Thursday, November 25, 2010

Appreciate our parents

A young person with excellent academic qualification went to apply for a managerial position in a big company.

He passed the first interview easily, and now will have to meet the Director for the last interview, who makes the final decision to hire.

The Director discovered from his CV, that this youth's has excellent academic result all the way from the secondary school until the postgraduate research. There was never a year he did not score.

The Director asked, "Did you obtain any scholarship in school?" and the youth answered "none".

The surprised Director asked, "Is it your father who pays for your school fees?". The youth answered, my father passed away when I was one year old, it is my mother who paid for my school fees.

The Director asked, "Where did your mother worked?". The youth answered, my mother worked as clothes cleaner. The Director requested the youth to show his hand, the youth showed a pair of hand that is smooth and perfect to the Director.

The Director probed further, "Did you ever help your mother washed the clothes before?". The youth answered, "Never, my mother always wanted me to study and read more books. Furthermore, my mother can wash clothes faster than me."

The Director said, "I have a request, when you go back today, go and help to clean your mother's hands, and then come see me tomorrow morning."

The youth felt that his chance of landing the job is high. When he reached home, he happily went to clean his mother's hands. His mother felt strange, she reluctantly showed her hands to the youth.

The youth cleaned his mother's hands slowly, his eyes wet with tears as he did that. It's first time he saw his mother's hands which are so wrinkled & full of bruises. Some bruises were so severe that his mother trembles in pain whenever water touched them.

For the first time the youth realized and experienced that this is the pair of hands that washed the cloth everyday to pay for his school fees. The wrinkles & painful bruises in his mother's hands is the price that his mother paid for his graduation and academic excellence and ensure him a bright future.

After he finished cleaning of his mother hands, the youth quietly cleaned all remaining clothes for his mother. That night, they talked for a very long time.

Next morning, the youth went to the Director's office.

The Director noticed the puffiness in the youth's eyes, and asked him: "Can you tell you what have you done & learned in your house yesterday?"

The youth answered, "I cleaned my mother's hands, and also finished cleaning all the remaining clothes."

The Director asked, "Please tell me your feelings."

The youth said,
"Number 1, I learned what is appreciation, because without my mother, I will never be successful today."
"Number 2, I learned how to helped my mother. I realized how hard we need to work to achieve something."
"Number 3, I learned the importance and value of family relationship."

The Director said, "This is what I am asking, I want to recruit a person that can appreciate the help of another, a person who appreciate the efforts of others to get things done, and a person that would not put money as his only goal in life to be my Manager. You are hired."

Later on, this young person worked very hard, and earned the respect of his subordinates. Every employees worked diligently as a team and the company's results improved tremendously.

A child who has been overly protected and habitually given whatever he wants will developed "entitlement mentality" and always put himself first. He is ignorance of his parent's effort & sacrifice. When he starts to work, he will assume everyone must listen to him. When he becomes a Manager, he would never know how the hard work his employees go through and always blame others. This kind of people may be successful for awhile, but eventually would not feel satisfied. They will grumble, become demanding and fight for more. As parents, did we love the kid or destroy the kid when we are overly protective and fail to teach them the values of appreciation and sacrifice.

You can let your kid live in a big house, eat a good meal, take expensive piano lessons or watch a big screen TV. But when you are cutting grass, please let them experienced it. After a meal, let them wash their plates and bowls together with their brothers and sisters. It is not because you don't have money to hire a maid, but it is because you want to love them in a right way. You want them to understand, no matter how rich we are, one day our will become gray, like the mother of that young person. The most important thing is your kid learn how to appreciate the effort and sacrifice of others.

This entry is dedicated to my parents, aunt & sister. I loved you all. Thank you very much for all your love, care & sacrifice all these years. May you be blessed with good health & happiness always.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Save A Marriage

NOTE: This story is not about me.

When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I've got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.

Suddenly I didn't know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly.

She didn't seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why?

I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we didn't talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; I had lost my heart to Jane. I didn't love her anymore. I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company.

She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn't have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane.

When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn't want anything from me, but needed a month's notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month's time and she didn't want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day.

She requested that every day for the month's duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.

I told Jane about my wife's divorce conditions. . She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.

My wife and I hadn't had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mommy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don't tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn't looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me.

On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn't tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.

She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all her dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.

Suddenly it hit me... she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.

Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it's time to carry mom out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.

But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn't noticed that our life lacked intimacy.

I drove to office.... jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind...I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore.

She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Jane, I said, I won't divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn't value the details of our lives, not because we didn't love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart.
Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away.

At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I'll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.

That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed - dead. My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push thru with the divorce. At least, in the eyes of our son, I'm a loving husband....

The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves. So find time to be your spouse's friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage!

If you don't share this, nothing will happen to you.

If you do, you just might save a marriage.

Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

This story was written by Itoro 'Ausafrik' Okon. This story is not about me.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Meaning of Bathing The Buddha during Vesak Day

Today is Vesak Day and I visited my aunt temple in Cheras with my daughter & father. My sis was not feeling well so my mum stayed home to accompany her. We paid homage to Lord Buddha and once again, I encouraged my 6 years old daughter to kneel down and bath the statue of The Buddha. My Dad kept asking me to take photos of my daughter bathing statue of The Buddha but I didn't because I felt this is not a playful event.

Pic of my daughter Angelina taken in 2008 during Vesak Day

Then it occurred to me, after almost 5 years of being a Buddhist, I never really understand the meaning of bathing The Buddha ritual during Vesak Day. So I goggled it and below is one of the best explanation that I can relate to.

2. Bathing The Statue Of The Buddha Symbolizes Our Aspiration, Determination and Effort To Purify Our Body, Speech And Mind

3. Purification of The Body
No Killing
No Stealing
No Sexual Misconduct

4. Purification of The Speech * No Lying * No Slander * No Harsh Speech * No Gossip

5. Purification of The Mind * No Covetousness * No Hatred * No Delusion

6. BATHING OF THE BUDDHA - Let us aspire to cleanse our mind of GREED, HATRED and DELUSION

For more explanation, please click HERE.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Used vs Loved

While a man is polishing his new car,
his 4 years old son picked up a stone,
and scratched lines on the side of the car.
In anger, the man took the child's hand
and hit it many times not realizing
he was using a wrench.

At the hospital, the child lost all his fingers
due to multiple fractures.

When the child saw the father.....
with painful eyes he asked, "Dad, when will my fingers grow back?"
The man was so hurt and speechless;
he went back to his car and kicked it many times.

Devastated by his own actions.....
he sat in front of that car and look at the scratches;
his son had written 'LOVE YOU DAD'
The next day that man committed suicide.

Anger and Love have no limits
choose the latter to have a beautiful, lovely life
and remember this:
Things are to be used and People are to be loved
The problem in today's world is that
people are used while things are loved

Let's try to keep this in mind
Things are to be used
People are to be loved

Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become character;
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.

I saw the story above while waiting in a kindergarden. Made me realised how important it is for us to be mindful of our thoughts, words and actions constantly.

May we be blessed with wisdom to do what is wholesome, and patience to restrain what is unwholesome.

Read The Buddha's teachings on anger here.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Perfect Couple

Received this interesting picture below from my friend Susan. I posted it up here seeing that a happy marriage leads to harmony and joy for the couple, their family, friends and beyond.

Imagine if there are no arguments, fights, breakups or divorces anymore. The world will be so much more a better place. Wishing everyone peace and love always.

Please click on the image to enlarge it.