There Is No Tomorrow

angel

How often have you come across the question, “how would you like your eulogy to be?” whenever people make reference as to how you should live your life now in the present? I have a lot of time to think about this not for myself but for people who have made a huge impact in my life. It is definitely hard to think about it and of course, I do not wish anyone ill. But if given the opportunity to deliver an eulogy, the following will probably be what I have to say about a very dear friend of mine.

There Is No Tomorrow

It was the afternoon of 24th August 2012 when I had a phone interview with F***k for a job back in the company I left 6 months before. We had a good chat and the words that I will remember for the rest of my life were “there is no tomorrow”. That is an indication of the sense of urgency of all the tasks I will be assigned henceforth. I just did all that I was asked to do and constantly reminding myself of those four words to stay focus. I had the best 7 years working under F***k and it was the most successful time throughout my career up to that point. We went through a lot together with the team. We rise above all the challenges and celebrated many accolades.

Today, those same four words – “there is no tomorrow” give me a very different meaning altogether. Like many of us and very often, F***k was a very misunderstood person. He was more than those “numbers” entrusted to him to be achieved in the corporate world. “Praise publicly and criticize privately”,  was his leadership mantra. F***k was a person of passion, empathy, compassion, and not often admitted, a person filled with love.

In fact and in F***k’s term, he showed me that there is no tomorrow to love more, there is no tomorrow to respect more, and there is no tomorrow to be more passionate in everything that I do.

And if you around you today, it is very obvious that there is nothing the world needs more than love. We ought to tell ourselves, there is no tomorrow when it comes to loving others.

Though it is not my intent to see every one here shed tears, the fact is that we both mourn and celebrate his great life. The great life that he has lived to touch each of us in the most special way. For me, F***k is not only my boss, mentor, but a friend who has taught me many life’s lessons. In the most fundamental way, he has taught me how to be a good person.

I thank God for allowing our paths to cross and hope that this eulogy does justice in describing the amazing person F***k was not only to me but for all us gathered here.

If you find yourself needing to release those tears, I can only tell you not to hold back.

Because, the funeral is today and there is no tomorrow.

Rest In Peace my dear friend. We will all miss you dearly.

Moments

Mindfulness to me is living in moments. While some moments last longer than others, I believe that each teaches us something about us and our lives. Our likes and dislikes can be reflected by how we react to each moment. I sometimes imagine our mind being a roll of film and our eyes the lenses on a camera capturing every moment of our day.

These captured moments become embedded and etched into our mind as memories that we cherish, fear, and sometimes yearn for whenever we experience certain sight, smell, or sound that reminds us of them.

The behemoth of moments we experience in life forms us as unique individuals that sets us apart from each other. Very often, not every moment is interpreted the same way. It really depends on our focal point within the composition of what our eyes perceive.

The beautiful thing about moments is how we can be creative in the interpretations. Whether the cup is half full or half empty so to speak.

And my wish for you my friend, is that you’ll always have many pleasant and meaningful moments in this life’s journey.

Victory At Last

All I can say is that on 9th May 2018, good men did something and reigned victorious against evil.

The sheer joy could hardly be contained and most of us burst out in tears.

It was a very good day.

It was as though a great burden has been lifted from all of us. The dark cloud that was hovering over us for the longest time has been blown away.

The best part was, we all did it together. We were united. Our thoughts aligned and we turned our intention into action.

We came together when it mattered most.

And we WON…

The Meaning Of Life

I am not sure where this post will lead to so please be warned that this will sort of be a major “core dump” and the mother of all randomness.

Much have happened between the last quarter of 2017 and up to this point. I finally have the time to be alone to “release my mind”.

It was World Compliment Day two days ago on 1st March. The need for such a day deserves to be reflected upon. It makes me feel that the world is in so much need of love. That is because we no longer give credit where credit is due. We are very stingy with our compliments for others.

I am not sure about you but I feel that we are living in times when we are very quick to discard, judge, and “kill” while it takes much longer to heal.

We live with a lot of insecurities and distrust.

The world has never been noisier. It feels like there is so much distortions and interferences in the matrix. There is some sort of disquiet.

We have so much and yet we yearn for more.

Comfort entices us to be greedy and live above our means.

Often times, we slip and fall in our pursuits for short lived happiness.

The taste of luxury get us hooked and so we keep chasing after the “first high”.

But at the end, we realize that what we yearn for is not of material in nature. We need the connection with others – the relationships and friendships.

Then, there are those relationships that breaks down due to all sorts of reasons. We often forget that it takes two hands to clap and it is usually not fully the fault of one party.

Whatever situation that life puts us in, it really is up to ourselves to chart the course of our destinies. At the core of it all, we are to face life alone because everyone have their own demons, vices, and struggles to conquer.

To make things better, we are encouraged to dream BIG.

To take charge!

And to BELIEVE that nothing is impossible…

Perhaps life is just an illusion that we condition our minds to believe.

I guess the key to life is to stop depending on the need for external affirmations. We need not yearn for the compliments to tell ourselves of our self worth. We need to stop putting tangible measurements on ourselves because not everything is measurable and in numbers.

Can you really put a value to a life?

Organized Chaos

Happy New Year 2018!

Christmas sure brought an interesting facet to life last year but it was the feast of the Holy Family (the week after Christmas) that brought an interesting homily. It is no coincidence that the same message was repeated twice in the span of two days for me.

It is a glimpse of the future as well as what we can do now to prepare us for that.

Unfortunately we can never accurately define the future but instead to speculate based on the current trends.

On one hand, we were asked to recall the types of jobs that did not exist 10 years ago but are available today. In the same manner, we were also asked to imagine what will be the jobs of the future. With that thought process, we need to reflect and contemplate what will be the relevant skill sets our children will need moving forward. It gets complicated given the different upbringing, values, traits, and behaviors of the younger generations.

That was the gist of what I have heard at my children’s school briefing Saturday morning and it was something worth pondering.

And in the priest’s homily last Sunday (New Year’s Eve), he shared with us his observations and what he derived as the 3 common temptations destroying family life today. I was only able to make a mental note and the following are all that I can salvage from my deplorable short term memory:-

1. Pampering instead of loving children

Due to all the guilt for not spending quality time with children, most of us shower them with material things to make up for what we perceived as our inadequacies. There should be “no gadget” policy at meal times.

2. Confusion between the definition of equality and sameness

Using an analogy of the relationship between a teacher and his/her pupil, as a person the teacher and pupil are equal but in terms of role, they are not the same. A student will respect his or her teacher because the latter is wiser. They both have different purposes in life and in many aspects are not equal.

3. Over exaggeration of one human dimension over the other

We have various needs and there are many perspectives to life be it spiritual, financial, physical, mental, and intellect. When we emphasize too much on one of these dimensions, there will be an imbalance that may cause a rift in the family.

Life seemed and should be simple but all the above can be quite provocative. I believe that the fundamentals in life do not change. Automation and Robots are just tools to assist us humans. They will never replace human empathy, compassion, and the ability to love.

Unless and until technology is able to replace this human dimension, humans will always rule over technology.

Unless we choose to be enslaved by technology and losing our fundamentals and values through allowing our younger generation uncontrolled gadget time, the furthest we can go is having people that live on things that are created rather than being the creators themselves.

We are in this period of “organized chaos” where everything is vague and murky. We all need to find clarity and the first thing we all need to do is to see the purpose in everything. We need to get back to basics where one needs not exchange cold hard cash for a virtual currency before performing a transaction.

When we can eat directly using a spoon, why should we eat using another tool that holds the said spoon?

Chimpanzees have been documented to solve problems by using tools like twigs to fish for insects. There is no intermediary tools used and it is a practical and direct approach.

I always wonder why humans tend to make things complicated or make things look intimidating just to sugar coat a simple concept.
There is a saying that goes – “if you can’t convince them, confuse them”.

There are things we need to re-invent and improve in order to advance but not fix what is not broken.

I am sure you get my point.

For 2018, my wish is for people all around the world to have CLARITY. Clarity in seeing what is right and in making the best decisions for oneself, family, community, and the world at large.

I hope that we are able to take a step back to admire the beauty in all the “organized chaos” in our lives, zoom in on what’s important, and go through all challenges successfully.

Have a good year ahead!

Happiness & Joy

The four weeks of Advent leading up to Christmas are given each a virtue – Hope, Love, Joy, & Peace. Some churches practice the lighting of four candles on the Christmas wreath representing each virtue.

There is a sense of expectancy, anticipation and waiting during the season of Advent for the celebration of Jesus’ birthday. And we’ve entered the 3rd week of Advent which is represented by the virtue of Joy.

I have always wondered the difference between Joy and Happiness because very often, I have written notes on greeting cards using these two words in the same sentence.

Fr. Michael defined it most accurately for us in his sermon last weekend.

“Joy is the contrast of Happiness”

Happiness comes from the outside while Joy is from within.

And he gave a few examples of how we are happy when we obtain and receive certain material things or when we receive compliments from someone.

I am unable to recall the examples he gave for joy but I guess it was along the lines of joy being permanent and comes from our inner soul. Joy can come from how much we understand ourselves – our self worth, purpose, and etc.

It is midweek and the fourth Sunday of Advent will soon be upon us. For some of us, we might be spending most of our weekend in church for 4th Sunday of Advent and also Christmas Vigil since both fall on the same day.

Nonetheless, I would like to wish you Merry Christmas! May you be blessed with Hope, Love, Joy, Peace, and Happiness (fellowship, food, and gifts being external factors)!

Split Second

I usually spend my idle time thinking about life. The trip this week has given me a few opportunities to reflect on life and my outlook of it. There are times when I felt that I have taken a lot of things for granted and have been ungrateful of the blessings in my life.

And as I reflected further and drilled down into the miniscule aspects of life, I realized that how great of a change just one second in time can bring to our lives.

In other words, in a split second, many things can happen be it good or bad. In a split of a second, I’ll probably be born into a life without choices – freedom of religion being one. In a split of a second, I might be in a plane crash or an accident. In a split of a second, I may die in my sleep.

As such, the first order of things for me whenever I visit a foreign land is to always be still in the presence of God and to give Him thanks for another day of life.
This is not a show of my holiness or the lack of. Infact, I am far from a holy person by any standard. Afterall, I am just a human with imperfections. It is just me believing that in all things uncontrollable, there is a God.

We tend to overthink and overanalyze things. We want to get an explaination and justification for everything in our lives. What we cannot see or touch is usually doubtful.

As we wind down for the weekend and on my flight back home, one statement came on strongly and I think it is worth sharing. I hope it puts into perspective why some of us believe in the divine.

“If we can explain for certain the randomness of death then, we can clearly define the existence of God.”