Sunday, June 13, 2010

What can we learn from a little kid?

My wife and I were invited to one of our good friend's house to catch up yesterday. We had not seen the couple for a very long time and it was great seeing them. Anyway, we thought it was a great idea to also make Chinese Zhong-zi while we were there as it's also the time of the year.

Little did I know that I could learn so much from this little gathering. I think Jaze and Michelle really did a good job raising their kids...

While we were making the dumplings, Aaron, Jaze's son, took out one of the strings and started playing with it. In his imagination, the string could be a sword, a rope, a knife, a gun, a weapon to justice. Boy, the kid was having such great fun with the simple string. Just look at him. It was sheer joy!

The daddy was telling me the kid could watch Alvin and the Chipmunks endless time everyday and never got tired of it.

While I was looking back at the picture earlier, it struck me that there was once we all lived like that too. We could play with a simple match box for hours and never got tired of it. We could read a simple comic books for zillion times, knowing very well what the ending was, but still enjoyed it.

What has changed in our life? We now demand to use the latest software, the latest mobile, the latest GPS, the latest this and the latest that. We are never contented with what we have anymore. Just upgraded to iPhone 3GS a few months ago, and now my heart itch for iPhone 4. I feel that what I have is never enough; what people did for me are never good enough. We are always on the chase for more and the latest.

Why do we feel inadequate today when we have so much more? What can we learn from this little kid? Are we demanding too much and giving too little thanks?


There is a kind old lady who stays at the same block with us. She is 80 years old, and has gone through all sort of hardship in her life. She told us that she used to cycle for more than 20km to go anywhere. When she was younger, she worked as a rubber tapper, hawker or any job that could bring food back to the family. She moved into the city when her sons started family and life got better.

After she moved to KL, she started collecting old newspapers to sell. It was hard for her but because she treated everyone in the condo very nicely, everyone just donated old magazines, old newspaper, etc to her. And then she would call the lorry to pick up these newspapers. She was like making something like RM 1k a month - although not much, but she got by.

What astounded me was when she told us she donated RM 10k for charity, as most of the newspaper she got were donated by others too! She only made RM 1k a month, and she donated RM 10k for charity?

Wow! How many of us who pride ourselves as professional have donated RM 1k for anything?

What a life of abundance, and what a kind soul. Although she has gone through so much hardship, she chooses to cherish life. More importantly, she chooses to help people in need. She chooses to care, and to love. Although she's an illiterate, she lives a more meaningful and purposeful life than those of us who are supposedly highly educated.

What a life! And what a wake up call!


  1. We make our life complicated?

  2. I think it's more like we are never contented with what we have; and we never give enough credits to ourselves for what we have achieved.

    When we are always feeling inadequate, when do we have time to give thanks?

    Just my two cents...

  3. I think Urbanization has something to do with it.

    In a large Urban city like KL, everyone is moving in such a fast pace and people loose sight of fundamental in life. They have to better themselves with things, needs and wants through simple peer preassure.

    What does it takes to wake up? Perhaps a stop in the morning, and listen to the bird chipping happyly, or a look at the sun and know that it given us the source of light and dry our cloths. Or a nice rain that cools the world down.

    So what does it takes? It begins with "Me and my innerself"