Fly Away With Me

An article I came across on the internet. Pretty good story and good insights too.

“A little bird was soaring happily in the sky as she took in the sights of
nature. Suddenly, a few stones struck her on her left wing. It came from a mischievous boy who thought it would be a good idea to hit the bird. She suffered some cuts and bruises to her left wing and couldn’t fly properly after that.

The little bird had no choice but to make for the ground and land in order to ease the pain. She landed with little grace, for the pain affected her ability to make a smooth touch down. She seemed to be in anguish and couldn’t really stand up straight.

Along came another little boy, who was talking a leisure stroll along the path where the bird landed. He saw that the bird was injured, and was determined to aid the bird as much as he could. He took the bird into his tender arms and tended to its wound with his handkerchief. With much care and affection, the bird was well rested and thus was able to fly again. The bird flew away, and made for the skies once more.

Now while the bird was able to fly again, its flight would be impeded for the rest of her days because the impact shattered something within her wing and the pain, while greatly reduced, would stick with her for all the flight time she would have left.

She remembers the boy who stoned her, but she flew off from the boy who tended to her with little more than a moment of thankfulness. After she could fly again, she made off for higher grounds and left the boy by himself without any further signs or showings of friendship. Did the boy mind? No. He was glad to have helped the bird, and continued on his stroll with a smile on his face, knowing he was of good use and help today.

The problem with some of us these days is that we remember deeply those who have hurt us, and not so deeply those who have loved us. Memories of the people who shattered us and caused our world to crash are deeply etched in the mind, yet it is not so easy to recall specific memories of special persons who pulled us up and out of the pits and picked up the pieces for us.

If I may venture a guess, I think it is because we blame others for our downfalls and misery, but we take credit for ourselves when we succeed or get back on our feet. We lament how this person brought us to our knees, wrecked our lives; yet we forget the significant person who turned things around for us, tried his/her best to plaster (excuse the pun) a smile on our faces with optimism and positive suggestion/influence etc.

As with the bird in the story above, she remembers deeply and painfully the boy who threw the stones at her and injured her left wing. Indeed, while the second boy couldn’t fully heal her wing, he at least made things better for her with whatever he could; if anything, he could have just walked away and not cared at all. For the bird and for some of us, some individuals are just interim measures to get us back on our feet and it is indeed cruel to just walk away after we have regained our footing.

So yes, let us remember to be grateful to those who have helped us regain our sense of direction and sense of self, those that enable us to find our bearings again. We owe it to them to erase whatever pain or damage that was previously inflicted, and to make what is to come better.

Perhaps my story isn’t complete: maybe the bird does remember the second boy fondly, and it is possible that she could be waiting for the right time to repay this deed of kindness and love.”

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We Think Things Important

Just a few more thoughts before we head into Christmas and end the year shortly afterwards. 

It’s true: we think material things are important. Some of us make it our main pursuit in life to make as much money as we possibly can so that we can afford the best cars and the finest foods. No doubt, the importance of money cannot be more strongly iterated and it is right to think that having things that we like is important. 

To have a decent car, a lovely house and to indulge in some of the things we like is central to our survival and wellness. We gain financial freedom and ease any frustrations or worry when we have more than enough to get through our daily life; in fact we gain and spread happiness by buying the things we want and sharing what we have with others. One who discounts the significance of money certainly must not have thought things through. 

There however comes a point where life is considerably comfortable and basic necessities are met. Anything that comes after that counts as luxury and in some ways, probably excess that we have for rainy days or to give to others. That is the point where we start to place less importance on money making and material possessions, and start shifting our focus elsewhere. 

I’ll use some examples to illustrate some thoughts. Say we have a Jaguar, a prime example of an English luxury car. It gets us around in good comfort, and we probably feel satisfied owning one. We may have spent years of our lives slogging to gain ownership of it, to work for the bucks to eventually buy the car and drive it home. 

On the other hand, we have people around us and moments to live through. To earn the amount tagged to the ownership of the car, we neglect our families, friends and we forget to live and cherish the key moments in our lives. People step out of our lives without us knowing, peaks and glorious sceneries are passed without even a cursory glance.. How does that come up against that luxury piece of machinery we previously placed so much importance on? 

An Aston Martin can be built and bought again. Your friend might not be there anymore when you decide to call him after an absent window of years. A penthouse can be raised and purchased again. The missed laughters heard in the hall of years gone by may not be audible again even if you strain to hear them. Material affairs can be reconstructed and made again, but try to recreate a moment in time or to bring someone back to life.. Not possible. 

What are the important things in life again? 

Drive that Mercedes.. Take your family out for a meal, drive out to the sea with your best friend, and remember to always be grateful for who we are and what we have in life. 

We All Need …….. To Lean On 

pa quick one as always, my window to write is again short. As you can see from the title, I deliberately left the middle portion blank for you to fill it in. See, we’re all dependent somehow, and that is what makes us human. We are not robots or machines,  so that means we have emotions and the capacity to think. We are capable of feeling a whole spectrum of emotions, be they sadness, happiness, or even loneliness (I know ‘lonely’ is as much a state as it is an emotion, so no disputes on this one now haha).

When a bout of sadness strikes us, or attempts to strike us, we try our best to rationalise it away. Our first line of defence against emotions dragging us down is our mind, and boy is it a potent tool. We can talk ourselves out of a bad day, an argument with our loved ones, or even pain that we feel. Our ability to think and rationalise is able to rationally defeat the surge in emotions, and keep them under control when necessary. There will be a group of people who would argue otherwise, but by and large this is true. Our minds are our greatest weapons.

If we however do not have enough willpower to do so, we seek to do so in more physical methods. We can exercise or eat ice-cream to trigger the release of endorphins to make us feel better, or reach for a hug for a similar effect. Such actions act as catalysts for chemical effects to occur within our body that would have a positive effect on our emotional swing or dip in spirits. 

On another front, this idea of delayed gratification (or expectations of later happiness) can work as well. When the projects get tough or the customers queueing up to give you their orders get ridiculously long, we can think of a later time in the short or long run where we would be happy / removed from the current chore or unhappiness we’re faced with. It could be a call / video call (I just discovered FaceTime, I’m a total technology fossil. I digress) with your other half at the end of a long day, or the thought that you’d be heading to law school or a better vocation next year. This distracts us from our difficulty, and the thought itself usually is enough to bring at least a smile to our faces. Besides, how you end the day makes a great difference as to how you evaluate the whole day; you tend to think the struggles are worth it or you might even disregard the rough patches in the day simply because you ended the day on a high note. I can’t stress enough how important it is to go to bed with a smile or a sense of happiness and gratitude. This changes the whole tone of the day, and perhaps what you can remember from the day might just only be the warm feeling you had before dozing off. It is that magical. 

What I want to say is, we all need someone or something to lean on. It could be our mental fortitude, our comfort food, our families, our sense of gratitude, or anything you think you can hold onto. Many people working in foreign lands far from home use the image of a happier time with their families in future as their pillar of strength and support, and you’ll be surprise at how much this empowers the human spirit to achieve feats many think impossible. 

My friend, I suggest we all find something we can hold on to for certainty, so that with all struggles and sadness.. There is something to keep us going in the day and something to keep the smile on our faces on as we doze off to sleep at night.

Merry Christmas

(A short one before bed sounds like a good idea?)

It’s the night of Boxing Day and for many of us
The party is quieting down and the guests are leaving:
Making their sleepy way home after a fun Christmas Eve and Day
While we put the wine glasses away and remove the stained table cloth;

The merry-making will go on for the Christmastide through to the New Year
To cap off a year of ups and downs and highs and lows
A year that is very much like many others before for many of us now
Yet perhaps for some of us it has been a different year – maybe one that is special;

The year has come to a close:
What has come to pass has passed before our eyes in the days gone
While what is to come lies ahead before us in the days that are to come
Almost like a window of transition between the past and future – yesterday and tomorrow;

A good time to think of what has been done in the year behind,
A good time too to think of what is to be done in the year ahead;

While all that thinking is in progress:
Do remember to pour yourself a glass of wine and have yourself some fruit cake
To keep in mind that it is still the joyous season of Christmas
Where the cheers will continue and the spirit of gratitude and merriment will go on;

Merry Christmas.

What It Is

(I’m doing a poetry comparison on the theme of Happiness)

Happiness – something we think to be very complicated yet simple,
A notion that we hold that is to happen in future,
Almost like a concept that we create for ourselves
To believe that it is something somehow possible sometime (later);

It is not as you might think it to be really,
Happiness isn’t something abstract or to be reached,
It is made up of little moments of laughter and smiles,
Where in the midst of good company one feels blessed and content;

Don’t set it to be something you need to reach hard for,
It is already something you have with you if you
Would just look at the little moments where you’ve been thankful,
And you will find in those moments the happiness that you seek;

Happiness is what it is – what you make of it.