Yan's Corner - In Touch

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

4 comment(s):

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By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:22 pm  

hi yan:

i like to smell the roses
my fav colour is still blue
i know itdoesn't rhyme with SE7EN
but that's for people I'd like to meet in heaven:)

By Blogger desiderata, at 6:26 pm  

I didn't realize you're such a frequent traveller. Amazing how you juggle your time between your traveling and being with Christopher and Rachel.

By Blogger fishtail, at 11:52 pm  

Christmas is just around the corner. No time to go to the mall...then do your shopping online. We sell everything that the mall sells. Shop today!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:55 am  

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