....and share when you are required and invited.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Breaking News And Headlines

Can't believe that I am reading, watching and hearing more news on heroin trafficking, gang rape, houses on fire, multiple car accidents, gruesome murder and assault cases, racial and ethnic conflicts and violence, shameful scandals of famous people and film stars...... from the mass media these day.

They are our newspaper front page news and the leading headlines of our national TVs. They always manage to capture our attention and stir up our emotion everyday!

Many of us cannot get away from reading newspapers and watching TV these days. We have started reading and watching them every since we were excited about the world we live in. And now they have occupied much of our time.

We seek facts and information to help us live a better life. We are eager to find tips and guides to help us in all we do.

In fact, the mass media has been a great help to all of us.

But then feeding on too much of these negative, sensational and frightening news will not do us much good.

Too often, we love to speculate and interpret the details our own way, making them more dramatic and exciting. Without us realizing it, we have become rumor mongers spreading lies.

Too much of these news and headlines also make us cannot really concentrate on our work at hand. Once in a while, we will become unduly worried about our children, our home, our properties, our safety, our concerns.......

Maybe our mass media should talk more about the positive side of things.

Maybe they should talk more about how firemen worked hard to save lives and properties, instead of how fire destroyed lives and properties.

Maybe they should talk more about how crimes are solved and criminals are punished, instead of highlighting on how crimes is committed and the gruesome details on the suffering of the victims.

Maybe they should talk more about family love and care, healthy and productive activities, racial unity, harmony and peace, instead of focusing on scandals and rumors, controversies and conflicts, poverty and inequality, broken home and family........

Positive and negative news are both necessary to enrich and improve our lives.

Let us see them all in the front pages and headlines.

If possible, please give us more positive, uplifting, and reassuring news.

Isn't life wonderful?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Loan Sharks

Loan shark runners splashed red paint on the walls of the other flat units but spared the defaulter’s unit with the hope that he will feel guilty and pay up the loan.

Notes were also found outside the flat by the victims when they woke up. The notes, which also had the defaulter’s photocopied IC, read: “It’s him who got you into the mess! We will be back.”

The defaulter’s mother admitted that her son owed a loan shark a sum of money but he had not been home for months.

“He had wanted to pay his debt by installments but the loan shark insisted on paying the full amount,” she said.

She added that a loan shark runner came to her flat twice. Then one day, he left a note which read: “You keep on saying you will pay tomorrow. Don't ever think we are stupid. You will face the consequences!”

“Every night I didn't sleep until about 4am. They must have come at about 6am. I won't be lodging a police report as my unit was not affected,” she said.

It was learnt that the victims had lodged a complaint to the flat management over the matter.
As I read and read the news again, my heart shuddered. Suddenly I feel chills go up my spine.

I was wondering why there were so much loan shark activities around.

I was thinking of the excessive spending habits of our people.

Why do we resort to borrowing?

Why can't we limit our spending just to what we need and what we can afford?

Why must we incur the insurmountable debts?

I was wondering what type of son would leave the mother alone in the home for months to face the traumas. Why did he leave his old mother to be tortured like that?

She most probably found difficulties getting out of the house to buy her needs, and she already had trouble sleeping every night.

Why all the hiding?

I was pondering the rationale behind the loan shark's runners' act of splashing red paint on the other flat units, and not on the wall of the defaulter's unit.

Why must they create more problems?

Why must the others suffered for what this man did?

Why all the the red paint and character assassination?

I cannot solve these many whys. But I know there are always problems of competition and tolerance living together in a flat. It is never easy to live very close to one another.

But I am on the side of those who spend money wisely and carefully.

We spend on what we really need.

And we spend on what we really can afford.

We have enough for ourselves in our little home and we are satisfied.

And surprising at the end of the day, we have some left over for others.

Leave us alone, loan sharks.

We don't need you.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

True Friends

It is sad and painful to realize that someone dear and familiar is avoiding us.

It is even more disheartening and disappointing if we overhear them hurling abuse and insult at us.

But that is the nature of friendship when it goes sour and when enmity grows.

We can no longer see things eyes to eyes. And every time when we meet, there is a tendency that they can't stand the sight of our presence, our manners and habits, and they will try hard to go against us, or put on a long and sour face.

And that is a reality of life. We never know where friendship will bring us.

It is just like when we plant some flowering plants. We plant them on good soil with the intention that they will grow well. We water them regularly, fertilize them, and take very good care of them. We spend much time and effort on them, waiting and praying for them to grow and blossom.

Sometimes some people may step on them and many die. Sometimes they just wilt and die on their own. Of course, there will still be those that will grow well and produce beautiful flowers of many shades of color. And it is very nice to hold and behold!

Who doesn't want a lasting and enduring friendship? Who doesn't want an intimate and loving relationship? Who doesn't want an understanding and caring fellowship? And who doesn't want a caring and helpful circle of friends?

We all know and understand the essences of friendship. But as it is, we are too self-centered and self-pleasing, wanting everything our way. And so, instead of cultivating friendships and building up relationships, we tear down and destroy every friendship that do not go our way.

Broken friendship can be both our faults and the faults of others. It is necessary to examine and judge ourselves first before we throw the first stone. After all, one hand alone cannot clap!

The desire to mend and repair broken friendship is both necessary and imperative. Friendship counts and is very important to our lives. We may not treasure it now but we definitely will when we grow old. Let's redeem our love before it's fallen apart.

But if we cannot continue our friendship, then we should let it go. We need not have to be sore about it. It is just a natural process of life; friendship comes, friendship goes, but life goes on until we are called home.

We have planted our friendship with sincerity and love. We spend much of our time and effort to make life better for everyone of us. But if it is destined that our ex-friends are no longer together with us on our journey of life, so be it. We don't hold grudges against them and make life difficult for everyone.

Some friends are for a time. They are there for specific purposes and goals. And when we can't and don't see things together, we have to part and go our separate way.

And so as we grow and age, we have fewer and fewer friends. But then, we have more good and caring friends, where we can speak our hearts out, and have our feelings and thoughts known.

It is good enough to keep our peace if friendship does not materialize. After all, it is the care and the love of peace and harmony that we live together in a community. We need not seek to aggravate the stressful situation by causing more collisions and afflictions.

True friends are forever. But just how many can we find?