Thursday, January 25, 2007

Goodness is infectious

I felt sad for the victims of the flood in Malaysia, esp. those in Johor. Imagined all these people losing so much in such a short time: their properties, vehicles, home appliances, fittings, furnitures, beds, crops, livestocks - all destroyed by the flood water. Do you know how hard a typical person would need to save to refit his home? Not only that, most families were displaced and have to live in crowded "relief" centers, usually school halls converted into makeshift camps. I wondered what relief these places can bring? Most tragic of all, humans and animals lives were lost in the floods. Some people took unneccessary risks by driving through flooded roads and others were simply swept away by the heavy current. So much losses in so short a time.

I write not to gripe but to highlight how we all take our daily lives for granted, and how tragedy can strike anytime anywhere. I tried to imagine if I too lost everything in a flood, and it was really depressing just to think about it. When I heard that the Red Crescent was seeking donations in any kind, I asked my whole family to gather as much clothings as we can give away. At that point, I felt it would not be much, so I wondered if I can seek the help of my friends at the gym.

I called Vince, my coach to ask if I can use his gym as a staging area to gather clothes from all the members. He said YES and he posted a message on the notice board in the gym. I proceeded to post on our forum and sms everyone. The response I got was amazing! First day, a few packs came in and by the fourth or fifth day, I must have collected about 20 packs of clothings, including some children clothing too, all nicely packed and labelled according to the gender.

It was very thoughtful of the Red Crescent to open their place 24 hours so that I can drop in anytime. I'm so touched that so many people chipped in whatever they can. When I reached the Red Crescent office, there are many foodstuffs in boxes around, but few packs of clothings. I hope that what little we gave would be helpful to those affected by the flood. I really salute all those volunteers who took time off to help the flood victims because without them, the losses (including human lives) would be much more tragic. Thank goodness the media highlighted the victims plight so that many can chip in and pour their resources to help. Goodness is indeed infectious if you start the ball rolling. Go ahead, spread some goodness around...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Why Buddhism?

I discovered Buddhism after the untimely passing of Hua Li. To me, the Dhamma is truly beautiful and stood tall as the ultimate truth. I've found peace, harmony, joy and happiness from practicing Buddhism.

The more I learned, discovered and practiced, the more I'm convinced of The Buddha's teachings (the Dhamma) - truly in the spirit of "Ehi Passiko" - come see for yourselves. It's not pressurizing nor something that instill anxiety or fear (believe or go to hell). It's teachings will appeal to your common sense and reasonings - eg. we do not need God or anyone to tell us that murder is wrong. The more we practice it, the more we will gain confidence of efficacy of the Dhamma. It exhort us to look within: avoid evil, do good, purify the mind.

The teachings of impermanence, dukkha, no-self, conditioned existence, kamma and rebirth are very real indeed, supported by scientific backings & researched data. More importantly, you will experience them personally as you practice Buddhism.

Practicing Buddhism will lead us to happiness now, happiness hereafter and finally: complete and total liberation from suffering.

Wishing everyone success in following the path till fruition. HAPPY NEW YEAR FOLKS.

With Metta,
Charles /\