Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Learning To Love Oneself

On extreme right: Pei Shun

I used to hate my life when I was a small boy. Mom and dad were hardly ever around. I had to live with my sadistic grandparents whom apparently derived so much pleasure from torturing young children. I can still remember those lonely nights when I cried quietly in the dark and wet my pillow with tears. I felt my childhood was devoid of love; and I wished so much that my life would end somehow. I hated life so much, and I wondered why I was born into this world.

I think all of us must have gone through some very low moments in our lives when everything seems to be crushing in onto us. But I have learned to love myself—I owed it to myself!

Sometimes, when we feel very down—when everything seems so wrong—we tend to forget the good things that we have. We keep thinking about the negative side of life; and we become blind to the good things that we can still enjoy. We forget that there are others who are even more miserable than us...

Sometimes we need to be reminded that we are very lucky after all. Such was the reminder that I received from a young woman whose life's restricted to a wheelchair. Her name was Pei Shun.

Pei Shun was invited to relate a little bit about her life shortly before the final presentation of the Be An Angel (Beautiful Gate) Hunt last Saturday. Pictures of the hunt are available at the Beautiful Gate Blog.

At a young age, Pei Shun suffered the misfortune of a condition known as spinal cerebellar. She had limited control of her limbs and she had to struggle to complete a full sentence. Communicating through an interpreter, she braved all odds to go on stage to tell her story.

Oh how my heart went out to her. With such a misfortune, Pei Shun showed amazing valour. She could still smile and laugh; she was very proud of her two children. I really admire her courage, and although I have fully functional limbs and lead a normal healthy life, I readily admit that I am not as strong as Pei Shun. Watching her throughout that 10 minutes or so, I had to suppress tears from swelling up in my eyes. Pei Shun made me see life from a different angle—most of us are so lucky with what we have.

We see so many people grumbling about so many things—the BERSIH and HINDRAF rallies are very good examples. Maybe we should all learn to count our blessings. Maybe we should all reflect on Pei Shun's life, and then perhaps we will all be happy with what we have...

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