Surpassing yourself


I went to Liu Yong (picture left) talk in Sibu last night. The talk show which was held in Civic Centre here was packed. All proceeds of tickets go to the Chinese education.

This is Liu Yong’s second visit to Sibu. The first one was nine years ago.

Liu Yong is a writer also an artist. He has published many books. Majority of his readers are young students. His writing is imbued with concern and affection. Titles like “Surpassing yourself, Trusting yourself, Creating yourself” gives the young readers a sense of intimacy.

Nine years ago, I attended his talk. Nine years later, I attended his talk – what’s the difference? Liu Yong is still Liu Yong. He still cares. He is still concerned with the young ones. He still loves the Chinese education here in Malaysia. He still presents his best. He still tells stories. The only difference is I have aged. I would not line up to get books being signed by him. I still love hearing his stories.

If you have young daughters growing, grab a copy of his book titled “Growing is a beautiful Pain” and read. This is a book she wrote to his daughter (or anybody else’s daughter). In it, there are gentle instructions on how a girl might discover and cherish the good in life. There are exhortations on independence and self-reliance.

May God Bless You, Liu Yong, for all the good deeds you have done for the Chinese education in Malaysia, for all the life’s little instructions given to the young ones, for all the wisdom given unreservedly to parents.

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Posted in Soul Quest. Comments Off on Surpassing yourself

Tun and the young ones

Tun Dr Mahathir (Malaysia former Prime Minister) may have disappointed reporters for that response of “Dont want – lah”. The newspaper reported that eager reporters hoping for quotable quotes from Tun were disappointed. Tun and his wife were leaving a gathering for the celebration of the second anniversary of a magazine for the young ones called “Bintang Kecil”.

Well, Tun and his wife have definitely not dispapointed the young ones at the gathering. The newspaper reported that the children wanted to know how they celebrated their birthdays, their ambitions, their take on fashion, the animal which they found most repulsive and the difference between today’s children and those in their younger days.

The answers?

Birthdays – Tun usually celebrated his birthdays outside the country accompanied by his wife and several bodyguards in the past. Now, for his 80th birthday, he had many invitations to mark this auspicious occasion. So, Tun had not decided?

Ambition – Dr Siti Hasnah (Tun’s wife) aspired to be a journalist when she was young. But, later she changed her mind to take up medicine. Why? Because her mother fell ill and no one could tell what she was suffering from.

Now and then – Young girls in Dr Siti Hasnah’s days wore whatever their parents picked for them. Today’s children had magazines, TV and friends to influence their fashion.

Animals – Tun finds snakes the most repulsive animal. This is a feeling which he had since he was young.

I would not have been disappointed with such warm answers to the young ones! With the not-so-good feeling news like helicipter crash news at home, the AP controversy, to take away the “Dr” title, a photo of Tun with the young ones whould have made my day. Unfortunately, I did not see one in the local newspapers here in Sarawak.

Updated: On my way back home in the plane just now, I got hold a copy of NST, and yes, NST carried the photo. Read and see the picture here.

Posted in Soul Reflections. Comments Off on Tun and the young ones

Perfecting and shaping

My dear friend “SMSed” me yesterday that she is going to start her “braces” mission. She had one tooth extracted. Another one to go this Friday.

I thought, she would look kind of funny with a mouth full of metal. I also thought, what is the point of putting up with the aggravation to let your mouth be invaded with metal, cement and platic?

I did not have much time to give myself an answer until today. Yes, the hardship of going through the “braces” journey or mission is for the reward of a million-dollar smile that will last through the rest of her life. She just has to live with the little annoyances and pain for a while, she’ll be rewarded with that “perfect-smile”.

How true it is in our marriage life. There are little annoyances. There are little pains. There are even sorrows no less than joys. There are daylong tug-of-war at times. There are some inconveniences at crucial times. There are times when sharp edges poke you. But, God is perfecting us, straightening us out, shaping us into something beautiful to share, cherish with our partner. And the reward? Anniversary after anniversary.

Yes, my husband and I are rejoicing over the ability to press through 19 years of shared life!

19 years, and entering 20th year…

Something still remains

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen nor touched, but are felt in the heart. At the soft launching of “Heritage in Health” yesterday, I picked up a few things to think about –

History, although sometimes made up of the few acts of the great, is more often shaped by the many acts of the small – Mark Twain

Sarawak Health Department’s effort in getting some 80 retired personnel to come back “home” to share, discuss and contribute towards the documentation of the history of health services in Sarawak is so heartwarming because it remembers the acts of the small.

Just as time passes, so do memories pass as well, but those who stirred our spirits sing in our hearts forever. – Author unknown

I like the powerpoint presentation of the “Then and Now”. The presentation shows the photos of the old hospitals, clinics and the new hospitals; the retired medical personnel and the existing serving medical personnel.

At the end of the presentation, there were few pictures of joyous moments titled “something still remains” – we are still dancing, we are still celebrating birthdays, we are still having fun.

The faces of the participants were so radiant with joy – they may not remember the days, but I know they remember moments.

Memories are good. You never know when you are making a memory. The soft launching itself yesterday is a history today!

Footnote:
“Heritage in Health” – a History of Health Services in Sarawak is a joint project of Sarawak Health Department, Society of Private Medical Practitioners and The Borneo Post with the assistance from the State Library, Sarawak Museum and Universiti Malaysia, Sarawak (Unimas).

Expected output from the project are –
Series of publication under the “Heritage in Health, Sarawak”
– Coffee table book
– Bographies
– Monographs
– Pictorial Albums
– Websites
– Documentary
– Medical History Library
– Display of exhibits at the Lau King Howe Museum

Refusing to Live Small

I was at a very informal, warm company yesterday morning in Kuching with many health care personnel. Informal it may be, but the purpose of the gathering is noble.

The host started with very warm greetings –

Good morning, grand-uncles, grand-aunties, uncles, aunties ….

How long has it been since you last heard such a warm greeting? Who could have been so inspiring as to start off the gathering with such sweet and warm greetings? It’s Dr Flora Ong. When the Director of Health Sarawak, Dr Yao Sik King spoke, she started off with same warm greetings!

It was the gathering for health care personnel, both retired and existing, for the noble cause of documenting the history of the services of health care in Sarawak. The project is called “Heritage in Health.”

It is a beautiful beginning of a beautiful story. As Dr Yao put it, “Sarawak is the biggest state in the country. Through the years, the medical staff had to overcome huge challenges to provide health services to the people.”

It is also a noble plan to plan such a noble project. The project is not only to documents the history of the health services development in Sarawak, but also to give due recognition to those who helped to build the services to it is today.

As I recalled the event yesterday, I could not help but to mention the story of Jabez as told in the Bible, 1 Chronicles 4. Jabez’s story is told in only one paragraph. The paragraph that tells it begins with this sentence –

Jabez was more honourable than his brothers.

It was what the Bible that calls honour that drove Jabez to rise above and live the large and bountiful life God had ordained.

The “Heritage in Health” will record many, many medical personnel who had contributed, who is still contributing to the health services. It may be in one paragraph, or even in one sentence, but –

If one but tell a thing well
it moves on with undying voice
and over the fruitful earth and across
the sea goes the bright gleam of
noble deed ever unquenchable.
– Pindar

Yum, yum, good!

A doctor friend commented yesterday:

Many kids are now obese , KFC , Mc Donald’s etc … and with gameboy, physical exercise just does not exist. Plus with good yummy food from the mother.

I like that little plus – with good yummy food from the mother…

It warms my heart despite the fact that the first statement is not so pleasing to the heart. I am in fact guilty of the many “sins”. But having a mother who prepared yummy food, and being a mother who prepares yummy food – I take that little plus as a praise.

You are sitting at dinner, and the yummy food prepared by your mother were served, much to your delight. You take one bite and one thing for sure, you would not sit there saying nothing. “Yum, yum good. Thank you mother.” That’s the least you would say.

Or your children are sitting at dinner, when the chicken pie you prepare is served. Your children with their eyes wide open, mouth watering, but still do not forget to say, “Thank you mummy, your pie melts in my mouth.”

We were made to priase. And we were also made to receive praises. We were made to like praises.

C.S. Lewis said, you praise because praise completes your enjoyment of the thing or person being praised.

Just like when you praise God – your enjoyment of Him will be complete, not so He’ll feel better about Himself.

Thank you, dear friend, for that little plus that really made my day!

The Swan


Swan Posted by Picasa

The Borneo Post carries this story captioned “Sibu “invaded” by swans” yesterday –

Suddenly, Sibu town is “invaded” by a host of swans with the latest one finding a place in front of Li Hua Hotel at Jalan Esplanade.

Perched above an artificial waterfall the swan is 29 feet high and 23 feet wide.

My knowledge of swan starts with the old bedtime story, the Ugly Duckling.

Remember the first time the Ugly Duckling saw a flock of swans? He had spent his whole life as an ugly duckling, the world convinced him, that he was the ugly one. Then, one cold autumn evening, he saw a whole flock of graceful white birds flying south to warmer lands. As he watched them in the sky, the ugly duckling was gripped with a strange joy. He did not know what these majestic birds were, but he loved them more than he had ever loved any other things.

He did not know that the swan’s beauty spoke of him, of his true self, of his true identity. But he was one of them. He was destined to be that beautiful!

Muster the courage to join the swans and discover that you are a swan from the start!

There are many other lessons we can learn from the “swan”. I did a search of the “swan” and found the following facts about swan and what we can learn –

Graceful – Swan is a graceful bird. Be graceful too.

There are few major types of swans:

Mute swan – This swan is more quiet than other swans. Be a “mute swan” when people gossip. Sibu has been named as a “gossip town”. Make it a town free of gossips.

Whistling swan – whistle when you are happy, it will bring some joy to other people.

Trumpeter swan – rejoice over the many uniqueness of the town, the people, the food, the gardens, the cleanliness …

Faithful – When they are 2 or 3 years old, swans choose mates during highly vocal courtship displays. In one such display, called the Triumph ceremony, the male and female face each other, raise their wing, and call loudly. Mated swans usually stay together for life. – stay together with your mate for life, like the swans do.

Protective – The female usually lays four to six whitish eggs. Among most swans, only the female sits ont he eggs to keep them warm. But the male black swan share this duty with the female. The eggs must be warmed 30 to 35 days before they hatch. During this period, swans will attack foxes, dogs, people, and any other possible threats to their eggs. – always protects, always upholds like the female swans.

Family Ties – Swans have strong family ties. The young may remain with the parents until it is time to choose a mate – honour your parents, young ones. Even the swans do!

God has certainly blessed Sibu over the years. God blesses people so that the people might be a blessing to others. In other words, God blesses us not just that we would experience happiness, but so that many others might experience the same happiness of knowing the God who works in their lives.

It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich, and He adds no sorrow to it. Proverbs 10:22