Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year 2014 Greetings

Wishing all my FB friends a very happy,peaceful and successful New Year 2014.
May you and your family remain united in love and obtain all the good things that you yearn for in life.

For those in pain and misery may the new year bring hope,comfort and cheer.
May the new year see the victory of good over evil and right over wrong.

God bless you all

Monday, December 30, 2013

Useful Lessons in 2013

Every day we learn something new from our experiences which offer the best lessons in life. The year 2013 was no different as it was full of challenges that made me wiser and better equipped to deal problems better. The lessons I learned from my experiences in 2013 may be classified into 4 main categories.

1. The family unit, the greatest investment. The family is the most important institution for us. The family unit is the source of our happiness or sorrow. Therefore we must make special efforts, spend time, money and energy to cultivate and preserve the unity in the family. We may not see the results of that unity immediately but definitely much later when the children grow up and bring in their own problems.

Our parents play a very important role and it important that we give due importance to their values, wide experience and age. Only time will prove what they are doing is right for us. When they are old and sickly treat them with love, respect and dignity. What we are today is because of what they did yesterday. When they are gone, cherish every moment we had with them.

2. Anger and love. Anger never solves any problem, it only makes them worse. Every problem can be solved with love but often for love to produce the desired results we need a lot of patience and hope that may be a real time of trial.

3. Retire gracefully. As we grow older we also grow in wisdom and this wisdom should make us leave the scene gracefully allowing the younger generation to manage their problems as things change making us less relevant. As we touch the sixties, we enter an era of wisdom and experience that should be used for the benefit of the younger generation.

Wisdom is gained more through mistakes and failures rather than well planned successes

4. Doing good. We must do good always but must be careful not to do so much as others may take advantage of our goodness and become suspicious of our motives. While doing good may have its limits never do bad for whatever reason

A very happy and successful New Year to all

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Happy New Year 2014

New Year 2014 – being the change we want to see


 We stepped into the year 2013 with a lot of hope that the 13GE will bring about the total transformation in the country that will benefit the people of all races and creed. The 13 GE was the most important event in the year 2013 and it was the most intensely contested one in the history of the nation. It was also the one that brought out the worst in our politicians who fought so hard to win a seat in parliament or state assembly. They resorted to racism and money politics so openly as though those were their legitimate rights with blatant disregard to the election laws. The opposition could have lost the elections narrowly but it nevertheless resulted in a strengthened force like never before. A strong opposition is seen as a sign that the nation may be moving towards an effective two-party system of democracy. It also gave the people hope that the government will be pressured to institute real reforms in keeping with the aspirations of the people.

The people wanted a better socio-economic policy for the well-being of all Malaysians regardless of their race and creed. They wanted greater transparency and accountability in management at all levels of the government machinery. They wanted more democratic space for expressing their opinions freely without fear of reprisals. They wanted a fairer policy based on need rather than ethnicity.

Furthermore they also wanted better and safer roads, cheaper houses, more job opportunities, better and more affordable quality education and quality health care that is more easily available at affordable costs for all. They wanted a safer environment for them and their children, one where the air is clean and crime rate is low and a police force that is colorblind and more people-friendly. Lastly the people regardless of race and creed wanted an unimpeded freedom of worship and a society where universal moral values are taught and upheld by all.

It is now nearly 8 months after the 13GE but the people are still waiting for signs of real transformation. Change is yet to be seen or felt by the people, especially the poor. The question in everyone’s mind is “Will change ever come?” Many right thinking and concerned Malaysians doubt genuine change will come anytime soon. Instead of change for the better what we getting is an escalation of living costs, as commodity prices appear to be on the increase. As Malaysians enter into the New Year they are going brace for possible domestic financial crisis as they going to find it more and more difficult to cope with the rising cost of living.

At this stage as we are losing hope for change it may be pertinent to recall the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “You must be the change you want to see in the world”. How can we put an end to racism when we are not willing to get rid of racism from our hearts? How can we expect a fairer distribution of wealth when we are not willing share our profits with those under our care? How can we expect rule of law when we ourselves don’t respect them? How can we have a morally upright society when we ourselves are immoral? How can we abolish corruption when we ourselves are corrupt? The list goes on and on.

We all want change and we resort to all sorts of drastic ways to demand that change – writing to print and cyber media, boycotts and sanctions, street protests, demonstrations, strikes and even violence which often fail. We fail to realize that only we can bring about that change by being the change we want to see.
As we step into 2014 let us be the change we want to see in the country by being the catalyst of change in ourselves, our family, our schools, places of work, places of worship and in any organization to which we belong.

If only every Malaysian, rich or poor, young or old, regardless of his race and creed resolves to bring a change in themselves, our nation as a whole will see the change that we all want so badly; a multiethnic nation that is united, peaceful, progressive and with abundance of goodwill in the air. 

As we gather is our respective houses of worship on this New Year eve,let us specially pray for our leaders that they will gain the wisdom to put the people above them,their families and cronies.Let us pray that they will lead by example and bring about the change the people want. Let us pray that they will not stand in the way of the people of all races and creed interacting with one another in peace and harmony. Let us pray that they will be inspired to become builders and not destroyers of the nation and the people.

God bless Malaysia

A Happy New Year to all fellow Malaysians


Sunday, December 22, 2013

An Inspiring Christmas Story for sharing

For The Man Who Hated Christmas

It’s just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past ten years or so.

It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas--oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it--overspending... the frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for Grandma---the gifts given in desperation because you couldn’t think of anything else.
Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way.

Our son Kevin, who was 12 that year, was wrestling at the junior level at the school he attended; and shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner-city church. These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in their spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes. As the match began, I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without headgear, a kind of light helmet designed to protect a wrestler’s ears.

It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously could not afford. Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight class. And as each of their boys got up from the mat, he swaggered around in his tatters with false bravado, a kind of street pride that couldn’t acknowledge defeat.
Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, “I wish just one of them could have won,” he said. “They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart right out of them.” Mike loved kids - all kids - and he knew them, having coached little league football, baseball and lacrosse. That’s when the idea for his present came. That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church. On Christmas Eve, I placed the envelope on the tree, the note inside telling Mike what I had done and that this was his gift from me. His smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year and in succeeding years.

For each Christmas, I followed the tradition--one year sending a group of mentally handicapped youngsters to a hockey game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers whose home had burned to the ground the week before Christmas, and on and on.

The envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the last thing opened on Christmas morning and our children, ignoring their new toys, would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its contents.

As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical presents, but the envelope never lost its allure. The story doesn’t end there.
You see, we lost Mike last year due to dreaded cancer. When Christmas rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. But Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree, and in the morning, it was joined by three more.

Each of our children, unbeknownst to the others, had placed an envelope on the tree for their dad. The tradition has grown and someday will expand even further with our grandchildren standing to take down the envelope.
Mike’s spirit, like the Christmas spirit will always be with us.

Nancy W. Gavin

This true story was originally published in the December 14, 1982 issue of Woman's Day magazine. It was the first place winner out of thousands of entries in the magazine's "My Most Moving Holiday Tradition" contest in which readers were asked to share their favorite holiday tradition and the story behind it.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas a time to-reunite our families

                                                             Family unit the basic source of happiness
Once again Malaysians have got into the festive mood of Christmas, New Year and to be followed soon by the Chinese New Year. As usual we tend to celebrate our respective festivals grandly with a spirit of goodwill and sharing. Unfortunately the escalating costs this year will be a major burden that will dampen our spirits, especially the poor, during this season of festivities.
Christmas is a time for not just feasting and merry-making as portrayed by the highly commercialized media but one of sharing and repentance. Seeking forgiveness from those we hurt is an important part of Christmas, which is often overlooked. In fact celebrating Christmas will be meaningless if one harbors ill feeling and hatred for someone, either inside or outside the family.
Apart from that, like other festivities, Christmas is a time for family bonding and rebuilding of families that may have gone astray for some reason. In many instances families disintegrate after the death of the parents especially the mother, who acts as the cement keeping the children together.
It is extremely sad many children don’t realize the importance of maintaining the family unity especially after the passing of their parents. They allow petty disputes to break up the once united family. This I feel is the reason for many in their fifties and after to lament that Christmas is no more joyous as it used to be   when they were young.  
It is indeed true that most of us miss our good old days when we used to take pains to travel back home to be with our parents and siblings to spend some memorable time together. It did not cost us much then but the time spent was so enjoyable that we cannot forget the feelings of joy that we used to experience them. The pleasant memories of what we used to do together as a family still remains vividly in our minds which makes as sad that things today are not as they used to be.  
This Christmas it may be a time to review our relationship with the members of our family. Are we united like we use to be? If not what is our contribution to this disunity or disintegration of our family. What can we do to rebuild the unity we used to enjoy before?
Most of us have to some extent contributed for the disunity in our families and all we need to do is to accept that fact and sacrifice a little of our likes for the sake of a brother or sister to undo the bad we have done. We can be a little more generous to help out a brother or sister in need. That may be all that is needed to start the process of reunion.
The family unit is the most important source for the success and well being of any community.Our happiness to come directly or indirectly from that family unit which must be protected at all costs. 
As brothers and sisters the common among us far outnumber the differences and as the saying goes it is indeed very true that blood is thicker than water in most cases. As we celebrate this Christmas, let us be a little more charitable and let that charity begin in our own families, among our own siblings whom we always loved.
Wishing all a meaningful and joyous Christmas

Monday, December 09, 2013

Tribute to Nelson Mandela

The man who won racism by peace


"I hate race discrimination most intensely and in all its manifestations. I have fought it all during my life; I fight it now, and will do so until the end of my days."

These above were the determined words of the late Nelson Mandela who was a South African anti-apartheid fighter and politician who served as first black President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.He fought racism not just when he was young and idealistic but till he died at the ripe old age of 95.

Mandela served 27 years in prison spanning over the prime of his life, not for crimes he committed but for going against an apartheid white regime. Mandela was a controversial figure for much of his life and was even denounced as a terrorist for his revolutionary anti- racist activities. In fact he said he was made, by the law, a criminal, not because of what he did, but because of what he stood for, because of what he thought and because of his conscience.

We are told that truth will always prevail, and it was true in Mandela’s life. After years of suppression and unfair political detentions he finally gained international acclaim for his activism, and received more than 250 honors, including the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize.
Like Mahatma Gandhi before him, he won his fight against racism and the discriminating policy of “White Supremacy” in his country not by violence but by peace. He won the war against racism by winning the battle against hate and racism within himself. By his victory he has proved that it is the hatred in our hearts for others of different race, creed or color that is the cause of our failures to bring justice and peace among the people. 

Mandela’s life is a message to us is peace and love for all man regardless of race, creed or color. If we cultivate this in our hearts, racism will be automatically wiped out from face of the earth. His thoughts on hate and love were clear in his message, "No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite”

World leaders and leaders at all levels in our society should try to follow him in what he did not just to praise him for what he did just as a political rhetoric. They must not make a great hut humble man like him who is an icon of anti-racism a political tool for their own racist agenda. That would be hypocrisy in highest order.

The world mourns the death of a great son whose struggles in life for justice and death should not be in vain but be a useful lesson for all. We must get rid of the inherent racist tendencies from our hearts and strive to build a united and prosperous multiracial and multi-religious society.

May his soul rest in peace.

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