Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How we can make the world better

When I started this blog, it was right after the 2008 elections. Coupled with the emotions then, I digressed from the original purpose of the blog, which was to record my thoughts and stuff happening.
Now that I'm back to putting down thoughts going through my mind at a particular moment, it's only logical to see that this world still has a lot of fixing to do.
My intention is to spread the word about how we can be a little more kinder, more polite, nicer and in doing so, become a better human being.
Sadly, there is still a lot of hatred being stirred up by politicians and the like.
Which brings to mind this quote:

Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is a little like expecting the bull not to attack you because you are a vegetarian.
- Dennis Wholey

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Quote for today

Noble hearts are neither jealous NOR afriad,
because jealousy spells doubt and
fear speels pettiness.

Honore de Balzac

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Best Friends

Just picked up my dog, Brownie, from the vet. He's probably the greediest Labrador you'll ever meet.
But then again, aren't most Labs?
He had a stomach tumor removed and spent a week in the "dog" hospital.
Strange, but I actually missed him.
He's my best friend, I suppose that's why.

When I come back to a house big enough to accomodate 3 families, the only person I speak to first is Brownie.
I can tell him everything. What happened at the office etc.
And he'll look at you and think,"By George, you're right!"
So here's a story for all you dog lovers.

A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead. He remembered dying, and that the dog had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them.

After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight. When he was standing before it, he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother of pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold.

He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side. When he was close enough, he called out, "Excuse me, where are we?" "This is Heaven, sir," the man answered.

"Wow! Would you happen to have some water?" the man asked.

"Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up." The man gestured, and the gate began to open.

"Can my friend," gesturing toward his dog, "come in, too?" the traveler asked.

"I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets."

The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going. After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road which led through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence. As he

approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.

"Excuse me!" he called to the reader. "Do you have any water?"

"Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there". The man pointed to a place that couldn't be seen from outside the gate. "Come on in."

"How about my friend here?" the traveler gestured to the dog.

"There should be a bowl by the pump."

They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it. The traveler filled the bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog. When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree waiting for them.

"What do you call this place?" the traveler asked.

"This is Heaven," was the answer.

"Well, that's confusing," the traveler said. "The man down the road said that was Heaven, too."

"Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That's Hell."

"Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?"

"No. I can see how you might think so, but we're just happy that they screen out the folks who'll leave their best friends behind."

Friday, September 17, 2010

My favourite virtue, Patience

Hard to believe, but most people are not as patient as they believe themselves to be.
But it is the best virtue, for it surpasses the others.
Here's a quote explaining why:

Patience strengthens the spirit,
sweetens the temper,
stifles anger,
extinguishes envy,
subdues pride,
bridles the tongue.

-- George Horne

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

17 Words that Will Never Fail You


















Monday, September 13, 2010

To give or to receive?

A young man, a student in one of the universities, was one day taking a walk
with a professor, who was commonly called the student's friend for his kindness to those who waited on his instructions.

As they went along,
 saw lying in the path a pair of old shoes, which were supposed to belong to a poor man who was working in a field close by, and  who had nearly
 finished his day's work…

The student turned to the professor, saying: "Let us play the man a trick:
 we will hide his
shoes, and  hide ourselves behind those bushes, and wait to see his perplexity when he cannot find them…"

My young friend," answered the professor, "we should never amuse  ourselves at the expense of the poor… But you are rich, and may give yourself a much greater pleasure by means of this poor man. Put a coin in each shoe,
and  then we will hide ourselves and watch how this affects him."

The student did so and they both placed themselves behind the bushes close
 by. The poor man soon finished his work, and came across the field to the path where he had left his coat and shoes…

While putting on his coat he slipped his foot into one of his shoes, but feeling something hard, he
 stooped down to feel what it was, and found the coin. Astonishment and wonder were seen upon his countenance. He gazed upon the coin, turned
it  around, and looked at it again and again.

He then looked around him on all sides, but no person was to be seen.
He now  put the money into his pocket, and proceeded to put on the other shoe;
but his surprise was doubled on finding the other coin…

His feelings overcame him… he fell upon his knees, looked up to heaven and uttered aloud a
fervent thanksgiving in which he spoke of his wife, sick and helpless, and his children without bread, whom this timely bounty, from some unknown
hand,  would save from perishing…

The student stood there deeply affected, and his eyes filled with tears.
 "Now," said the professor, are you not much better pleased than if you had played your intended trick?"

The youth replied, "You have taught me a lesson which I will never forget…
 I feel now the truth of these words, which I never understood before: 

"It's more blessed to give than to receive."

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Have a break, and it'll be good to slow down for a while

It's coming to Raya break.
I hope everyone stays safe and has a good holiday.
Meanwhile, this is the best time to have "slow down therapy".

1. Slow down; God is still in heaven. You are not responsible for

doing it all yourself, right now.

2. Remember a happy, peaceful time in your past. Rest there. Each

moment has richness that takes a lifetime to savor.

3. Set your own pace. When someone is pushing you, it's OK to tell

them they're pushing.

4. Take nothing for granted: watch water flow, the corn grow, the

leaves blow, your neighbor mow.

5. Taste your food. God gives it to delight as well as to nourish.

6. Notice the sun and the moon as they rise and set. They are

remarkable for their steady pattern of movement, not their speed.

7. Quit planning how you're going to use what you know, learn, or

possess. God's gifts just are; be grateful and their purpose

will be clear.

8. When you talk with someone, don't think about what you'll say

next. Thoughts will spring up naturally if you let them.

9. Talk and play with children. It will bring out the unhurried

little person inside you.

10. Create a place in your your your

heart...where you can go for quiet and recollection.

You deserve it.

11. Allow yourself time to be lazy and unproductive. Rest isn't

luxury; it's a necessity.

12. Listen to the wind blow. It carries a message of yesterday and

tomorrow-and now. NOW counts.

13. Rest on your laurels. They bring comfort whatever their size,

age, or condition.

14. Talk slower. Talk less. Don't talk. Communication isn't

measured by words.

15. Give yourself permission to be late sometimes. Life is for

living, not scheduling.

16. Listen to the song of a bird; the complete song. Music and

nature are gifts, but only if you are willing to receive them.

17. Take time just to think. Action is good and necessary, but it's

fruitful only if we muse, ponder, and mull.

18. Make time for play-the things you like to do. Whatever your age,

your inner child needs re-creation.

19. Watch and listen to the night sky. It speaks.

20. Listen to the words you speak, especially in prayer.

21. Learn to stand back and let others take their turn as

leaders.There will always be new opportunities for you to

step out in front again.

22. Divide big jobs into little jobs. If God took six days to create

the universe, can you hope to do any better?

23. When you find yourself rushing and anxious, stop. Ask yourself

"WHY?" you are rushing and anxious. The reasons may improve your


24. Take time to read the Bible. Thoughtful reading is enriching


25. Direct your life with purposeful choices, not with speed

and efficiency. The best musician is one who plays with

expression and meaning, not the one who finishes first.

26. Take a day off alone; make a retreat. You can learn from monks

and hermits without becoming one.

27. Pet a furry friend. You will give and get the gift of now.

28. Work with your hands. It frees the mind.

29. Take time to wonder. Without wonder, life is merely existence.

30. Sit in the dark. It will teach you to see and hear, taste and


31. Once in a while, turn down the lights, the volume, the throttle,

the invitations. Less really can be more.

32. Let go. Nothing is usually the hardest thing to do - but often

it is the best.

33. Take a walk-but don't go anywhere. If you walk just to get

somewhere, you sacrifice the walking.

34. Count your friends. If you have one, you are lucky. If you have

more, you are blessed. Bless them in return.

35. Count your blessings - one at a time and slowly

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Living A Life that Matters

A thought that occurred to me over the past few days.
How do you live a life that will matter?
To yourself?
To your loved ones?

You know, when you're dead, nothing really matters anymore.
Your money means NOTHING.
Your title means NOTHING.
Heck, even your skin color does NOT matter.
When you stand before God, you think he'll say,"You were a good Malay/Chinese/Indian"?

So how?
How will the value of your LIFE be measured?

What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built;
not what you got, but what you gave. 
What will matter is not your success, but your significance.
What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others
to emulate your example.
What will matter is not your competence, but your character.
What will matter is not your memories, but the memories that live in those who loved you.
What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what
Living a life that matters doesn't happen by accident.
It's not a matter of circumstance but of choice. 

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Revised edition of Patrick Teoh's To All those Born in the 40's, 50's , 60's & early '70s

I was born in 1974.
I see the children of today being DENIED a childhood. Perhaps that's what happened to Michael Jackson, the worst example of what happens when a boy does not grow up. But then again, that may not entirely be a bad thing.
So my uncle sends me this excerpt of Patrick Teoh's blog, To All those Born in the 40's, 50's , 60's & early '70s.
I'd like to put in my own version, and that's my experience as a boy growing up in this country.
Seeing that it's Merdeka and all, we should look back and see why we should get together instead of why nots.
1 Malaysia is a nice concept with name and all, but it only implies that our unity is already broken to begin with.
Now let's start.

Our family didn't have a maid. There was a cleaning lady, yes, her name was "Sim Bo", which literally means Thai Lady in Cantonese. Yes, she was from Tahiland.
But I did have a nanny, Ah Lan. She was this tough 60 year old lady from China who taught me how to spin tops, pick mangos with a stick and catch catfish from the big drain outside.
(Note: If you happen to see catfish in the drain outside your house NOWADAYS, please make sure to lower your intake of prescription drugs).

We had a muhibbah neighbourhood, which means Malay, Chinese, Indians and Sikhs along the same road. The children of the same age as me came out to play together, we didn't really care if the other boy or girl was of a different colour.
We simply just made friends like that. Plain and simple.

We rode our bicycles around the neighbourhood and we didn't have to fear about being kidnapped, being run down by reckless drivers/bikers.
The roads and neighbourhoods were a lot more safer then.

I could leave my front door open and walk to the sundry shop 50 meters away to get my sweets, and all the stuff in the house would still be there when I got back.

Never heard of a credit card then, but we had this nifty thing called the Triple 5 book, or 555.
The bread man used it. The sundry shop used it.
It was amazing (until my mom grounded me for runnning up a RM100 bill at the sundry shop) for me as a kid to think that wow, you could take all these stuff and pay for it later!

My father was into football and played until he got injured. Even then, he managed to indulge his passion by being a referee for the local league matches.
So, early on, I loved football.
So did my friends, especially when we could catch the World Cup 1982 on TV.

Our parents didn't care that we only waited until it RAINED to PLAY football.
We didn't get sick. My thinking is that we got USED to playing in the rain so we became "immune", unlike the kids today who catch pneumonia after a drop of rain.

To quench our thirst after our games, we didn't have nice Colemans, or thermos or "BPA-free" bottles to put our water.
It could be a rusty 50 year old tap built by the British, but the water tasted so SWEET.
AND we did NOT DIE.

Come to think of it, we might have been 1 colour then. Cos' all of us got tanned from playing the whole day long in the sun!

We never heard of the Greenhouse effect, or whether the UV rays would reduce us to a piece of satay.

We would go into the bushes to look for frogs, ants or whatever creatures we could get to stage a "UFC" championship fight.

I don't know where they've gone, but I have never seen marbles for a long time.
You know those transparent "guli" with red/green/blue/yellow bands inside them.
Then you have the "real" marble. A white round piece of marble.
Objective was to smash your opponent's marble to bits.
Somehow, I discovered "coatings" through my passion for science, and somehow my marble remained "unbreakable" and I became Lord of the Marbles.

Firecrackers were another way to get ourselves killed, but somehow no one died unlike the dumb kids of today.
We would get Moon Travellers, you know, those rockety kind crackers with a lidi stick as a propulsion cracker.
We would SHOOT at EACH OTHER with these!
No one got blinded, no one got killed.
Well, it seems that when the government banned crackers over a few dumb kids, the fun ran out as well.

When we had enough money to buy a soft drink, the buyer NEVER got to drink his drink FIRST.
There was something called a Opening Ceremony, grander than the Beijing Olympics, where all your FRIENDS would take a sip first, and you got to finish what's left.
Now that's called SHARING.

Perhaps there are more dangers in the world today to children, but I suppose we should not smother nor cover them too much.

We climbed rocks, trees and fences. We fell.
We broke bones. We got sent to the hospital (more than I would have liked, but I suppose it was part of the character building).

But it never STOPPED us from having fun, the way we intended.

And if we got too mischievious for our own good, our parents would eventually find out.
First line of defence. My nanny would give me a good thrashing with the cane / rotan.
Then my parents would give me ANOTHER round.
Now, you think anyone would NOT be disciplined after that?

Look, I am writing this to tell all parents this.
Your child will be young only once.
Allow them to make mistakes.
But HELP them to DEAL with the mistakes they make.

Because you can learn almost everything from a book or when you go to school or college or university, but the ABILITY to deal with mistakes/wrongs cannot be learned except through EXPERIENCE.

There, I'm done.
Excuse me while I take Ethan and Ewan spelunking.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010


My brother has gone through 2 divorces.
Recently, my youngest godsister also went through one.
Perhaps the sanctity of marriage in this country is no longer like what it used to be. God forbid we end up like US, where half of marriages end in divorce.
It's more important that people who enter into marriage realise what they are doing.
It's not to say that it's going to be a "heavy" commitment, but more of the right frame of mind.

EVERY relationship has a cycle. In the beginning, you fell in love with your spouse /partner. You anticipated their call, wanted their touch, and so on (unconventional behavior/habit).

Falling in love with your spouse wasn't hard. In fact, it was a completely natural and spontaneous experience. You didn't have to DO anything. That's why it's called "falling" in love, because it's happening TO YOU.

People in love sometimes say, "I was swept of my feet." Think about the imagery of that expression. It implies that you were just standing there; doing nothing, and then something came along TO YOU.

Falling in love is easy. It's a passive and spontaneous experience. But after a few years of marriage, the excitement of love fades. It's the natural cycle of EVERY relationship. Slowly but surely, phone calls become a bother (if they come at all), touch is not always welcome (when it happens), and your spouse's idiosyncrasies, instead of being cute, drive you nuts.

The symptoms of this stage vary with every relationship, but if you think about your marriage, you will notice a dramatic difference between the initial stage when you were in love and a much duller or even angry subsequent stage.

At this point, you and/or your spouse might start asking, "Did I marry the right person?" And as you and your spouse reflect on the euphoria of the love you once had, you may begin to desire that experience with someone else. This is when marriages breakdown. People blame their spouse for their unhappiness and look outside their marriage for fulfillment.

Extramarital fulfillment comes in all shapes and sizes. Infidelity is the most obvious. But sometimes people turn to work, a hobby, a friendship, excessive TV, or abusive substances.

But the answer to this dilemma does NOT lie outside your marriage. It lies within it. I'm not saying that you couldn't fall in love with someone else.

You could. And TEMPORARILY you'd feel better. But you'd be in the same situation a few years later. Because (listen carefully to this):


SUSTAINING love is not a passive or spontaneous experience. It'll NEVER just happen to you. You can't "find" LASTING love. You have to "make" it day in and day out. That's why we have the expression "the labor of love," because it takes time, effort, and energy. And most importantly, it takes WISDOM. You have to know WHAT TO DO to make your marriage work.

Make no mistake about it. Love is NOT a mystery. There are specific things you can do (with or without your spouse) to succeed with your marriage.

Just as there are physical laws of the universe (such as gravity), there are also laws for relationships. Just as the right diet and exercise program makes you physically stronger, certain habits in your relationship WILL make your marriage stronger. It's a direct cause and effect. If you know and apply the laws, the results are predictable... you can "make" love.

Love in marriage is indeed a "decision"... Not just a feeling.

Remember this always:

"God determines who walks into your life. It is up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let go."