You can save a life

 

Your simple smile can save a life.
Your hug can save a life.
Your laughter can save a life.                                                                                                             Your ‘hello’ can save a life.
Your encouragement can save a life.
Your text message can save a life.
Your email can save a life
Your compliments can save a life.
Your pat on a shoulder can save a life.
Your helping hand can save a life.
Your stories can save a life.                                                                                                                     Your presence can save a life.                                                                                                                 Your prayer can save a life.
You can save a life.

Do you know how powerful every human being is?  We are capable of goodness and greatness.  Our life experience can heal others.  That our life journey and mission whilst creating greatness for ourselves, we also create greatness in others.

Isn’t life a journey ?Not so much to a destination but toward transformation.     

The richest and awesome times of our life also comes come right in the midst of our hardest times.                                                                                                                                                               
God made us to live in community, to laugh and cry, to hurt and celebrate together no matter what we are going through.

Transformation is tough and sometimes we don’t always end up where we want to be but we live in believe because God believes in us. He fills our life with purpose and passion, if we just let Him into our life to walk the journey with us.

The best part of the journey is God of the universe allows us to play our part in changing the world.

The world is you and I.   We need each other.

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GONG XI GONG XI

The Year of the Monkey.

2016, the year of great adventures and awesome possibilities.  

May we be as active as the Monkey to tirelessly search and achieve our dreams.

Curious like the Monkey to dare to dream and reach our potential.

I wish everyone the best this year.  May your goals and dreams come true.

Remember to share your fortune no matter big or small,  with the less fortunate.  

Giving is Receiving!  Through your generosity, you will receive  A THOUSANDFOLD of Blessings and with FULL OF LOVE in return, GUARANTEED.

Stay Blessed and continue your journey even when it is rocky and stormy.

 

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Honour Thy Father and Thy Mother

I have been absent for a long while now.   This morning, I sat myself down  and quickly pen this down to share my thoughts and feelings with you before I do my other chores.

I love watching CSI’s series. 

Today, a scene in CSI NY  (sorry turned the episode on halfway so did not know the title),  was about one of the CSI staff visiting his aged father in a home.  He wanted his father to remember how abusive he was towards him and kept pushing his father to remember.  He wanted his father to apologise to him and feel  the guilt.  He wanted his father to feel his own anger  of being an abused son.  Unfortunately, his aged father cannot remember.  He was so angry and hurt that his father cannot feel what he wanted him to feel.

Towards the end of the series, his superior spoke with him.  He shared to his superior  how much he wanted his father to feel his pain of being an abused son.  Throughout the conversation with his superior,  what he really wanted was to have his father back; the moment as a young boy whom his dad would take him to the record store to buy records.   He wanted to hurt his father but yet wanted to forgive him but couldn’t.  He wanted to release the pain he was carrying.  His superior said this “you wanted to remember him as a good dad.  You carrying the baggage will make it harder for you to accept him. He is also a victim.”

In the last scene, he reminisces his happy days by sharing a record he loved (his father’s collection with his girlfriend who told him that she is there to journey with him.

I enjoy CSI for many reasons.  There are so many lessons one can learn.  I love lessons like what I have watched today.

My own aged father can be annoying because of his stubbornness.  He argues with all of us even when he cannot remember that he did something but denied it.  He was not always there for me growing up and in certain ways, I felt what that actor felt in the moment.  It is  true for me, that I wish I had the father who would dote on me when I was 4 years old.  He would take me around on his bike and spend so much time with me when he could.  He was not abusive but avoid confrontation when there was any at home. 

On the other hand, I see him a fragile man getting older by the day and living his 2nd childhood except that physically he is an adult.  I am thankful today, I am reminded that my father was also a victim of circumstances and he did his best he knew how then.  He was who he was.

I am thankful he is still around and able to be with me and for me to care for  him together with my aged mum too.  I will do my best to provide and care for them with God’s grace. Yes, I have to sacrifice certain freedom and also postpone things I want to do for myself.  I know God has better plans for me and I trust Him to live my life.

4th Commandment –  Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.

— Exodus 20:12 

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My Father’s simple advice

After work I  stopped by  my regular mamak (Indian Muslim) shop to buy their favourite roti pratha and the Tarik.  The roti canai man asked me “Where is Tata and Pati?” “Why so long, don’t come?”

“They are at home and I am here to ‘ta pau’ (pack) for them.”  Immediately, he prepared my orders.  The Teh Tarik man also  asked, “Tata and Pati want teh tarik?” and I nodded. He replied “Ok”

It was heartwarming every time I hear strangers,  waiters and food vendors call my parents, ‘Tata, Pati’ or Atok, Nenek or even Kong Kong, Poh Poh…..

My family have always been blessed with good friendships and relationships with strangers who would be there in our times of need.  These are the blessings of which my father always taught us since young, that “No matter what people do to us, we must always be good.  It is because we will receive the blessings when the time comes.”  He is right.  Even at 85, he still holds fast to his philosophy of always treat people good even when they treat us otherwise.

My father does not hold grudges.  He gets angry for a while and then he forgives and forgets, literally.

When we were poor and had very little, he would always say we are grateful we have a roof and some food on the table. A man with simple needs and simple demands in life.   I have never heard him complained about not having enough.  To him, what he had in front of him was suffice.  He was also one of those who did not like quarrels and fights at home.  He always would leave the house when my mother wanted to punish me and that was one of the things I used to resent him for.  He was not there to support and help me.

He was away for 4 years when I was only 6 years old. I had a hard time coping without a father.  However, mum and I would travel by bus or train to visit him in the North part of the country during the holidays.  I would write him letters every day since I was 7 years old and that got me interested in letter writing until the keyboard got me lazy to write (ha…ha…ha…).

He would open his door to help anyone in need.  I remembered him helping the community he was living with by building a playground for the children there.  He was a strong and keen in building things.  I think he got some friends to help him.  I only remember certain things he did there.

To him, hurting people hurt ourselves and God is always watching what we do.   He never asked for recognition nor fame.  He would shy away when people complimented him. He would say,”Oh.. we must help one another.”

I give tribute to my father today by writing this to appreciate him and to remember the simple philosophy he has.  It is a tough act to follow even for me.  Pa,thank you for being my father. I love you and I am glad I can take care of you at this age.

You believe you are strong till today because God is watching over you and every thing is planned by Him.  Even at this age, you still hold on to being good and be trusting. “Always do good and have a clean heart.”  That is your simple advice.

 

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True Story of Unconditional Love

This is truly a remarkable true story.  A brave act of unconditional love of a woman for an abandoned child.  A beautiful gift to her amidst of what she has  to go through in her life now and in the future.

May you be filled with abundant blessings this Christmas and your loved ones be close to you always!

1John 4: 18

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

You will have Mixed Feelings Watching This!

In the beginning, my emotions were all over the place watching this film.  As it progressed further, I became angry and disheartened.

I was angry when he was imprisoned. That familiar emotion ran through my body.   “Why should I be in ‘jail’ for being good.  Haven’t I suffered enough.  What have I done to deserve it?  What more do You want from me?”

Towards the end, I  believe and know that in life, our good deeds will always help us through our toughest time, when we least expect it.

Have you experienced it yourself?

How much do you and I take for granted the things we possess?

How often are we grateful and thankful for what we already have?

How often have we shared with others even when we think they don’t deserve?

Mark 12:41-44

41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.

43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

Respect is a two-way Street

“The way you treat people shows your respect for them. In turn, you earn theirs.”

  ANWAR COURT-4

‘Invisible’ help: We need people like street sweepers and garbage collectors, who deserve some respect and recognition, too.

ONE morning as I was driving to work, the radio was on and one particular comment by the host of a programme caught my attention. The host said that you can judge the type of man a CEO is by the way he treats a waiter.   I guess, to some extent, it is true that how we treat others reflects on our character. Do we accord due respect to street sweepers, garbage collectors, toilet cleaners, waiters and the like?

I was reminded of an encounter I had at a food court some years ago. I used to visit this place at a shopping mall when I wanted a change for lunch. During one visit, I browsed the stalls one by one before deciding on my favourite dish – prawn noodles. After collecting my food, I looked around for a cosy spot.   I do enjoy having my meals alone, and this is something many people find difficult to understand. I consider it quality time – with myself – as I have the chance to savour my food, and enjoy its colours, smell and taste. Ah, the bliss of solitude!

As I sat there quietly enjoying my noodles, I noticed a few cleaners clearing the trays, bowls and glasses left by the lunch crowd. After I had finished eating, a cleaner came and quietly took my tray away. I looked at him, smiled and thanked him. He seemed too shy to respond. As he continued to wipe the table in front of me, I thanked him again and went on my way.

A week later, I was at the same food court and went through the same ritual of ordering my food and looking for an empty table. I ate my meal and the same cleaner came to clear my tray. Again I smiled and thanked him. This time, he smiled back.

A couple of days later, I went back to the same place for a bowl of assam laksa. As I was walking towards the food court, I could see a man waving at me from afar. He was indicating that there was a vacant table. It was the cleaner I had greeted and thanked!

As I neared, he started wiping not only the table but the seat as well. I felt so undeserving and humbled by that simple gesture of a stranger whom I had done nothing for except smiled at and said thank you to. I looked at him and he smiled shyly. I said thank you to him once more and he quickly walked away.

(By the way, after that day, I never saw him again. My regret was not asking his name and affirming him for a job well done. My hope is that God will bless him and that his life will be better because he deserves better.)

That day I learnt a valuable lesson about respect for another human being. No matter who a person is and what kind of work he does, he deserves respect and recognition. Not only will it make his day but mine as well.

We always forget that a simple smile or nod or even friendly eye contact can communicate respect and recognition. These are basic things we have been taught since young. They give dignity to every human being. Because I smiled and thanked the cleaner, he did something for me which I never expected.

But nowadays, things are very different. Many adults do not show simple manners like smiling or saying “thank you” when someone holds the lift or opens the door for them. They just walk out, as if the door was being held by an invisible person.

My sister and I tell ourselves to perform an act of kindness every day and it has become a habit. Once she helped the supermarket workers push a long line of trolleys.   Of course, they were surprised and other shoppers wondered what she was doing. I was proud of her because that started our day on a positive note.

I was also very proud of what my niece, then six years old, did. We were in the washroom when she noticed a lady throwing tissue on the floor, instead of into the bin provided. She turned and commented about the lady. Embarrassed, the latter picked up her tissue. Did it really need a child to point out the adult’s irresponsible act?

Once I told my niece to express appreciation to the “kakak” who helped keep the washrooms clean – and she did, by thanking her. If you were the kakak, wouldn’t that have made your day better? I think that sort of affirmation and appreciation made her feel that her job was important – which it is indeed.

Do we take for granted people who take on jobs that most others don’t want? Without these wonderful people, we would not have clean toilets, clean tables, clean roads, and garbage-free homes. Without them, our lives would be chaotic. Do we give them the respect they deserve? Do we give them the respect that we believe we deserve?

We are all CEOs and how we treat a waiter reflects our attitude. I have deliberately taken jobs washing dishes, served and worked in community service, and have learnt about people’s attitude and my own. Lots of people think their money can buy everything, including respect. Wrong! Respect really has to be earned!

I still have lots to learn about respect but these lessons I encounter every day are my best teachers. Who knows, the waiter, toilet cleaner or that stranger could become a CEO or someone who might even save your life one day – all because you smiled at him/her. I believe what goes around comes around, whether you ask for it or not.

 

 “Everyone in society should be a role model, not only for their own self-respect, but for respect from others.” – Barry Bonds

 

Catherine Lim

Published in The Star
Thursday July 19, 2012