I am Miri

My two journalists are featured in the “I am Miri”. “I am Miri” is a series of “faces” being featured in the celebrations of Miri elevating to City Status on 20.05.2005. The faces chosen are based on races and professions.

I am very impressed by this series of advertisements with just two faces everyday labeled with names, race and profession and “I am Miri”.

Yes, a city is all about people, isn’t it not? A story was told of an old man who was sitting at the entrance of a city. He was approached by two men and he gave him totally different opinion about the city.

The first young man approach him and asked:

“I am not from here. Tell me old man, how are the people of this city?”

Instead of answering his question, the old man asked:

“In the city where you come from, how were the people?”

The young man responded,

“Egotistic and wicked, so much so that I could no longer take it. That is why I prefer to leave.”

The old man then said, “Pity, my dear. I shall advise you to continue on your way. People here are equally wicked and all are egotistic.”

A little later, another young man approached the same old man and said:

“Greetings to you who is wise with age! I should like tosettle down in this place. Tell me, how are the people wholive in this town?”

And, the old man asked him:”Tell me first, where from do you come, and how were the people there?”

The young man said in an enthusiastic voice: “Honest, good, and welcoming! I had only friends there, and oh how I was pained to leave them!”

The old man said:

“Well, here, you will also find only honestpeople, welcoming, and full of kindness.”

A merchant who was watering his camels not far from these exchanges and had heard all, asked the old man:

“How is it possible, old man, who I know tobe wise, to give two truthful, but diametrically opposite, replies to the same question? Is it a case of April Fools?”

“My son,” said the old man, “Each one carries, in his heart, his own universe. And, that is what he will find every place he goes.Therefore, regardless where he goes, that will always be what he finds.”

I am Miri, I am honest people, welcoming, and full of kindness. Shall we wish “I am Miri” such a city with each one carries in his heart – honesty, welcoming, integrity, kindness?


Shoes, Choices and Decisions

I have a dream that I have been dreaming over and over since childhood. It’s a dream about going somewhere without shoes. It may be going to school, going to work, going to a party, or going on a trip. There are different occasions, but the horrible part is always “with no shoes”. Or sometimes, it was dropping the shoes into the river or from a tall building.

During my childhood days, I stayed in a small village. Having a pair of shoes was then a luxury. Most of the children went to school bare-footed. I was no exception. The school was about 20-minute walk from my house. It was a small road.

I always interpret the dream as “fear” and “insecurity”.

On one occasion when I was conducting a Million Leaders Mandate to a group of Girls’ Brigade Officers, I shared with them this dream. I could not remember why this dream was shared. But, I know it was shared in connection with the lessons that I delivered on fear and insecurity.

One of the participants thought it could be “choices”. She thought I have too many choices and could not decide which shoes to wear, and ended up with not wearing any shoes.

Last night as I prepared my lessons for sharing during the coming Girls’ Brigade Malaysia National Officers Retreat in Malacca at the end of the month, I came across this very interesting story on shoes and choices. Here it is –

Joseph Henry used to tell a rather strange story about hischildhood. His grandmother paid a cobbler to make him a pair of shoes.

The man measured his feet and told Joseph that he could choose between two styles: a rounded toe or a square toe.

Little Joseph couldn't decide. It seemed to be such a huge decision; afterall, they would become his only pair of shoes for a long time.The cobbler allowed him to take a couple of days to makeup his mind.

Day after day, Joseph went into the shop, sometimes three or four times a day! Each time he looked over the cobbler's shoes and tried to decide.

The round-toed shoes were more practical, but the square toes looked more fashionable. He continued to procrastinate. He wanted to make up his mind, but he just couldn't decide!

Finally, one day he went into the shop and the cobblerhanded him a parcel wrapped in brown paper. His new shoes!

He raced home. He tore off the wrapping and found a beautiful pair of leather shoes – one with a rounded toe and the other with a square toe!