Monday, May 13, 2019


I have a friend from a well-to-do family background. She is highly educated and doing well in her career. She owns many properties even though she's still quite young. Although she is not an athlete, she is generally healthy. She has what I'd imagine what most other women can only dream of having.

Yet the irony of it all is that she's been suffering from depression for many, many years now. Although I did not discuss the matter with her in detail, I suspect she must have sought professional help to treat her condition. Well, whatever it is, it's obviously not working in terms of totally curing the problem. At best, the doctors have been able to control it.

I was once as poor as a church mouse many years ago—I had practically nothing to my name, no properties, no fat bank account, no university degree and no prospect of ever getting a scholarship or education loan to pursue my tertiary education. During the darkest moments of my life, I worked as a supervisor and was in charge of labourers collecting garbage from house to house. On many occasions, I myself had to be one of them, i.e. being a garbage collector. Quite often, I had to work for up to 14 hours a day. It was hell, and it seemed like there was very little prospect of improving my life beyond that. Those are circumstances which I would consider as good ones to be depressed about. It was very stressful, but I was never depressed.

I've long before that realised that everybody faces challenges in life, and I've learned to count my blessings. I focused mainly on what I had—which, unfortunately, wasn't much back then—and tried to build from that. Because after all, being rich or poor, being healthy or sick, being highly educated or not—all these are relative measurements. If I'm poor, I bet there are many poorer people out there struggling to make ends meet, and to feed their families. If I'm feeling not so healthy, I bet there are many people at the verge of dying of a terminal diseases out there. If I think I'm not so well-educated, I bet there are still people who're unable to read and write out there.

That is basically why I refused to dwell on the negatives. I'd rather focus my energy on whatever's out there that I can potentially acquire. For as long as I keep trying, there is something that I can hope for. If I failed, then that's too bad; I suppose I will keep trying again and again. It's OK, I don't mind trying. There is just no reason for me to be depressed. What I've learned in life is that if I keep trying, sooner or later I'm bound to be successful in at least some of those challenges.

It's OK to be disappointed in something, but don't be depressed about it. Count your blessings and remember that you are still better off than many, many other people. Be happy instead. After all it's much more fun pursuing the dreams of your life feeling happy rather than depressed.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

The Art of Keeping Secrets

My mother-in-law lived in my house for about 2 years before she died. She had trouble walking, and she would spend her days moving between her bed and my favourite seat in front of the TV, which very quickly became her throne when she moved in. She had an amazing stamina watching TV at least a few hours a day.

As you all probably already know, the shows on Astro would be repeated over and over again throughout the day, and quite often over a period of several weeks. I don't normally spend a lot of time watching TV though, and I would rarely find myself in front of the TV. But sometimes, I would be in the mood to watch old movies which I've missed watching in the cinema.

The only problem was that my mother-in-law had an incurable disease that made her unable to control herself from telling me what's going to happen next in the movie. Even though I told her countless of times not to tell, that could only make her stop for a few minutes. After that she would lose her control again. I'm not sure if it's just a habit or a kind of weakness of the mind. Sometimes, people are born with some sort of inclination, and it would stay with them for the rest of their lives. Such was the case with my mother-in-law as far as having no control of spoiling movies for others.

What I've noticed about people in general is that the vast majority of them can't control themselves from sharing the information that they have, though admittedly perhaps they're not as hopeless as my mother-in-law. Of course then again my mother-in-law was an extreme case, and perhaps not a suitable comparison. 

Especially if it is an important secret—an important information that is absolutely critical not to be shared with others—they would want to share that knowledge even more. The itch to tell, I'd imagine, is overwhelming. And even if they don't tell directly, they'd at least do it indirectly by dropping hints or speak like Jesus, in parables.

That's essentially why for the last several days, whenever I'm on facebook, I would shut my mind from the many, many posts about The Avengers: Endgame. I would simply ignore those posts and moved on to the rest of facebook. Except for a very few of those posts, the majority just couldn't control themselves from dropping hints about the storyline. For the most part, I did not entertain those posts until I have seen the movie myself recently. And only after I'd seen the movie had I revisited the posts on facebook. True enough, what I had known all along about most people is indeed true—they can't control themselves!

Keeping secrets is an art. In fact, it's a skill that very few possess. Most people would be itching to tell others, especially if they're told "not to tell"! It's a skill that some people will never acquire. Not everybody can do it. It takes a very strong, disciplined and patient person to master the art of keeping secrets.