Thursday, September 30, 2010

guide to a better life

Found this in my inbox this morning. A friend took the time to share something wonderful, and I thought I'd share it too. Blessed be the person who wrote this for others to learn from:

1. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about. 2. Don't have negative thought on things you cannot control. Instead, invest your energy in the positive present moment. 3. Don't overdo; keep your limits. 4. Don't take yourself so seriously; no one else does. 5. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip. 6. Dream more while you are awake. 7. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need. 8. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner of his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness. 9. Life is too short to waste hating anyone; don't hate others. 10. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present. 11. No one is in-charge of your happiness except you. 12. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. 13. Smile and laugh more. 14. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Rubber Band andThe Wave

John Gray again :-) (Men are from Mars, women are from Venus). I find the comparisons a bit weird in the beginning but they made sense after reading his explanation:

Men = rubber bands

They can't love like women, which is basically "forever". In loving, men go through a cycle of getting close, pulling away, and then getting close again. This pulling away, according to Gray, is men's means to fulfill their needs for independence, them being the "in-control" Martians. Without the pulling away phase, they get depleted, and won't be able to give love as the women do. Why rubber band? Because when a man pulls away, it's like a rubber band that, when fully stretched away, will instantly springs back, and full of love again. When he has satisfied his needs for independence, he would be able to give his loving once again...

Women= waves

Their self-esteems rise like waves when they feel loved. The good feeling helps them to reach the peak, but like waves crashing down, their mood can change ocassionally. This change is temporary though. Once the wave hits the bottom, (i.e the woman feels empty, unloved short), it rises up automatically again. Gray says this stage happens around the same time that a woman has her PMS (no in-depth studies on this though)...and it makes sense.

Best advice Gray gives to women: Don't panic when your man pulls away. Give him time to regain his sense of indipendence, of being in control. He'll naturally come back when he has had his 'recharge'. In other way, trying to force him to be loving when he is not in the right mood will only suffocate him and make him stressed out.

And to men: when the wave hits the bottom, don't try to fix it, i.e by giving advice. At this stage, what your woman needs is a shoulder to cry on, a pair of listening ears, someone to unload all her worries and concerns. A man might get confused though, because most of the time it would be the same old issues and worries that make the woman feel down. But that's how it is. She just needs to 'unload'. When she feels that she has been listened to well, she feels loved, and she will rise to the peak again.

Hmm...complicated. When the rubber band needs to stretch and the wave hits the bottom at the same time? That's when fights occur. So, Gray says, it is important to realize this...the woman should find close girl friends instead to unload. Because who better than girlfriends that can understand a woman? Good advice...

Friday, September 3, 2010

Child labour: oppresion or humanity?

At this time of the year when Hari Raya is around the corner, the roads in Kota Kinabalu are almost impossible to pass through. Having spent an hour on the road from the office to my children's school (which, in normal driving time would only be 25 minutes) to pick them up today, (besides I needed to get the kuih rayas I ordered from the school canteen. In the spirit of the festive season, I feel like celebrating too), I decided to detour and took the children for lunch somewhere quiet, near Jalan Lintas.

I didn't realize it at first, but very soon I noticed that the restaurant was full of little servers, ranging from about 8 to 14 years of age. They look- sorry to say this- but they do look like illegal immigrants, which are abundant in Sabah. The boss of the restaurant had to shout orders to them a few times; obviously their mastery of Malay is still quite limited.

They scurried around together from table to table whenever one of them had to serve customers, looking scared and confused. Once I heard the boss say "mau ambil satu order pun mau beikut-ikut kah" (Even taking an order you have to go in group?). And they just stared at the boss blankly, perhaps not understanding what he said.

It occured to me that they might have been forced to look for employment in the name of survival. And I remember a newspaper article in a local daily early in this year about how children (teenagers) of illegal immigrants in the particular area are marrying and breeding like rabbits. I looked at them and felt so bad. Why oh why this phenomenon must exist in this world? People have to live in a place as illegal immigrants, make do with surviving day to day, deprived from education and the basic comforts of life.

It is generally believed that child labour is a form of opression, but in this case, is it really? It seems to me that there is an element of being humane in least giving the hungry kids some food to eat, if not letting them earn some money, no matter how meagre for their family.

I wish the world doesn't have to be like this...

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