Saturday, June 25, 2011

What I love about my Daddy, Ong Hong Kong

1. He tells it like it is. There's no BS. No sugar coating. Just the plain old truth.

2. He loves us unconditionally. No matter how bad or mischievious I was, he loves me without any qualms.

3. He gives great advice. You could give any situation to him, lo and behold, he'll come up with a great solution for you. Maybe our government should be reading this.

4. He IS brilliant. My father is so well-read, and I'm so lucky to have gotten the reading bug from him. He may not have a Masters from MIT, but he can rival any genius any day.

5. He taught me to respect others. Especially your elders.

6. He showed me the beauty of writing. His handwriting is exquisite, while mine barely passes for a doctor's medical chit. But the real beauty is in the stringing of words into meaningful sentences.

7. He showed how to pick yourself up. When my mother passed away, it couldn't have been easy for him. 3 kids to parent full time on your own. Especially since I was just about to enter my teens.

8. He showed that anything is possible. My father always taught me to be strong and to be myself. He taught that if you never depend on anyone and always work hard for what you want, anything is possible. In the end, I paid for my MBA by MYSELF.
9. He taught me to listen. In the club where he was Honorary Secretary for 3 decades, I learned that the most important skill is not to speak well, but to LISTEN. Really listen.

Peace of Mind

Once Buddha was walking from one town to another town with a few of his followers.
This was in the initial days.
While they were travelling, they happened to pass a lake. They stopped there and Buddha told one of his disciples, I am thirsty.
Do get me some water from that lake there.
The disciple walked up to the lake.
When he reached it, he noticed that some people were washing clothes in the water and, right at that moment,a bullock cart started crossing through the lake.
As a result, the water became very muddy, very turbid. The disciple thought, How can I give this muddy water to Buddha to drink!
So he came back and told Buddha, The water in there is very muddy. I don't think it is fit to drink.
After about half an hour, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go backto the lake and get him some water to drink.
The disciple obediently went back to the lake.
This time he found that the lake had absolutely clear water in it.
The mud had settled down and the water above it looked fit to be had.
So he collected some water in a pot and brought it to Buddha.
Buddha looked at the water, and then he looked up at the disciple and said, See what you did to make the water clean.
You let it be ... and the mud settled down on its own “ and you got clear water...
Your mind is also like that.
When it is disturbed, just let it be.
Give it a little time.
It will settle down on its own.
You don't have to put in any effort to calm it down.
It WILL happen.
It IS effortless.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

With all the hate around, we need a good love story.......

From Heart to Home

Bob Perks

She had no sooner taken a step into the room when she caught his attention. It's not that she was one of those "beautiful people" who demands recognition or takes command the minute they arrive. Her arrival was subtle, almost unnoticeable because she just fit in with the crowd. She could easily slip in and out and no one would even know she was there.

He did.

Never moving from his place in the corner his eyes followed every move she made. From the host's "Hello!," through every polite introduction to make her feel welcome, the man continued to smile. He knew in truth that his chance of meeting her was slim, but there was something about her he would not, could not, let go of, let alone define.

"Love at first sight," is a lofty ideal woven into the fabric of love stories, best told in old age when the real details become foggy.

"Falling in love" sounds almost tragic, as if someone could get hurt.

Sometimes they do.

She wore a fitted blue cocktail dress with slight beading at the neckline accentuating her slim face and short blond hair. No muss, no fuss. Just enough to say, "I'm out and about," with no real purpose in mind. Her shoes were simple enough to add a bit of shine but, from the looks of them, the other women in the room would not be blown away with name dropping Jovani, Jimmy Choo or Prada.

It was perhaps that balance of sparkle and JC Penney that added even more intrigue.

It wasn't until hours later that she would even come close to where this man was standing. But he never saw it as time lost nor did he lose interest. Then, he apparently became distracted for a moment, looked up and she was nowhere to be found. Panic at first overcame him, then the realization that it just wasn't meant to be.

Why would he ever think there was any potential there. I mean the girl of your dreams doesn't just drop into a room and this girl attending this party wouldn't even be in his league.

She was a guest. He was the bartender.

He went about his business and she apparently went on with her life never knowing her forever lover was there eagerly waiting to make her dreams come true. It would be a long night for him and as the evening came to a close, he began to close up the bar, clear the room of glasses and head into the kitchen.

As he opened the door, hands full of empty glasses, a bar towel draped over his shoulders and the smell of liquor overwhelming his cologne, he stopped suddenly. It was one of those "jaw dropping" moments we remember long after they occur.

There she was, sitting at the kitchen table with a glass and a lemon wedge floating inside it.

"Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't know any guests were still here. May I get you a drink?"

She didn't answer at first not realizing he was speaking to her.

"Miss, may I get you a drink? I thought everyone had gone," he said.

"Oh, no. I really wasn't drinking. This is just water," she replied. "When you attend these events you need to give the appearance that you have a drink in your hand to be polite and fit in. The thing is I really don't fit in anyway," she said.

He smiled and said quietly, "No, you don't fit in, you stand out."

"Excuse me?" she said.

He thought immediately that he overstepped his bounds. He was just a worker, a bartender hired through the caterer and should never mix with the guest let alone make a comment like that.

"Oh, Miss. It's late, I'm over tired. I am so sorry. I didn't mean.."

She interrupted him, "Please, no need to apologize. It's was such a beautiful thing to say. I mean, I usually make an appearance at these things for my father's sake and then fade into the kitchen or hide in a corner somewhere. My father loves to include me in these things and I hate to do it," she said smiling.

He stood there awkwardly for a moment searching for the right thing to say. Music played softly in the background adding a dream-like illusion to the unexpected meeting.

"Well, if I can get you anything, please don't hesitate to ask," he said, then turned away to go about his business.

Appearing to enjoy his company she reached out with her hand as if motioning, "wait, don't go." She now struggled for words in an effort to hold onto the one person she felt comfortable speaking with. "Do they have any more of those little chicken things?" she asked.

"Pardon me? Chicken things?" he replied. "Oh, the hors d'oeuvres?"

"Well, yes. I am sure I can find some," he added.

Upon his return she had poured a fresh glass of water for herself and one for him.

"Lemon in your water?"

"Oh, I...."

"Please sit with me. These are really great. You were probably too busy to have any," she said as she pulled out a chair for him.

Just then a guest happened to walk in. The man suddenly jumped to his feet knowing he was violating the rules.

"Oh, I see you found him," she said.

The man now completely confused nodded his head slowly.

"You may not have noticed Miss Lillian, but this man couldn't take his eyes off of you all evening. I watched from afar. You know how boring these events are, so I just watch people. At one point I asked him for a rum and coke and he gave me something in cranberry juice. It was then I noticed his eyes were following you," she laughed.

He stood there, "chicken things" in hand not knowing how to respond.

"Really," the young woman said in a rather campy fashion. "Then we really should continue our conversation," she said smiling.

He looked like a deer caught in head lights. They spent the next hour just talking, laughing and learning about each other.

"So, that's how we met," he told me as he reached for her hand. "I fell in love with her. She only wanted me for the "chicken things."

Yes, I learned all of this from saying "hello" to the couple sitting next to me. Imagine all I would have missed if I didn't.

As she put it, "It went from Heart to Home."

"I wish you enough!"


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Think about it

Don't worry, for worry is the most unproductive of all human activities.

Don't be fearful, for most of the things we fear never come to pass.

Don't carry grudges, for they are the heaviest of all life's burdens.

Face each problem as it comes.

You can only handle one at a time anyway.

Don't take problems to bed with you, for they make very poor bedfellows.

Don't borrow other people's problems. They can better care for them than you.

Don't try to relive yesterday for good or ill, it is forever gone.

Be a good listener, for only when you listen do you hear ideas different from your own.
Don't become bogged down by frustration, for 90% of it is rooted in self-pity and will only interfere with positive action.

Count your blessings, never overlooking the small ones, for a lot of small blessings add up to a big one.
Concentrate on what is happening in your life and be happy NOW!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

We'll miss you, Oprah

Understand that the right to choose your own path is a sacred privilege.


DWELL in possibility.

-Oprah Winfrey

Friday, June 17, 2011


Father's Day.
You'll see all sorts of tributes this week.
But one of the best I've seen is by Art Harun to his late father.

My father will be turning 78 this year, and I have been lucky to have him around for so long.
The thing that struck me about Harun's article was the sense of loss so articulately expressed.
I left a comment saying that I couldn't imagine how he felt at that time, even though I did lose my mom at the age of 12.
I just hope that everyone appreciates their parents the way they should, and a better family unit leads to real happiness.
Which reminds me.
Pain is inevitable.
Suffering is optional.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011


From craving is born grief,
from craving is born fear.
For one freed from craving
there will be no grief so how to fear?

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Actual Pleasure

There is pleasure when an itch is scratched,But to be without itches is more pleasurable still.
Just so, there are pleasures in worldly desires,
But to be without desires is more pleasurable still.