November 13, 2006

Not just another article about why you Gossip

Posted in Inspirations, Personal Development, Relationship at 6:48 pm by joeychan

I bet, by now, we have all realized that gossips are everywhere.  Teach participant. Sometimes these subjects are stars, and more often they are common friends.

Ironically, it’s always those who have known you for the longest time who gossip about you the most. You share so many common friends and so it’s always the best ice breaker to start conversations with gossip about you. Also, they keep on seeing you with preconcept from 10 years ago or subjective points of view believing that they know you the best and it doesn’t work to talk to you directly about it. But before they realize, you have already changed.

Anyhow, I don’t know if it is regarded as lucky but my friends ALWAYS tell me things that I am NOT SUPPOSED to know- the gossips about me from the conversations they have with other people. I think it’s really sweet that they tell me because I think they are the ones who really know me. They know that I always like to know what people actually think about me so that I can keep track on how I sometimes misexpress myself.

Although I know that gossips are eveywhere, when my friends come around to tell me these gossips about me, I still can’t help myself from getting mad instinctively. I am mad at what these people say about me is totally not the real me. I am also mad at, if these people are upset about me, why can’t they just tell me personally, coz I find this really easy to do. 😀 Then, I realize. I realize that I should actually feel quite sorry for them. It is because these people simply do not have the courage or habit to handle whatever that upsets them. Thus they need to get people to be on their sides to make them feel better and right. These people who have things to say about me, they talk to a common friend of ours who doesn’t/will never know the real details of the incident to get the friend on his/her side. And that makes him/her feel SO MUCH BETTER. Also, what I realize is, many people in the society of Hong Kong simply need to victimize themselves to have conversations with others- victims of a crazy company, victims of a crazy boss, victims of a crazy family, and victims of a crazy friend, like Joey Chan.

Moreoever, like I mentioned, it’s usually how these people have misunderstood me that’s why I get angry upon hearing the gossip. And this is exactly why I should forgive them. Maybe, in fact, at some point, I indeed have done something to misexpress myself. However, I have tried. I have tried to love and care each person I call a friend and to show myself honestly. But if things do not turn out right for others to see the real me, then I guess I have to leave it.

And I can leave it with no hesitation because for sure I am lucky that I have more than enough people who know who and how I really am, and better yet, they appreciate it! 😀 I feel lucky because what people see and appreciate about me is not an image that I have to work hard on faking and maintaining. Not an angel, a princess- but the real me.  I let my friends know when I am happy, moved, mad, or hurt. It’s the real me. The only people left for my conern are these people who know me by hearing gossips about me. These people get to hear a distorted and misinterpreted version of me. But afterall it’s their choice. If they do choose to believe something by hearing, may we leave it to fate and see if they will, one day, decide to judge by seeing instead.

From all the conversations I have been involved in my life so far, I find that it’s always easier to convince people of bad news of others than good news. If you happen to stumble upon this post, hope you can take a moment to think if you are one of them. Don’t do this for me, but for others. Think about why this is how you are. There are lots of good people out there who do not deserve to be misinterpreted. It hurts. And not all people have the stupidity like mine to comfort myself by writing in a blog. So, make your friend’s day by slowing down to observe him/her with your heart and mind. You’ll be surprised.

November 7, 2006

Help your child to develop concentration by setting an example.

Posted in The Loving Tree at 11:23 am by joeychan

parent11.jpgMany children’s concentration comes from imitating. Can concentration be imitated? Let us use an example. Imagine when you are sitting at the table helping your child, Emily, to work on her assignment. While you are explaining to her what to do for the assignment that is lying on the table, there is a “bang” sound made by the neighbour from outside the door. You immediately stop your explanationm and look up at the door to check (although you can’t really see anything anyway because the sound is from the outside). Then you realize nothing big deal is going on and so to go back on with your explanation. One minute later, there is the “bang” sound again. This time, even when you know nothing big is gonna go wrong and thus you are not looking around anymore, can you guess what Emily would do? Yes. She would look up at the door to check. What we as parents should do to positively affect children’s concentration is, whether we are working on their work or our own work, we should show our children how we can ignore distractions and focus on the work. Or in the first few tries, if you notice your child is distracted by disturbances even when you’re not, you can show him/her that you are still focused and asks briefly for his/her attention again. Believe it or not, in time, your child will be able to imitate this subconciously from someone he/she dearly looks up to. However, if you consistantly fails to demostrate the habit of concentrating under distractions , I am afraid your child will also pick up the habit of getting distracted easily during work. This may not be the only cause of a low ability to focus but it definitely plays a major role in the development of your child’s concentration skills.

October 4, 2006

Managing Attention

Posted in The Loving Tree at 10:15 am by joeychan

Many parents worry about how the environment, the media and peer during the teenage years can introduce “naughty” and “rebellious” behaviors to our next generation.  Little do we know that these undesirable behaviors are in fact the results of the mishandling of our attention to children in their early years.  The attention we receive when we were children have also greatly affected our habits not just in our teenage years, but also in adulthood.  How is it so?

 

The answer lies within the fact that many parents have overlooked how attention, especially that from adults, is simply the most effective reward in the eyes of children.  Attention also has major effects to the growth of two key elements of our subconscious: confidence and security.  The more attention you give a person, the stronger the confidence is.  This also explains why spoiling may cause the subject to be over self-confidence or, worst case, self-centered.  On the other hand, when a person is given consistent attention there is security, and on the contrary, a person receives inconsistent attention develops insecurity within.  So how exactly can we better manage the attention we give our children?

 

Without knowing, a lot of parents already use attention frequently as a technique to manage their children.  Here is one of the most common ways how we utilize attention with children: pay a significantly extra amount of attention on a good deed your child has done and, in time, your child is more than willing to make that behavior a habit to earn more praises and attention from you.  However, there are also many ways how attention can cause negative effects to children.  We have to be aware of how we handle them differently at the two stages of a childhood.

 

The first stage is when a child is 0-1 year old.  This is the time when babies instinctively cry to get what they want.  It is necessary that you attend to their cries when they are yearning for essential needs, e.g. food, milk, replacement of the nappy, removal of discomfort, etc.  But if you attend to their cries when they are in request of non-essential needs, e.g. a chopstick on a table, a paper from daddy’s folders, mummy’s perfume bottle, or ever your hair, you are introducing to babies the method of crying to deliver discontent and to achieve everything that they want.  This is what actually causes a child to be later stubborn or the Chinese sayings of “hard neck”, “nau gai” and “hard to teach”.  No children are born with these habits.  They are formed at this stage when we can properly utilize our attention to eliminate such development.

 

The second stage is when a child is 2-6 years of age.  This is the stage when children get up to explore, observe and be stimulated.  Our highest priority at all times should be given to putting across to children a clear set of rules as early as possible so that they can roam freely within the border.  If children are confused with what they can or cannot do, they will be spending time on finding and getting hold of the borders of the rules by challenging the bottomlines instead of having fun exploring and absorbing information.  This explains why children of the same age at this stage can act so differently: some children seem smarter and others react slower to their environment because the latter are lost in the rules adults set for them.  We can deliver our messages very clearly to children at this stage using our reaction, in other words, attention, if we keep an eye on avoiding the following very common mistakes:

 

The majority of parents misinterpret the concept of Parenting altogether and give excessive attention to their children whenever and whatever, believing this is love and care.  In very rare cases the children grow up with only the side-effect of being over self-confident or self-centered.  In most cases, not only are the parents abusing the use of attention rendering it of no use as an effective tool to influence children’s behavior, it is also helping children develop a habit of craving for attention at all times.  When they grow older and adults start withdrawing attention from them for other aspects, the children will subconsciously do anything that they can to get attention again, from silly gestures and talks to offending others and violating the rules.  What is worst is they take this habit along with them into their teenage years that forms their “naughty” and “rebellious” behaviors which bring them nothing but criticism.  They are constantly being criticized of being rebellious and naughty.  Sadly, the young minds are not strong enough to override their subconscious in order to control their behavior even though they try, not to mention being aware of the cause behind.  Good intentions of the parents end up being a low self-value in the children.  I supposed I do not need to go any further on the results of this scenario. 

If you pay closer attention, you can actually notice that a lot of the behaviors of the adults around us come from the root of getting attention- from  insignificant gestures or postures to physically or mentally victimizing oneself. The negative results of an extreme case of a subject craving for attention can go far beyond our imagination.

 

Another similar scenario is that we give too much attention to children’s  “funny” behavior.  Let’s say there is this boy who possesses an impressive cackle when he laughs.  He also twists his butt when he walks and he uses an over mature way when he talks or posts.  These elements may seem funny and cute to adults at first and they always give a great deal of talk, comments and laughter whenever the boy perform them.  Eventually, the child will stick to these silly and dramatic behaviors and develop a habit of performing them at the wrong times because this is the perfect way to get others attention.  Before the child realizes, the adults have grown tired of these tricks of the child and they even feel annoyed by them at times.  The boy gets seriously criticized and blamed on at occasions when the adults are having a bad day themselves.  He has no clue what the adults are getting mad at.  So, he sets off to explore on other silly tricks hoping to put a smile on the adults’ faces again.  Another cycle begins.  Therefore, sometimes when you notice that your children are doing something silly, we need to hold back the amount of attention we give them, or we should explain to them or even neglect them so that they do not pick up this inappropriate way of getting attention.

 

Other parents do not spoil their kids by giving them excessive attention but they tend to lose balance with the attention they give their children at this stage which creates another non-desirable side effect: they pay too much attention on their wrong doings and not enough attention on the right things that their children do.  This is common in a lot of families where the parents’ emotions get affected easily by external factors.  Daddy has had a bad day at work.  He expects a cozy and comfortable home awaiting him only to find messy toys lying around because his boy has not tidied up as daddy has always taught him to.  Daddy is much irritated and begins punishing and scolding his son.  But daddy has overlooked that the boy has finished his dinner quickly this evening and he can even finish all his assignments by himself.  By the time daddy realizes it, the child may already have sunken into fear.  On top of that, daddy finds himself unable to transit his angry tone into an encouraging attitude.  So he has decided to just ignore acknowledging the good deeds of his son for now and he will make it up later.  However, daddy will have forgotten his agenda in time and this whole scenario will happen over and over again under this rooftop.  By the time daddy finally stops to look back, his son has already given up being a good boy and focuses only on being “bad”, because he doesn’t find any motivation on being good at all.

 

Of course we should show our children whenever they have violated any rules to deliver them a clear concept of the rules.  Meanwhile, we should never forget to give attention to the right things they do.  This should be consistent so that the children know the rules clearly and will not be confused by the unforeseeable reactions of their parents.  We should never give in to children’s bad behaviors for some good deeds they have done.  More importantly, we should not over focus on their bad actions and neglect their good behaviors.  It takes time for each parent to strike a balance between the attention we give to children’s right and wrong doings but it is always the most important thing that we should stick to in order to guide children’s values onto the right track.

 

Raising a child with correct healthy values is as crucial as giving them a healthy physical body.  During this stage when they are 0-6 years of age, children have all their trust for their parents and their subconscious wide open to absorb information that will shape their behaviors and values.  We should be more aware with the attention we give to children than we have ever imagined.  Any expressions or words we deliver to our children that is not in a flat tone is either an encouragement or discouragement to the young minds.  Therefore, other than being financially and physically capable, parents should also be emotionally capable so they can carry out all of the above properly to their children.  This is an ultra-challenging task, yet a few years of intensive effort is bound to result in a positive outcome that can be benefited not just for a lifetime, but three lifetimes to come.

June 22, 2006

If you are already or about to be a parent…

Posted in The Loving Tree at 1:24 am by joeychan

I made a post on The Loving Tree’s forum today as a tip for modern parents. I would like to share it with my friends here, too, especially for those who are already or about to be a parent:

 

A lot of families especially those of young parents, have both father and mother working full-time during the day. Their children are then being taken care of by other adults, e.g. domestic helpers and grandparents, for most of the time. The Loving Tree does not oppose this idea but parents should make sure that every adult who takes part in taking care of the children uses the same set of rules of the same standard and with the same bottom-line. Failing to do so presents children a confusion in rules which leads to confusion in concepts of living values and priorities.  They will eventually learn to act or even lie in front of different members to get what they want.

And what is it about bottom-line?  Decide on a bottomline for your child’s behavior at home and be very firm with it. It does not mean to be strict to the child because the child is allowed all the freedom within the bottom-line. But once the child has gone beyond it, you must deliver a very clear message to halt the behavior by means of facial expressions, tones of voice, gestures, etc. Over time, your child will realize the existence of this bottom-line and, thus, be able to live and learn within with security and confidence. You can explain to your child at the right times about why you have set your rules but you should NEVER give in your bottom-line for any external factors, e.g. continuous whining from your child or your own temper brought about by other issues. Failing to do so will cause your child to whine until they get what they want which will eventually become a stubbornness in the character.

 

Above is the fundamental and the most imoprtant step of early-childhood education.  Education does not involve only learning from books and memorizing information. What a person receives from the environment in the early years go into the person’s right brain, and helps build the subconcious, confidence, security and other abstract yet crucial factors of the person’s chracter and attitude, which is what’s all that’s behind living and learning. The Loving Tree will keep you posted on the key to quality children’s education every step along the way.

May 11, 2006

Sorry, but you will have to take it.

Posted in Personal Development at 10:23 am by joeychan

I am pretty sure a lot of us have been through this: “Mum is so annoying. You know what, I swear that I am never ever going to treat my own child like how she treats me!” Or, “Dad’s habit is so irritaing and stupid that I will never ever want to follow his pattern in my life!”

……

But “unfortunately”, the older we get, the more we find ourselves resemble our parents. Be it our expressions, gestures, wordings, attitude and values…we just seem to be cursed and it doesn’t seem like there is a chance that we can get away from it. Why is it? CAN ANYONE TELL US WHY??

Well, yes. Some people blame it on genes. Yes, genes do play a role. But what actually plays the trick were the things that happened to us during our early childhood years from between 0 to 10 years old. The people who took care of us taught us most of our habits now- “What are you talking about?? I don’t remember anyone teaching me these habits!” And that’s the worst part of all. You’er right. Sometimes we learn by memorizing, like Chinese History and Economics formulae. They go into our left brain and they do not stay well and intact for long.  Short-term memories are good for exams and papers and will fade out from our memory as time goes by. But things that happen around us repeatedly for a long period of time, especially during times when we are relaxed like how we are at home, go into our right brain. They form our intuition, habit and subconcious. We may not even remember how we learned them but, sorry to say, we absorbed them completely like how a sponge absorbs water. I always love to describe these scenarios with the Chinese phrase: “kan zhai yien li”. If you have a dad who loves singing when driving, you may find yourself, one day, humming your favourite tune on the bus without awaring how other people are already looking at you with weird expressions; if you have a mum who is used to talking of others’ wrong doings, you may find yourself often drowned in conversations of the same nature. You may not have the slightest clue why you are doing it or what is causing it. You may not even think it matters, but, whether we want it or not, our subconcious is here to rule our behaviour before we even realize, and not to mention, control it.

However, there do are exceptions. Me and you are bound to know some mother who is obsessed with playing mahjong but has a son who hates the game and everything that has to do with gambling. In such cases, the parent’s behaviour gave the child such nightmares and overwhelmed the child so much that it had reached the child’s right brain in the form of: “I hate mahjong. I hate mahjong. I hate mahjong. Mahjong players are losers. Mahjong player are losers. Mahjong players are losers.” which formed a strong value in the child’s mind. If the child grows into an adult who lives his life on firm principles, it may occur to this man who suffered from mahjong shuffling sounds over long periods of time that he will never want to touch a single mahjong tile even with his toe nail. However, if, in some point of his life, he is introduced to the art of mahjong by a loved one, he will “miraculously” pick up and master the game faster than anyone else!

The conclusion is, if we want our child to behave exactly the same like we do, we should just go ahead and stick with whatever we’re having and doing now, including our little habits, attitude and values. Otherwise, we may want to think about changing,improving, or at least, hiding some parts of ourselves- any part of us which you don’t want to pass on to generations and generations to come.

Sorry, but you will have to take it.

Posted in Personal Development at 10:23 am by joeychan

I am pretty sure a lot of us have been through this: “Mum is so annoying. You know what, I swear that I am never ever going to treat my own child like how she treats me!” Or, “Dad’s habit is so irritaing and stupid that I will never ever want to follow his pattern in my life!”

……

But “unfortunately”, the older we get, the more we find ourselves resemble our parents. Be it our expressions, gestures, wordings, attitude and values…we just seem to be cursed and it doesn’t seem like there is a chance that we can get away from it. Why is it? CAN ANYONE TELL US WHY??

Well, yes. Some people blame it on genes. Yes, genes do play a role. But what actually plays the trick were the things that happened to us during our early childhood years from between 0 to 10 years old. The people who took care of us taught us most of our habits now- “What are you talking about?? I don’t remember anyone teaching me these habits!” And that’s the worst part of all. You’er right. Sometimes we learn by memorizing, like Chinese History and Economics formulae. They go into our left brain and they do not stay well and intact for long.  Short-term memories are good for exams and papers and will fade out from our memory as time goes by. But things that happen around us repeatedly for a long period of time, especially during times when we are relaxed like how we are at home, go into our right brain. They form our intuition, habit and subconcious. We may not even remember how we learned them but, sorry to say, we absorbed them completely like how a sponge absorbs water. I always love to describe these scenarios with the Chinese phrase: “kan zhai yien li”. If you have a dad who loves singing when driving, you may find yourself, one day, humming your favourite tune on the bus without awaring how other people are already looking at you with weird expressions; if you have a mum who is used to talking of others’ wrong doings, you may find yourself often drowned in conversations of the same nature. You may not have the slightest clue why you are doing it or what is causing it. You may not even think it matters, but, whether we want it or not, our subconcious is here to rule our behaviour before we even realize, and not to mention, control it.

However, there do are exceptions. Me and you are bound to know some mother who is obsessed with playing mahjong but has a son who hates the game and everything that has to do with gambling. In such cases, the parent’s behaviour gave the child such nightmares and overwhelmed the child so much that it had reached the child’s right brain in the form of: “I hate mahjong. I hate mahjong. I hate mahjong. Mahjong players are losers. Mahjong player are losers. Mahjong players are losers.” which formed a strong value in the child’s mind. If the child grows into an adult who lives his life on firm principles, it may occur to this man who suffered from mahjong shuffling sounds over long periods of time that he will never want to touch a single mahjong tile even with his toe nail. However, if, in some point of his life, he is introduced to the art of mahjong by a loved one, he will “miraculously” pick up and master the game faster than anyone else!

The conclusion is, if we want our child to behave exactly the same like we do, we should just go ahead and stick with whatever we’re having and doing now, including our little habits, attitude and values. Otherwise, we may want to think about changing,improving, or at least, hiding some parts of ourselves- any part of us which you don’t want to pass on to generations and generations to come.

April 22, 2006

“SHXT! Where is my phone??!!”

Posted in Inspirations at 8:54 am by joeychan

“SHXT! Where is my phone??!!”

“DXXM! I left my wallet at work!!!”

“FXXK!! I forgot to bring my keys! And I have no access home! Where are you now?”

Do you yourself or you have a friend around you who say one or more of the above at least once every other month? If you do, I beg you to read on.

I think, out of every 30 humans, there is at least one member who is so forgetful that it becomes a regular topic for entertainment at social gatherings and an infamous signature of that person. He loses phones, keys, wallets and other little things so frequently that it’s impossible to keep track for them anymore at this age. The reaction of the people around this forgetful person varies depending on who that person is- if that person has a special identity, for example, an artiste, or a very talented and professional musician, the people around him, will usually comment with “oh dear, you silly thing!”, or “awww, how can he be so forgetful? hheh!” along with a motherly smile. However, if the forgetful person has an “ordinary” identity, he will very likely be yelled at by parents everytime he forgets something, or his friends will response by giving “Geez-he’s-hopeless” kind of gazes among one another at his forgetfulness. And more, his lover will be so disappointed by his “irresponsibility” by thinking that he’s too childish to be in a long-term relationship. But today, I am not here to talk about how ordinary people are being treated differently from artistes in everyday lives. Instead, I’d like to talk about the real reason behind forgetfulness.

Forgetful people are usually accused of the following sins- mindless, naive, irresponsible, spoilt, and many more of the kind. Before we find out if they are really guilty of the above characteristics, I would like you to first think about this- have you realized that there is one real similarity among all these forgetful people around us? No? Yes? No? Yes. There is. And that they are all very creative people. Or I should say, they are either very creative or they are very talented in one or more aspects of art. Is it a coincident? Yes? No? Yes? No. It is not a coincident at all. People who are talented in art are not talented for no reason, just like how creative people are not creative for no reason. They think and observe more than anyone else does. That’s how they get their brilliant ideas and invent view points that we have never seen from. Whether they are walking on the street, taking a bus, staring at some ants, waiting for the traffic lights to change or they seem like they are idling, they are always observing and thinking. And there is this inappropriate time when they think that causes them so much trouble. It is when they are switching activities. When they are going from one activity to another, especially when it involves interacting with people, their mind spins even faster and their eyes are busier than ever observing. At this time, their brains are  occupied with too many things at the same time that they basically have no idea what the other parts of their bodies are doing. It is not that they get out of control to the extent of tap-dancing in front of friends. What they don’t realize is that their hands are putting down things in random places. They have no idea that they are about to put the glasses behind the soya sauce bottle and they are never going to see the glasses again. Nor do they realize they are about to put their mobile phone on the lap and the little toy will slide down onto the taxi seat in no time and disappear for good. But sometimes they get lucky, too. Ocassionally, they later get to have a glimpse and realize that their items are lying around at these absurd places. But their minds have not had the chance to spin down yet and they decide to pick up their items later. But it always happens that, the next time they think about the item again, it is already a time when it is too late to regret.

However, I am not here to defend and protest for the Forgetful Men and Women Union. I actually have a few solutions for these poor souls. Accept the fact that your mind spins at too high a speed for you to “do it later”. Upon the first flash of a moment when you realize your phone is lying on the countertop of your kitchen, pick it up and stuff it into your pocket. Don’t wait until later. When you see your key holder lying on your office desk because you took them out to use the HSBC security device that is attached to it to check your account balance with web banking, put it back into your bag right away. Don’t wait until later. Or, when you are about to enter a room, especially a room with people who have the potential to give your mind a busy time, either spin down your mind for a while or stuff everything away immediately before you step into the scene. Be calm for a brief moment so that you won’t put things down without yourself realizing, or stuff away your personal belongings so you can’t even leave them behind. DON’T WAIT UNTIL LATER.

Not all creative people are forgetful, but all forgetful people are creative. And if you are lucky enough to not be a forgetful dude, please understand that no matter how hard your hopeless friends are trying, they are only going to improve from losing 8 phones a year to losing 2 phones a year, and they may have already tried their best. Their high mega-hertz minds are the reason to their forgetfulness but it is also where our friends cook up their hillarious and amazing ideas and topics.  And in case they forgot to tell you- they do realize and appreciate your presence to save the countless keys, wallets and phones, more importantly, your empathy to accept and embrace them.

April 20, 2006

Purple Dreams and Green Dreams

Posted in Personal Development at 12:25 pm by joeychan

If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was started with a dream and a mouse.  ~Walt Disney

Dream the impossible because dreams do come true.  ~ Elijah Wood

I dream, therefore I exist. ~ August Strindberg

Dare to err and to dream. Deep meaning often lies in childish plays. ~Friedrich Schiller

There are all sorts of quotes about “dreams”. And there are all sorts of people having all sorts of dreams everywhere. But recently, I realized that a lot of people have major misinterpretation on the meaning of “dreams”. I would like to spend this part of my blog on organizing the meaning of this dreamy word.

I think there are 2 kinds of dreams. Let’s call them Purple dreams and Green dreams for now. Purple dreams are crazy dreams that you simply dream about that will never come true. For example, you dream about having a memory bread. You press the bread against a page that you need to memorize for an exam or a presentation. Then if you eat the bread you will remember everything printed on that page. Or you dream of having a memory buzzer, so that it erases a selected part of your memory. Some people make purple dreams about LIFE. They dream of being a pro athlete, or they dream of being the richest man in the world. Other people dream about more practical dreams like starting their own business or retiring at 50 years old. However, these are still purple dreams but not because of their content. They are purple dreams because of the dreamers. These dreamers heard from somewhere or read from some quotes that they need to have dreams. And that’s why they dream. They make their dreams and the next thing they do, as far as anyone is concerned, is to sit there and go on dreaming how fantastic life will be once they have achieved their dreams. They will go on thinking about the country they should retire in or the interior design of the house they will buy (usually with wall-high windows.) Or whether it is neccessary to buy a personal airplane. They do not do anything practical nor do they make any plans to make their dreams come true. Some of them may find someone or something to blame on being the obstacle to their dreams. Their dreams become as impossible as a memory buzzer and the memory bread.

What are Green dreams? Green dreams are in many ways the same with Purple dreams and, yet, different in many. Let me give an example- one of Bill Gates’ earliest dreams was “A personal computer on every desk and in every home.” He had this dream when he founded Microsft and launched the MSDOS operating system. Having such a dream at that time was as crazy as anyone wanting to be the richest man in the world because even a former IBM chairperson, Thomas Watson, once said, “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” But did Bill Gates make his dream and stop there? No. He went on planning on how Microsoft could expand market-wise, that would lead to expanding finance-wise and size-wise. He has not taken his mind off for a single minute from how to reach his goal.  This is also why he looks nothing but a geek now.  And so do many other Green dreamers. From Leonardo Da Vinci, Stephen King, John Nash, to Li Yun Di, Yang Li Wei.  They dream, plan and devote. A lot of people try to deny these people’s hardwork by claiming that they are “The Lucky Ones”. Because they think they themselves devote, too, and they are just in lack of luck. But have they forgotten to plan? Or some of them do plan but they don’t devote. And of course more of them only dream and do nothing else. They become Purple Dreamers. Little do they know the effort and time and how much the real Green Dreamers have sacrificed for their dreams- they sacrificed their entertainment, their relationships and maybe even their health. It is not up to me nor you to decide if it is a fair deal. Only in their own minds can we find the answers on how much their dreams are worth.

Green dreams and purple dreams… Which kind of dream do you have?

April 13, 2006

Easter Camp ’06

Posted in The Loving Tree at 3:13 am by joeychan

Today is the first day of Easter Camp at The Loving Tree. We had Malcolm and Kar Yau here for the morning, and Sophina and Water joining us in the afternoon. The first thing we did was to take the children to shop for cake-baking ingredients at Wellcome next door. Supermarket shopping is a weekly thing for we adults and everything around us seems so normal that we take for granted their presence. But they are all so interesting for the children. Children may shop with mum once in a while. But they seem to be especially excited when they are shopping with their English teachers. It is so much fun explaining everything in the supermarket to the little boys.  It took us so much time just to explain the different kinds of eggs that are in the fridge; and the 3-year old Kar Yau picked up a pack of condom at the counter and told me he wanted it. So I told him it is for daddy and mummy when they need to do something and we don’t need it for our cake today. And he quickly put it down after hearing what i said.

It is our first camp ever since our establishment and we had so many things to worry about during prepration stage- we worried about the length of the camp. Afterall the kids have to spend 7 hours here and we may not have enough interesting ideas enough for the children’s concentration to sustain. And we also worried about the duration of each activity. We might be allocating too much or too little time for each session. And we had to plan different things everyday for 5 days. That was a lot of work. But the result today is very encouraging. None of the kids seem tired or bored. They enjoyed every activity that we planned for them, e.g. Pictionary, Easter egg painting, cake-baking and not to mention Ms Nelly’s Qigong for Kids. I am so proud of having Ms. Nelly with us to host the Qigong session. She taught the young children to “sit still” and breath, and she also played a few concentration games with them that got them so excited. It was so rewarding just to hear their giggles and cackles come in through the door slit.

The Camp has not only brought us fun and laughter, it also reminds us that even for things that we see everyday and chores that we do everyday can be of so much fun- as long as we slow down and look. They were all once new and interesting to us at certain points of our lives, but we grew up and turned away from them while we were looking for something more challenging. It is almost the end of the day now. But both Miss Catel and I are very much looking foward to the rest of the Camp next week.

April 9, 2006

A brand new life

Posted in Inspirations at 11:20 pm by joeychan

9th April, 2006.

One of the most memorable and special days of my life.

The first reason is because this is the day when I have started to follow the crowd to create a blog. I have decided I need one because I want to create a channel for my very close ones to know what and how I really think. I can’t behave, think nor speak properly when I am nervous, depressed, excited, shy, worried, inconfident or arrogant. Which means I can’t express myself properly 99% of my lifetime . I hope my blog will help project my thoughts clearly to those who are waiting to listen and for those who often misunderstand me from my hard-to-understand behaviour. I don’t think I will make posts regularly. But I will write when I have something to share.

And for those of you who have been listening to me patiently for the past couple of weeks should know, the second reason to why it is a special day is because I have decided to start a brand new life without this person in my life. Although it will still take some time, but I promise that I will have her out of mind, out of my world of values, out of my heart as soon as I can, because I can’t disappoint all of your patience and care just for this imaginery friend who lives in her own imaginery world and tries to force me into her world and judge me with her own royal point of view and set of values. She is outta here.

Who is she? She was a friend of mine whom I have known for the longest time. She was a friend whom I spent the most of my childhood with and we had such fun and silly times together. It was such great and unusual experience that it’s not easy for those who don’t have friends whom they have known for 30 years to imagine and understand. Although I can remember that I was often being yelled at, for having nose allergy, eating too much, etc., but I didn’t think it mattered when I looked back, and thought that it was just childhood afterall. At least it was better than being lonely at home. She was also a friend whose 30-year friendship with me, I thought would remain the same forever and we were gonna stay friends for the rest of our lives. She was a friend whom I put all my trust in all these years everytime I needed someone whom I could trust 100% to listen to and she seemed to be able to purely understand me from all the reactions that she gave me. She is also a friend whom I eventually found out one day that she’s the one who understands me the least from the way she talked behind me and from the things she made up about me. She is a friend whom I believed, whatever happened, would be the last one to do the things she had eventually done to me. She is also a friend who have disappointed me for not just one or two times but I still stupidly chose to trust her regardless of all the advice from my other friends. Finally, she is the friend who made me felt like I was slapped on the face and that I had to wake up and accept the fact that she’s not who she pretends to be. I had to wake up and leave. I had to look through the fake image she has created for herself and stop being fooled by it like the other people in her world are. Should I be happy…or should i not?

It is common that friends use the same comments they had on you when you were 10 years old to describe how you are now. At least my Toronto friends still do. :b But it doesn’t mean that she has the right to label me as how she knew me when I was 10 for the rest of my life and makes sure that the world thinks the same way as she does. I was shocked at first to know how she spoke behind me. I thought she was upset about something in particular about me that I didn’t act ready enough to listen. Since I believe that relationship is a 2-way thing and I could do better to make her feel better about me. But no matter how careful I was, it would not stop her comments she had on me in front of others. Which at this point sounded more like gossip than anything else. My consideration eventually turned into fear because I was worried if any of my words and behaviour would upset my good old friend. My heart was full of fear whenever I was interacting with her but I did not know. I still went on trying. Everytime when I was hurt and disappointed by what I heard, I took time to recover and decided to try to do better again. And unfortunately, I heard again and again and the words she used only sounded more and more hurtful, including “Joey is pregnant and I need to go to Mainland China with her for the abortion” to cover her secret trip with a guy whom all her friends hated, and “she has borrowed $1X0,000 from me for psychiatrist therapy and she still hasn’t returned the money to me” which I had no idea why she had to say it. And this wedding preparation for herself in this past half a year had helped me found the last piece of jigsaw puzzle of a picture- the picture of the real her- very clearly in front of me. And, followed by this last time she gossiped about me as a friend, I had to break it off, because there is something that I forgot. I forgot that I have a mother. And I don’t see why my mother’s daughter deserves to be in such spiritual pain. I had to walk off.

The care and love I have received from my other friends after this final incident between me and her have awaken me. I finally know whose judgement I should really care about. It’s not hers nor her friends’, but all of you who have listened to and spoken to me in these past two weeks. I have heard every of your words and I will try to pull myself out of the labyrinth she has put me in and put myself together as fast as I can. Thanx to you all and I really appreciate having such wonderful human beings existing in my life. I love you all.

Summary: A lot of my friends who have been following through the relationship between me and her suggested that she did it out of comparison and it is something very common among girls. There are so many things common between us and she had to make herself feel better and more confident by making belief that I am, in many ways, worse than her.

If you happen to be reading this, I hope that you can take a minute to think. Think about if you are doing the same thing as she did. There are many other things you can do to make yourself feel more confident- to love, to help, oh, and to be healthy, too. Please choose among the many other ways to make yourself feel better than hurting your friends by comparing and gossiping. It is hurtful and it does not reflect the facts. It only gives you imaginery results. Do something that REALLY makes you feel better for you to be genuinely proud of yourself.