Yan's Corner - In Touch

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The "war" continues..

What war? The "men-women" war! Read my earlier post, "Adam's rib or Women's Lib" and the comments from my learned friends.

AFP reported that New Zealand airlines have banned men from sitting next to unaccompanied children on flights.

AFP reports –

The policy came to light after a man seated next to a child was asked to change seats with a woman sitting in another row.

Auckland man Mark Worsley said he was told by a flight attendant from Qantas – an Australian airline that also operates domestic flights in New Zealand – that the airline’s policy stipulated that only women should sit next to unaccompanied children.

“At the time I was so gobsmacked that I moved. I was so embarrassed and just stewed on it for the entire flight,: Worsley told the New Zealand Herald.

“I felt that it was totally discriminatory – besides the point of what the hell was I going to do on a crowded flight.”

When asked if the airline considered male passengers to be dangerous to children, Air New Zealand spokeswoman Rosie Paul replied, “That’s not what I said.”


Poor Mark Worsley! I sympathize with him. Would other passengers on the flight think Poor Mark had done something to the child seated next to him that warranted a change of seat?

No, don’t blame the “spokeswomen”, don’t call it discriminatory, don’t attribute it to the “war between men and women”. It’s just a "prevention". If there is a cause to complain, blame "evil men" like these in another local story that happens in my own little town –

A 14-year-old on Monday claimed she was raped by her father in a budget hotel near here last Friday night.

The 36-year-old suspects who is a soldier stationed at a nearby army was remanded for 11 days.


It was reported that the suspect was asked by his wife to buy school necessities for their children. He brought along his eldest daughter. After shopping, he brought the daughter to a movie. (Yan: definitely not “Chicken Little”)

He bought three bottles of beer and later bought another three cans. When he saw the daughter was drunk, he brought her to a hotel and raped her.

The reporter who reported the news took an account of other cases –

On September 3, a teacher was arrested on allegation of having raped seven of his girl pupils.

On October 16, a 51-year-old grandfather was arrested on allegation of having raped his 16-year-old granddaughter.

On November 4, a 49-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of having raped a 6-year-old girl.

On November 11, a man in his 50s was put in prison after he pleaded guilty to raping 12-year-old girl.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Adam's Rib or Woman's Lib

An English professor wrote the words,

"Woman without her man is nothing"

on the blackboard and directed the students to punctuate it correctly.

The men wrote, “Woman, without her man, is nothing.”

The women wrote, “Woman! Without her, man is nothing.”

Dato Dr Ng Yen Yen is here in Sibu. She was present in a function of the Sibu Businesswomen Association. She was reported to say that “men do not want the fairer sex to be more superior to them in general and that is one of the challenges faced by women in 21st century.” She added that women could do better than men in many aspects be it in the home or work place. She also said, “Our male counterpart should discard this old thinking and face the reality.”

The argument for “Men-Women” subject is unending. Just six words from the English Professor can make a whole world of difference in the hands of men and women!

What’s the intent of God? We read in the bible –

“It is not good that the man should be alone, I will make him a helper fit for him.” (Gen. 2:18)

I take here two roles of women in men’s life.

Companionship. We all need all one another. “It is not good that the man should be alone.”

Helper. It’s to be a helper. It is not only to share life together, but also in work and responsibilities. Men and women are designed to work together. Not only at home, also at work place.

Interestingly, Eve is made from the rib of Adam. Ribs are closest to the heart. Ribs protects the vital organs of the chest, and notably, the heart!

It’s from something closest to the heart that woman was made. Women should be closest to men’s heart.

It’s from the rib that women was made. Women should protects the heart of the men.

Strictly from journalistic point, what our learned Minister said at the function is not news-worthy. What do you think, my learned friends, men and women alike?

Friday, November 25, 2005

Perfuming

During my last trip to KL, I was caught by the quote on the infoscreen in the KLIA Ekspres train –

I share this award with all the great CEOs of this beautiful country. To all my colleagues at YTL, this honour goes to them, and I offer my gratitude in full. I also thank the CEO of Malaysia, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for his strong leadership in his fight against corruption, making Malaysia a more competitive economy. Most important of all, I thank my Lord Jesus for perfuming YLT’s name once again and I give Him all the glory for this honour.


I was quick to get it down in my notebook. I remember reading the news of Tan Sri Francis Yeoh, CEO of YTL being awarded with Malaysia CEO of the year at the Asia Business Leaders Awards, but could not remember him sharing the award with other CEOs, and giving honour to his colleagues, thanking PM and giving all glory to Lord Jesus.

I was actually caught by the word PERFUMING. The CEO thanked Lord Jesus for PERFUMING YTL. In the beautiful figure of speech, this CEO likens YTL as a bottle of perfume, the fragrance of which is spreading all through the corporate world – and most important of all, the sweetness and fragrance are of Lord Jesus Himself.

What a way to give all honour to Lord Jesus!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

I have a choice

I did not feel very well one of the days last week. Probably, it was Thursday night. I went to bed early. It was about 8:30 pm when I retired to bed. I could hear little Chris walking in and out of the bedroom.

When I woke up the next morning, refreshed from a good sleep, I saw my dressing table mirror stuck with many “post-it” notes. It covered half of the mirror.

Chris has written many little notes and stuck there! There were many heartwarming words –

I love you
I am so sorry that you are not feeling well
I am sorry for making you angry sometimes
Can we go for “noodles” tomorrow morning
Wake me up early please
I promise I’ll be good
God blesses you
God loves you
God takes care of you

My two children like to write letters to me. They would put them in my handbag, or under my pillow, or on my study table. This is the first time that “post-it” notes were stuck to the mirror.

Yesterday, a doctor whom I met at the Combined Scientific Meeting in Singapore wrote in an email, “your two children must have given you many happy memories of the time in Singapore General Hospital.”

Happy Memories? My first thought was, doctors are very strange people, how could a patient have happy memories of the hospital?

A long, long time ago ....

It took me five years to have Rachel, and another five years to have Christopher. When Chris was five, we prayed for another child. Yes, indeed, I was pregnant! But, at eight weeks, I have to terminate the pregnancy because the baby was not in the womb, it was stuck at the fallopian tube. For that, Chris felt so sorry. He said, “It is my fault. I forget to ask God to put the baby in the tummy.”

The endless treatments, surgery rooms, the GA, the injections, the endless drawing of blood, the CRIB in hospital for the first three months of pregnancy, the long journey, the frustrations, the tears, the pains, tummy all swollen with no more space for injections, tests… you name it, I went through.

It was a painful journey. Should I call that happy memories?

Now and then, friends will send me some nuggets of wisdom, here are some that comes in one package –

Throw out nonessential number
This includes age, weight and height
Let the doctor worry about them
That is why you pay him/her.

Keep only cheerful friends
The grouches pull you down.

Keep learning
Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever.
Never let the brain idle.
“An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.”
The devil’s name is Depresstion.

Enjoy the simple things
When the children are young, that is all that you can afford
When they are in college, that is all that you can afford
When you are on retirement, that is all that you can afford.

Laugh often, long and loud
Laugh until you gasp for breath
Laugh so much that you can be tracked in
The store by your distinctive laughter

The tears happen
Endure, grieve, and move on
The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves
Be alive while you are alive, don’t put out
A mailbox on the highway of death and just wait in residence for your mail

Surround yourself with what you love, whether it is
Family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies whatever
Your home is your refuge.

Cherish your health
If it is good, preserve it
If it is unstable, improve it
If it is beyond what you can improve, get help
(remember? You pay doctors to help you)

Don’t take guilt trips
Go to the mall, the next country, a foreign country
But not to guilt country.

Tell the people you love that you love them at every opportunity
And always remember…
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take
But by the moments that take our breath away.

They say
It takes a minute to find a special person
An hour to appreciate them
A day to love them
But then an entire life to forget them.

Yes, I have a choice – to remember that as painful memories or looking back and said, “God, thank you for the two special gifts, Rachel and Christopher.”

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Life Lessons in Court

Yesterday, one of my stories was about the "doctors (note the plural) in court". Today, it's more delightful with Chief Judge to teach you some life lessons.

The legal practitioners in Sarawak were given some pointers on court etiquette by Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Datuk Amar Steve Shim Lip Kiong. 14 advocates were admitted to Sarawak Bar yesterday, The Borneo Post reported.

Pick up some pointers here for your everyday use, too. I am sure some are applicable.

When you need to refer to your opponent in court call him “my learned friend”. Likewise to the judge, “My learned judge” or “My learned Chief Judge”. The use of word “learned” is part of the courteous language of the court, which simply means “qualified as lawyer.”

Don’t ask a direct question to the judge. If you want a break for lunch, say this, “My Lord, I wonder whether this is a convenient moment for a lunch break”.

If you want the Judge to refer to document, say this, “I wonder if your Lordship can refer to page 123 of the bundle.”

Always ask the judge for permission this way, “May it please you, your Honour/My Lord/My Lady”.

Make a point to thank the judge whenever possible and also to use words like “Much obliged, My Lord” in most situations.

The Chief Judge said a magistrate or judge who sits in court is entitle to demand respect from those who appear before him.

Well, my learned readers, my learned friends, I wonder whether this is a convenient moment for a lunch break!

Oop… that indirect question does not deserve that exclamation mark.

Much obliged, my learned Chief Judge, for that life lessons!

For all the pointers, this exclamation mark justifies.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Four Stories

I do not wish to link these two stories together. But, my little mind keeps on wondering.

Story one –
Kuching – The mother of 14-month old Siti Shaqirah Azreen who died at the Sarawak General Hospital on Friday has alleged that slow response on the part of the hospital caused her daughter’s death.

Norita Saili, 30, said that though the girl had turned blue no doctor came by to inspect her.

When met at her house in Kampung No. 4 near here yesterday, she said Shaqirah was brought to the hospital because the toddler was crying incessantly, refused to sleep and vomited every time she was fed with milk.

The girl was warded at the hospital after she was suspected of suffering from heart ailment, but died nine hours later.

Norita claimed that she was earlier informed by a doctor that her daughter could only be attended to on Nov 22 because all the doctors were busy.

"I find it strange that if my daughter was suspected to be suffering from heart problems, why was her case not considered serious?” she asked. – Bernama

The other story –

Ex-TYT testifies in court
Medical team on stand-by as witness in Keruntum civil suit hearing appears in High Court

Former Head of State Tun Abdul Rahman Ya’akub yesterday appeared at a High Court here with some medical support, an ambulance and two medical officers from Sarawak General Hospital standing by.

(details not included. The case is a civil suit filed by Keruntum Sdn Bhd claiming damages from the government for canceling the company’s timber licence on Marh 11, 1987 over a forest area in Ulu Baram. The former head of state was among four people called to testify.)

On Nov 11, Skinner (Justice) rejected KSB’s application that Rahman should give evidence at home due to his heart-related ailment.

Skinner pointed out that stress would come from cross-examination and therefore it should not make any difference if he testified at home or at the court.

The court was also told that Rahman was not bed-riddened or in hospital.

On Nov 7, the court was told that Rahman was having chest pain and required an assessment by a British medical consultant, who later confirmed that Rahman was subjected to stress.

Mohd Arif (Counsel for Keruntung) also tendered to court a medical report from SGH stating that Rahman was undergoing conservative medical therapy.

He had been hospitalized at the SGH because he might need invasive surgery but subsequently, he was discharged.

Yan's thoughts - There we have no doctor to attend to the child, here, we have a team of two doctors and ambulance on stand-by. It is not my wish to link them together. I do not wish to link them together. It's not fair. The woman's claim is one side of the story. But, but, are we guilty of ignoring the little children, sometimes, somehow? Yes...? Are we guilty of attending to the rich and powerful first at the expense of poor and weak, sometimes, somehow? Unknowing? For fear? Yes ....?

The Bible has two stories of different setting in the Book of Mark. I also want to quote.

I shall start with the story of the blessing of the children, found in Mark 10:

And they were bringing children to him, that he might touch them; and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it he was indignant, and said to them, "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them. (Mark 10:13-16 RSV)

What a beautiful picture you see here. Let your imagination runs, Jesus gathering the children around him, one inquisitive little boy on his lap, a little girl standing demurely at his side, others clustering around, clamoring for his attention, all with asking eyes...

Come back to the real world, and let me move on in the story, as Mark does, to the incident which immediately follows:

And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone." "You know the commandments: 'Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.'" "Teacher, all these I have observed from my youth." And Jesus looking upon him loved him, and said to him, "You lack one thing; go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." At that saying his countenance fell, and he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions. (Mark 10:17-22 RSV)

This is "the story of the rich young ruler,". In the books of Luke and Matthew we are told that this young man was very wealthy, and that he was a ruler, an aristocrat.

Four stories, four settings...

What do these stories tell you?

It tells me Jesus loves the little children. He is never too busy to attend to them. It also tells me that Jesus loves me for what I am.

I am ending my lunch hour with these words from Jim Reeves ...

Why Do I Love You (melody Of Love)
Jim Reeves

Why do I love you
I love you not only for what you are
But for what I am when I'm with you
I love you not only for what you've made of yourself
But for what you're making of me
I love you for ignoring the possibilities of the fool in me
And for laying firm hold of the possibilities for good in me
Why do I love you
I love you for closing your eyes to the dischords
And for adding to the music in me by worshipful listening
I love you because you're helping to make of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern but a temple
And out of the words of my everyday not a reproach but a song
I love you because you have done more than any creed to make me happy
You have done it without a word without a touch without a sign
You have done it just by being yourself
and after all perhaps that's what love means

Monday, November 21, 2005

Destination Sickness

Early this month, I attended the Combined Scientific Meeting in Singapore. This statement by a Dietitian, Ms Chan Mei Yen, impressed me. She said that the Asian Avian Flu is no doubt scary, but obesity and overweight still remains a major health problem.

Today, after reading Desi’s “For Power and Wealth”, I add in to this statement –

Asian Avian Flu, obesity and overweight may be scary, but destination sickness remains the common illness among millions of people.

Huh? Destination Sickness? I am not a doctor, nor am I scientist. I am just a little woman. What is destination sickness?

It is arriving at your destination, at the place where you have always wanted to be, having everything you want to have, but not wanting anything that you have got at that destination.

Is it not a sickness?

The cure?

Contentment.

Contentment is not being happy with what you have, it is being happy with what you don't have.

Does not sound logical. That's the reason, we could never find a cure to this common illness.

Contentment is where true wealth and power lives.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Pastor and the Choir Conductor

Today the sermon was not preached by the Pastor. One of the Church leaders, sister Judy Wong shared on the topic "Communication Breakdown Spells Disaster".

She shared the first "communication" problem between the pastor and the choir conductor. I believe it is more of a make-up humour. I am amazed how the hymns fit in just right. Here it is -

When the pastor and choir director get into communication problem, here is what happens:

One week our pastor decided to press his position by preaching on commitment, and how we should dedicate ourselves to service.

That Sunday, the choir director led the choir in singing, 'I Shall Not Be Moved.'

The next Sunday, the pastor preached on giving and how we should gladly give to the work of the Lord.

The choir director then led the song, 'Jesus Paid It All. '

The next Sunday, the pastor preached on gossiping and how we should watch our tongues.

The hymn was 'I Love To Tell The Story. '

The pastor became disgusted over the situation, and the next Sunday he told the congregation he was considering resigning.

The choir then sang 'Oh, Why Not Tonight.'

After the pastor resigned the next week, he preached his last sermon at the church telling the congregation that Jesus had led him there and Jesus was taking him away.

The choir then sang, 'What A Friend We Have in Jesus.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The Sky is Falling


By Christopher Lau

Last week, my sister and I watched the Chicken Little at home. I remember mummy read to me the story of the frantic little chicken running around saying, “The sky is falling!”. I was then, four or five.

In the movie it is not about the sky is falling. I think it is more about the relationships of Chicken Little and his father and his friends, the Ugly Duckling (Abby), Runt of the Litter and Fish out of Water.

Abby is a good friend who tries to help Chicken Little to make up with his father. It is a happy occasion when Chicken Little and his father see eye to eye to their differences.

I also like the friendship in the movie. When the alien invaded, it was a little frightening. But, it is not aliens anyway.

The music is thrilling. The animation is wonderful.

I do not like the coach in the gym class who team the children into popular and unpopular kids. I think it is very cruel.

In the story book, Chicken Little is like a dishonest chicken. In the movie, Chicken Little is like a crazy chicken spiced up with friendship, accepting one another and relationship with father.

My mother brought the Junior Novelization of Chicken Little for me from KL. I have finished reading. There are some movie still pictures inside the book.

Friday, November 18, 2005

2b?Nt2b=???

Can you read the title? Who said that?

"To be or not to be, that is the question" uttered by the eponymous hero of Shakespeare's Hamlet.

AFP reported that some of the greatest English literature have been turned into text messages as a part of a student revision scheme launched yesterday. I picked the story from The Borneo Post today.

Mobile phone company dotmobile, which is behind the project, has translated the likes of William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and John Milton into text, as a moder-day "aide-memoire" for under-pressure crammers.

Besides, 2b?Nt2b=???. the tragic ending to Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre becomes "MadwyfSetsFyr2Haus". It's "mad wife sets fire to house".

It was reported that John Sutherland, professor of modern English literature at University College London, helped devised the texts. He defended their simplicity - and language - in the face of predictable opposition from linguistic purists.

Sutherland said, "Whilst some may argue that Dickens is really too big a morsel to be swallowed by text, the "Great Inimitable" himself began working life as a shorthand writer and he would, I suspect, have approved of the brevity if nothing else."

AFP further reported that the service - which follows an Australian text version of the Bible last month - will be available to dot-mobile subscribers from January. Dobbs blogged of SMS Bible earlier. Read it here.

By that time, viewers of Dickens' epic Bleak House—currently being shown in a lengthy serialisation on Britain's BBC television—may need a refresher to remember the beginning.

The crib note reads: "EstherBecumsWardOfJarndyceWhosInCortCase.OvaWardsRich/Ada(L8aACuple).Tulkingho rn-nosyLawyer-WorksOutLadyDedlock=E'sMum.CaseEnds w/ no1 gtn money.E marrysSexyDoc-Liv 2gevaInBleakHse.Rich/L.DedlockDie"

Translation: "Esther becomes the ward of Jarndyce who is involved in a court case over Richard and Ada (who are later a couple). Tulkinghorn—a nosy lawyer—works out that Lady Dedlock is Esther's mother. The case is concluded with no one receiving any money. Esther marries the sexy doctor and they live together in Bleak House. Richard and Lady Dedlock die."


Hmm... In da Bginnin God cre8d da heavens & da earth......, now it's "gr8 brit lit turnd in2 txt 4 studes", what's next?

Updated at 1:30 pm - many years ago, about 5 years ago, I received a little "article" on "EuroEnglish". At that time, I still did not know about SMS. Today I found it amusing. Here it goes -

The European Union Commissioners have announced that agreement has been reached to adopt English as the preferred language for European communication rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a five-year phased plan for what will be known as EuroEnglish (Euro for short).

In the first year, "s" will be used instead of the soft "c". Sertainly, sivil servants will resieve this news with joy. Also, the hard "c" will be replaced with "k". Not only will this klear up konfusion, but typewriters kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced by "f". This will make words like "fotograf" 20 persent shorter.

In the third year, publik akseptance of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Government will enkorage the removal of double letters, which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of silent "e" in the languag is disgrasful, and they would go.

By the fourth year, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" by "z" and "w" by "v".

During ze fifz year, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou", and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst place.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Stop and Smell the Roses

I checked out of the hotel in KL at 5:45 am yesterday to board 8:15 am flight back home. The reception staff was attending to a lady. After she was done, I settled my bill. When I walked out of the hotel, the lady had just got a taxi. She looked at me and asked, “Where are you going to?” I said, “KL Sentral.” She signaled me to get on the taxi and said, “It’s so difficult to get a taxi.”

I joined her. Along the way, she told me she is going to Bangkok and her flight is 7:15 am. I thought there is only hour to her flight departure time, could she make it? When we reached KLIA it was 6:45 am. With only half an hour, she could never make it, I thought. She did not check in at KL Sentral.

What amazed me was her calm and poise and she seemed to tell me – so what? Missed the flight, catch the next one.

I know I could never learn that calm and poise if I am late. The good thing is because I know I can’t keep cool, I make it a point that I am early.

That early morning, I read Wayne Muller's book, Sabbath, at the departure lounge and on the plane. Wayne speaks of the importance of rest. Here’s an excerpt:

In the relentless busyness of modern life, we have lost the rhythm between action and rest. As the founder of a public charity, I visit the offices of wealthy donors, crowded social-service agencies and the small homes of the poorest families. Remarkably, within this mosaic there is a universal refrain: "I am so busy."

We say this to one another as if our exhaustion were a trophy, our ability to withstand stress a mark of character. The busier we are, the more important we seem to ourselves and, we imagine, to others. To be unavailable to our friends and family, to be unable to find time for the sunset (or even to know the sun has set), to whiz through our obligations without time for a single mindful breath -- this has become the model of a successful life.

Yet the more our life speeds up, the more we feel weary, overwhelmed, lost. Our life and work rarely feel light, pleasant or healing. Instead, as it all piles endlessly upon itself, the whole experience of being alive begins to melt into one enormous obligation.

Because we do not rest, we lose our way. We miss the compass points that show us where to go, the nourishment that gives us succor, the quiet that gives us wisdom.
Here is another lesson we can learn from Mac David in his song “Stop and Smell the Roses”

Hey Mister
Where you going in such a hurry
Don't you think it's time you realized
There's a whole lot more to life than work and worry
The sweetest things in life are free
And there right before your eyes
You got to Stop and Smell the roses
You've got to count your many blessings everyday
You're gonna find your way to heaven is a rough and rocky road
If you don't Stop and Smell the roses along the way
Before you went to work this morning in the city
Did you spent some time with your family
Did you kiss your wife and tell her that she's pretty
Did you take your children to your breast and love them tenderly
You got to Stop and Smell the roses
You've got to count your many blessings everyday
You're gonna find your way to heaven is a rough and rocky road
If you don't Stop and Smell the roses along the way
Did you ever take a walk through the forest
Stop and dream a while among the trees
Well you can look up through the leaves right straight to heaven
You can almost hear the voice of God
In each any every breeze
You got to Stop and Smell the Roses
You've got to count your many blessings everyday
You're gonna find your way to heaven is a rough and rocky road
If you don't Stop and Smell the Roses along the way
You got to Stop and Smell the roses
You've got to count your many blessings everyday
You're gonna find your way to heaven is a rough and rocky road
If you don't Stop and Smell the roses along the way

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

If

This is perhaps the shortest title of my postings from February through to November. This is a poem I came across during my school days. It’s almost three decades ago. The fact that it’s still kept tells the treasure in it. During those days, there was no computer where you can store beautiful words. The poem was copied into an exercise book. It was not a dairy. I did not keep one. During those days, my gang of friends said this, “Anyone who keeps diaries is the most stupid person in the world. It’s telling own secret to the whole world.”

Lately, I am trying to clear my study room. These treasures with copied poems, published articles in the newspaper, small notes, cards … were taken out from the “treasure box”. I typed some beautiful poems into my notebook. The files are all on the desktop covering more than two-thirds of the screen area. Yesterday, little Chris played “Bookworm” game on my notebook. He tidied all my word document in a folder called “Mum’s stuff”.

Those were the beautiful memories of the young days. However, this poem “If” lives through the time.

If
By Rudyard Kipling

If you keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
And make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating;
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise.

If you can dream,
and not make dreams your master;

If you can think,
and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with triumph and disaster,
And treat those two imposters just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools
Or watch thing things you gave your life to, broken
And stoop and build them up, with worn-out tools.

If you talk with crowds and keep your virtue
Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch.

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you

If all men count with you, but none too much

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds worth of distance run

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

Can you do that? I can’t. These are too difficult demands. Yet, it’s worth keep working on it. God has not done with me yet!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Are you afraid?

Are you frightened by current events?

This is the first sentence of the article by Johann Christoph Arnold that was dropped into my mail box just now.

The author listed some tragedies that have occurred over the past year –

The tsunami in Southeast Asia
Mudslides in Central America
Droughts and
floods in Europe
Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico
Earthquake in
Pakistan
Hurricane Katrina
War in Iraq with no end in sight
Avian flu
Fear of terrorism
Bombings of three hotels in Amman,
Jordan
Mounting anger of the young ones


The author “believes that God doesn’t want to frighten us, but has something wonderful and great in mind for humanity.” He continues,

When things look dark and hopeless, this is the time to find out who your friends and neighbours really are. Or do you think you are the only one who is afraid?

Looking with new eyes at the people you meet daily, you will quickly realize that everyone is frightened, at least at some level. I myself am anxious when I think of the future - if not for myself, then for my children and grandchildren. But that is why I wrote this article: in the hope that it might encourage even one person. Everyone I know needs courage and hope. Everyone needs love and recognition as an unique and special being.

Every time we share a burden like fear with another person, that burden is cut in half, and is replaced by love. And once the spark of love ignited in us, we can fan it into flame, and help it spread to others. Suddenly we will realize that we are not as alone as we thought we were and we will get a glimpse of community - what real life is all about.

Read the whole article here

Yes, we are never alone. Family members are always there to share our burden, our fears, our sorrows and even our joys. Then, we have friends. Friends we meet every day. Friends who drop by to say “hello” occasionally. Friends who are just an email away. Even friends in blogging community whom we have never met before.

Few days ago, I was in a “deep, deep valley” and thought how could I ever got out of that. A friend who has taken a deeper look of life sent me a few pictures of the swallows. Staring at the screen, feeling the peace and calm of the birds, I thought I heard a still small voice said to me, “Look at the swallows, they do not have to worry because God looks after them. Surely you are more worthy than the swallows.” I walked out of the deep valley of my emotions even without realizing it.



(Pictures courtesy of my friend, lky)

There have been times also the words from my frequently visited blogs, Desi, Fishtail, Dobbs, De-book worm, YvonneFoong and many others bring me some new understanding of my fears, my burden, my sorrows and even my joy.

Few days ago, my 10-year-old son shared the story of “Frog” in this blog. I have another story of frog that I lifted somewhere a long, long time ago. Here it goes -

You ever feel like a frog? Frogs feel slow, low, ugly, puffy, drooped, pooped. I know -- one told me. The frog feeling comes when you want to be bright but feel dumb, when you want to share but are selfish, when you want to be thankful but feel resentment, when you want to be great but are small, when you want to care but are indifferent. Yes, at one time or another each of us has found himself on a lily pad, floating down the great river of life. Frightened and disgusted, we're too froggish to budge.

Once upon a time there was a frog, only he really wasn't a frog -- he was a prince who looked and felt like a frog. A wicked witch had cast a spell on him. Only the kiss of a beautiful maiden could save him. But since when do cute chicks kiss frogs? So there he sat, unkissed prince in frog form. But miracles happen. One day a beautiful maiden gathered him up and gave him a great big smack. Crash! Boom! Zap! There he was, a handsome prince. And you know the rest -- they lived happily ever after.

So what is your task? Kissing frogs. You could do wonders to frightened frogs!

As young Christopher closed his story – the next time you see you frog, don’t panic, it is FROG, Mother adds – if you see a frightened frog, give him a great big hug or kiss or a warm hand-shake. And lo! There he/she is, a happy prince or princess.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The story

Of all the stories of great men and women, this story strucks me most. It strucks me because thw writer captures the character of the person in a very realistic and true way. I do not know the author of the story.

We all have a story to tell. Rest and relax and read this one -

More than 1900 years ago there was a man born contrary to the laws of life.

This man lived in poverty and was reared in obscurity. He did not travel
extensively. Only once did he cross the boundary of the country in which he
lived, and that was during his exile in childhood.

He possessed neither wealth nor influence. His relatives were inconspicuous
and had neither training nor formal education.

Yet in infancy he startled a king, in childhood he puzzled doctors, in
manhood he ruled the course of nature, walked upon the billows as if pavements,
and hushed the sea to sleep.

He healed the multitudes without medicine and made no charge for his
service.

He never wrote a book. Yet all the libraries of the country could not hold
the books that have been written about him.

He never wrote a song. Yet he has furnished the theme for more songs than
all the songwriters combined.

He never founded a college. But all the schools put together cannot boast
of having so many students.

He never marshaled an army nor drafted a soldier nor fired a gun. Yet no
leader ever had more volunteers, who have, under his orders, made more rebels
stack their arms and surrender without a shot fired.

He never practiced psychiatry. And yet he has healed more broken hearts
than all the doctors far and near.

He stands forth upon the highest pinnacle of heaven's glory, proclaimed of
God, acknowledged by angels, adored by saints, feared by devils, as the living,
personal Lord Jesus Christ -- my Lord and Savior.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Frog


Words By Christopher Lau (aged 10)

Picture by Rachel Lau (aged 15)

My mother told me this story –

There was a lady in a hospital who was dying. A pastor of her area came to visit her. This pastor was a very young lady with long blond hair. The pastor listened to the dying lady. She prayed for her. Before she left, the pastor left a tiny ceramic frog for the dying lady.

The next day one of the friends from the lady’s church came to visit her. The lady told her friend about the young lady pastor who came to visit her. The friend was amazed how the lady had improved. The friend thought of telling the young lady pastor. However, she was told that there was never any young lady pastor with long blond hair in the area.

The friend came back to the hospital again. She wanted to tell the lady that she might have mistaken. There was no young lady pastor in the area that fit her description. Just then, a nurse entered the room. The nurse saw the ceramic frog and said,

“You have a nice guardian angel with you.”

When asked why the nurse made such a comment. The nurse said,

“Frog stands for (F) Fully (R) Rely (O) On (G) God.”

Yeah, I also have a big “FROG” jump for my final term exam. It’s from position 19 to 6. The next time you see a frog, don’t panic. It is Fully Rely On God!

My sister has drawn this cute frog.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The thougths

It was my birthday yesterday, 7th November.

Birthday for me is like any other day. But, I just could not resist sharing these inspiring words that was dropped into my mailbox -

Monday, November 07, 2005


Happy Birrrrthday to Youuuu,
Happy Birrrrthday to Youuuu,
Happy Birrrrthday,
Happy Birrrrthday to Youuuu!

A few years back… not so long ago, heaven and earth erupted into a major celebration with the news of your impending adventure into this very time and space. You see, someone like you doesn’t come along all that often… in fact, there’s never been a single one like you, nor is there ever ANY possibility that another will come again. You’re an Angel among us. Someone, whose eyes see what no others will EVER see, whose ears hear what no others will EVER hear, and whose perspective and feelings will NEVER, ever be duplicated. Without YOU, the Universe, and ALL THAT IS, would be sadly less than it is.

Quite simply:

You’re the kind of person
Who’s hard to forget,
A one-in-a-million
To the people you’ve met.
Your friends are as varied
As the places you go,
And they all want to tell you
In case you don’t know:
That you make a big difference
In the lives that you touch,
By taking so little
And giving so much!

You are so AWESOME!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Well, I do not deserve such a great message. What I have taken here is the thoughts. Yes, it's always the thoughts that count. This brings me to specially like to mention a young girl, Sing Yieng. Some eight years ago, our Church decided to "adopt" some young students from outstations. I have the priviledge to adopt one young girl from a town nearby. She is Sing Yieng. I did not do much during her studies in the college here. All I did was inviting her to my house once in a while for a dinner or going to church with her. For that, for the past eight years, whether she was in KL, or in her own town, she has not failed to send me a birthday card, a telephone call or a SMS to wish me an extra-special birthdays. Each time she warms my heart!

It really takes just a small act that can make a difference in someone's life.

The early birds

Will you spend S$30,000 over two years for your six-year-old daughter to participate in beauty and talent contests?

You may, if the prizes are attractive. But, the cash award is only USD250!

You may, if you have more than enough to spare. But, the parents who dare to spend are from the civil service.

You may, if you believe that winning contests will give them that confidence to do better in their studies. That’s the reason given by a mother whose eight-year-old daughter has already bagged home six titles.

Sunday Times (Singapore) reported -

For their investment of almost S$30,000 over two years, civil servant Tan Kian Thong, 48, and his wife got just US$250 in return. Not that they are complaining.

The doting parents had spent the sum on singing and dance lessons, as well as costumes, for their six-year-old daughter, Gwen.


Psychiatrists say otherwise –

Dr Pauline Sim, a psychiatrist at Mt Elizabeth Medical Centre, says, “Beauty contests may teach a child false values like exterior beauty being more important. She could only be doing it to live up to her parents’ dream.

Consultant psychiatrist Brian Yeo, also from Mt Elizabeth Medical Centre, adds, “There is the element of competition at such a young age. With the expectations of the parents, they might not be able to take the agony of losing.”

Early birds? Well, birds are sensitive now with avian flue on, early starters, a better term.

Pros and cons?

Sunday, November 06, 2005

What would your last meal be?

“Nasi bayani and palak panear (cottage cheese cubes in spinach paste) from Shahi Maharami Restaurant from Raffles City. I’d get permission to bring in outside food, too – curry fish head and fried fish cutlets from Soon Heng in Kinta Road.”

I enjoyed a very “spicy” articles featured in Sunday Times (Singapore.

That is the last meal of Dr William Chong, CEO of Pacific Healthcare Holdings.

Dr Chong, an aesthetic dentist specialist in inplant dentistry, described himself as a real creature of habit. He would only eat in five restaurants in Singapore.

Food to go with football are dark chocolates, Ruffles potato chips in sour cream and onion flavour and prawn crackers.

He is 43.

You think you can afford all the joy? Read on …

He jogs or walks 5 km every morning. He also takes between 15 and 20 pills a day, from Omega 3 for cholesterol to multi-vitamins. Before a heavy meal, he takes fiber pills to regulate his sugar metabolism.

Indeed, a life full of spices he leads!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Hello Darkness

Yes, you recognize that the title of this posting is taken from the song “The Sounds of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel ….

“Hello Darkness, my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again.”

Is it an accurate description of the way many people feel today? They are living in darkness, without even knowing what’s wrong. We live in a confusing world. We are proud of our achievements. When we think of “darkness”, we think of uncivilized people, or people behind the bars.

But, “Hello Darkness, my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again” rightly describes the way people feel today!

I read one of our young ones’ blog occasionally. He is “popular” among the teenagers. Having a young teen at home and working with some young ones, I want to know what they may be exposed to. Recently, he posted his experience of taking “Ketamine” and even showed a video of him snorting the 2g drug! He wrote –

It is a great drug. I love ketamine – every trip is always enlightening. It’s very intense and can be scary during the k-hole, but if you overcome your fear of death, it will be a great teacher to you.


That is darkness! A young boy who thinks that he has overcomed the fear of darkness, who thinks taking drugs is enlightening, who thinks the trip is a great teacher to him – he is living in darkness!

He even does not recognize what is wrong!

Yes, we are watching the world falling apart. Everyday, there are no short of news on violence in the newspapers. That is darkness!

T. S. Eliot's poem, The Rock, says,

All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance,
And all our ignorance brings us nearer to death,
But nearness to death no nearer to God.
Where is the life we have lost in living?


I have nothing against this song. I even like this song, from my teen years to now, and I know, for many more years to go, I’ll still like this song.

My good friend, Desiderata looks at the song differently. It’s certainly enlightening!