Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Brief Light Candle

This post is written with a heavy heart. In just a couple of days, few people around me passed away. A manager in my department who had been battling with blood cancer courageously had put on a good fight. My cell group leader's dad passed away. My friend's teacher also passed away. Another friend's primary schoolmate's mom also just passed away. On the side note, my favourite football team Arsenal also lost to a weaker Greek side, Olympiacos 2-3 AT HOME, thus killing any real chance of qualifying out of group stage for Champions League this year (since the next two games are up against the Almighty Bayern Munich who have just trashed Dinamo Zagreb by 5-0).

All in sudden, I am again reminded that life is too short. Too short to be sad and depressed. Too short to be frustrated and hold grudge against someone you have conflict with, or someone who has wronged you. Two days ago I've read about this from "Seven Things That Steal Your Joy" by Joyce Meyer: "When you feel hopeless or upset, or if you are losing your peace and your joy, ask yourself this: Am I believing God's Word?"

If there is anything we can learn from this, it is this: 
Life is far too short to not make an impact on other people's lives.
No matter how successful one is, at one point he/she will ask "What is the purpose of my life?". Although I can yet to confidently tell you my purpose in life, I am trying my best to serve others, seeking to add values on other people's lives. More importantly, as a Christian, I am trying my best to follow God's plan by faith, be sensitive to His calling for me and expand His Kingdom in ways far beyond my imagination.

Just observe a little closer when someone around you passed away, and you will notice many friends of the deceased flock to his/her Facebook wall and write testimonials of his/her life, as a sign of respect and comforts to his/her other friends and family members. Sometimes this question popped up in my mind: If I die earlier, what will my friends write about me? You may think I am weird, but this is a legitimate question. Have you ever asked yourself this question? I will leave it to you.

Just like the brief light candle, despite being short lived, it has lived up to its purpose. Have you lived up to your purpose? The most important thing in this world is not wealth and success (although they are good to have), but happiness and love. Warren Buffett, the greatest investor of our time, once said in an annual meeting in Omaha 12 years ago:
"I measure success by how many people love me. And the best way to be loved is to be loveable." 
This is probably the most unusual thing that can ever come out from the mouth of the Oracle of Omaha, yet it makes every perfect sense. I bet none of the attendants would have expected the answer to be uttered by Buffett, and most likely all of them were getting all excited and curious on the magic number for Buffett's definition of success. I love it! I love the fact that he dared to adopt this unconventional approach when the world around him all speaks of  wealth and success from the worldly view. To be disgusted and hated by many is easy, but to be loveable may not be for certain people.

To be loveable, one thing you can do is to be genuine in offering help. Help unconditionally in any way with a sincere and genuine heart, but not expecting any return. Sometimes no tangible help is even needed, your presence itself will speak the word. Sometimes you just need to be there to practice your listening skills, be a good listener! Not many people can be good listeners, that's for sure. Sometimes you just need to be committed in doing something. It can be a relationship, or it can be a simple gym session. Being genuine and sincere will go a long way, being a good listener will propel you even further.

Really, is it difficult to bless people around you? I don't know about you, but it was difficult for me. I grew up being selfish and always wanted the best only for myself. I fought with my siblings just to get the last piece of chicken, or the blue toy instead of the red toy. When I knew of certain exam tips, I kept them to myself and seldom share them with my friends, in fear of them overtaking me in the exam. Still they almost always got higher marks than me. But as soon as I realised the best way to dig into my blindspots (unknowns that I don't know that I don't know) is to teach others, the passion to teach in me got ignited!

By teaching others, you will almost always get feedback and questions that will hit you on the spot. Questions that you are not quite sure of yourself, have been asked on the spot and you have to go figure out the answer. These questions are the type of questions that could potentially come out in your next exam, job interview and any future life challenges that you may encounter. Again, your future self will thank you for having prepared for the hardest questions (They were hard because you had never thought of them, but once you have prepared sufficiently for them, they are no longer difficult and pose as unpleasant surprises).

Another way of blessing others is by being generous in giving. But giving doesn't necessarily have to come from a financial perspective, but in time and efforts. Are you willing to give someone your time? Maybe sacrifice 30 mins of nap time and Skype or message a dear friend whom you have lost in touch in ages? Sacrifice 30 mins of gaming time or watching Youtube time, and make sandwiches for the homeless? Your choice matters. It is how you choose to spend your time and put in your efforts, that will make all the differences. 

Go make an impact on someone else's life and have a joyful day yourself!

I'm going to end this blog entry with a song I have been listening to. I find it quite adorable and beautiful at the same time. Enjoy!

Signing off. 

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