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.