“Do you believe in God?” A missionary asked me directly after handing me a church brochure. He had a jubilant expression on his face, eagerly waiting for my response.
After coming to the front porch of my house unexpectedly due to the sound of the doorbell, being greeted with such a question made me flinch. I looked at his face for a few seconds, not sure how I should respond to him.
Then I cleared my throat and uttered, “I don’t know.”
The missionary was unfazed by my response. He continued his gospel on the bible, telling me the benefits of how accepting Jesus Christ as my lord and savior can change my life for the better. He was super ecstatic about preaching what he believed.
Seeing how the missionary was having such a good time, I went along with him. I nodded at everything he said. I smiled and exchanged some laughter with him. In the end, he told me to consider the idea of becoming a Christian; to become someone of virtue, love, devotion, and worship.
I did not reply to him. I merely said my goodbyes and gently closed the door.
Alone in the silence of my home, I shook my head from side to side and sighed. “To believe or not to believe, the results are one and the same…” Continue reading
Anger is a really fascinating emotion. On one level, it is highly unpleasant and destructive. When you are angry, your heartbeat rises and your eyelids may twitch. The adrenaline kicks in and you are in a fight-or-flight response. On another level, your senses are heightened; your voice grows louder, and your reactions become faster.
If you’ve ever been angry before, you know that there are just two elements that make up anger: energy and unpleasantness. When you are angry, you are energetic. Your energy level becomes intensified. The only problem is that when you are angry you are highly toxic and unpleasant to be around. You whine, complain, cry, yell, and do all sorts of shenanigans to express your frustrations.
However, anger doesn’t subside. It stays within you waiting for the right moment to strike. We know that being angry is unhealthy. Science has shown us that when you are angry, you are literally poisoning your own body.
If we know all this is true just by evaluating ourselves when we are angry, then why do people still get angry?
I’m afraid the answer is really simple. Anger is a reactionary response for most people. People indirectly choose to be angry; it is an unconscious reaction. What this means is that anger is happening accidentally without your consent. If outside situations are good, you are good. If outside situations are bad, you are bad. Continue reading
“I feel like I’m in a mid-life crisis right now…” My Cousin Simon spoke to me in the truck as I was driving him home to his house after a late lunch at our family’s restaurant. He cleared his voice slightly, and sighed. “I feel so lost right now.”
I glanced over quickly to observe Simon’s expression before reverting my eyes back on the busy road. The traffic was incredibly slow; we traveled less than ten miles in a span of thirty minutes on the highway.
Feeling concerned, I asked, “What’s wrong?” and waited for his response.
“I feel like there’s no purpose to life…Everyone will die one day. I will die too. I’m scared of being a nobody. I want to make an impact in the lives of so many people.” Simon voiced his feelings as he emotionally recalled the past few days. “I don’t know why, but I’m feeling very depressed. There is no growth in what I do. I feel that the path I am on right now only leads to mediocrity. It is the same thing every day. Don’t get me wrong. I love college. I love my friends. It’s fun and all, but if I keep going down this path, I can already predict my future.”
The traffic came to a halt as we stopped in the middle of the highway with an endless stream of cars in front and behind us. My eyes were glued to the back of a vehicle in front of us. The tail lights were shining straight into my pupils, but I was unaware of them. My mind was slowly taking in what my cousin said. Without taking my eyes off, I took a deep breath and replied, “OK then, what are you going to do about it?” Continue reading
“People need to make up their damn mind.” My Cousin Alice spoke in a loud voice. “People always say that we are the same and that there is no difference between people. On the other hand, they also say that we are different and that no one is the same. Make up your mind, geez!”
Her face flushed with a tint of red. “I don’t know what to celebrate and believe anymore. Am I supposed to believe in our similarities or differences? Should I celebrate diversity, or neglect it? I don’t get people at all.”
I chuckled as I listened to my little cousin’s dilemma. She has a very interesting perspective on this topic. Are we similar or are we different? This question isn’t hard. In fact, a preschooler who had read the Sesame Street book called We’re Different, We’re the Same knows the answer. As the title suggest, we are different and we are the same. We are both.
You can ask, “How can we be different and the same, aren’t they opposites?”
I would answer. “Well not necessary. For example, everyone have eyes. Some people’s eyes are blue. Some are brown. And so on and so forth. The eye colors may be different, but they all serve the same function. We use our eyes to see.” Continue reading
“On July 1st, it’s Canada’s independence day! In fact, this year is the 150th year of independence for Canada. It is a really special event.” Radikha, my Indian co-traveling friend, spoke proudly in an excited voice. “We are in Ottawa, the capital city of Canada on this very special day. It looks like all of my planning hasn’t been for naught.”
It was the 3rd day in our road trip to Canada. We have driven almost a thousand miles to reach our destination. I looked wearily at her and lightly smiled. The Canadian flag dangled down vividly on the top of every light post. Between the intersections of the streets were huge concrete blocks cutting off entry from cars and trucks. Police officers guarded these posts in abundance.
Beyond the barricade was an endless stream of people flooding the streets wearing different shades of red and white attires. Even red maple leaf tattoos were visible on the faces of several native Canadians. Continue reading
“It’s not his baby!” A distraught, middle-aged woman yelled at the top of her lungs. Her brown disheveled hair concealed her face, covering up her inharmonious contours and wrinkles. She lunged forward in heavy steps by-passing me without noticing my presence.
I looked at her shockingly as she stumbled further down the sidewalk. Her arched back slowly disappeared into the dark night. I could no longer see her, but her loud voice continued on echoing in the air. It was all gibberish, nothing that I could understand.
As she disappeared into the background, I slowly shook my head and sighed. “It looks like she is totally lost in her own mind. Something unfortunate happened to her, and she kept those events alive within her. Walking by, she didn’t even notice me standing next to her when she yelled.” Continue reading
I know that I have touched upon the subject on how I got into writing a while back when I made my About page. I stated that writing helps me transform my feelings and thoughts into physical form. And that it provided me an outlet to evaluate my current mental state. All of this is true. However, I feel that I need to provide further clarification on why I write. Without clarity and reason behind your actions, no matter what you do, you can never do enough of it. The work that you do becomes lost, because the true purposes behind your actions are unclear.
I want to give you my reasons for why I write. Hopefully it will help you see why I do what I do, and that it will influence you in your choice of actions to take and decisions to make.
There are several reasons why I write. The main reasons are:
- Evaluating Personal Growth
- Communication & Creativity
- Alignment with Life
These reasons are pretty self explanatory with the exception of the third one. I will go through each one of them to explain my approach. Continue reading
We’ve all dealt with negative people before. A simple tactic that many of us employ is to avoid them. That’s a smart strategy. It is a good choice to avoid what you don’t want. We all know that negative people have a way of taking their negative energies and transferring them to you. By avoiding them, you eliminate any chance of them getting on your nerves. Good job. However, what about negative people who you can’t avoid like your family members, your spouse, or even yourself? What do you do then?
A great lesson I learned a while back when I was in a state of profound negativity is to think of negativity as a universal, temporary state. Everyone goes through periods of negativity. It all varies in intensity. Some of them cause minor annoyance to people; the negative state resurfaces at every unfavorable situation. To other people, their negativity is an enduring reality that doesn’t seem to have an end. Continue reading
“Sheng, why is it that you focus so much on positivity? What makes you so positive all the time?” My little cousin Alice whispered as I scrubbed a small bowl in the sink with a soapy sponge. It was her turn to clean the dishes after dinner, but seeing how much she detested washing dishes, I took over her duty.
“What makes you think that I am positive all the time?” I musingly replied to her. “I am just like everyone else. I go through series of emotions from high to low. I, too, wallow in my own despair at times, and sometimes they last for months.” I smiled at my cousin while looking at her astonished face.
“That doesn’t make any sense.” Her eyes narrowed on her forehead. “Then, why is it that you are able to be positive despite being sad at the same time?”
I paused for a moment while feeling my left hand cupping a bowl on the bottom while my right hand rubs the inside of it in a circular fashion. “The answer is really simple. I just don’t take things too personally and I accept things for what they are.”
“What do you mean?” Alice confusingly asked. Continue reading
My first encounter with death was when I was 5 years old. My maternal great grandma died during that time. I remembered very vague details from her funeral. But the only thing I remembered clearly was her inanimate body positioned upright on a chair. The funeral director had combed her hair and dressed her up in a traditional Chinese qipao. She sat there motionlessly, but her lifeless eyes stared forward.
Before her, many of my relatives stood shoulders to shoulders around her. My maternal grandma was on her knees wailing and crying out loudly. My grandpa was standing there stoic in his outward appearance, but suffering on the inside. My aunts, uncles, and parents all had their own fair share of misery, emotional outbreak, and silence. I stood there behind them, but I didn’t share in their emotion of misery and loss. I was too young to understand that, but I did feel something that day. I felt fear. Continue reading