Posted in Inspiration

The power of inspiration

This morning, a colleague emailed some of my team members and me to congratulate us for winning a finalist award for the publication of an educational book series. I replied to thank her for her congratulations, and I added: “It (The award) was so unexpected, as I wasn’t aware there was this awards thingy going on. All I know is we had this project to be worked on, and we did our part. If anything, everyone in this company deserves an award or recognition because we all have contributed in some ways to the publication of the books we are working on, due to our interdependence, regardless of whether these publications are publicly recognised in the industry.”

Having said that, I think people, including myself, like to be inspired. Whether it is meant to be a contest, competition or the like, people like to be inspired by those who challenge themselves to rise to higher heights, or who work for the betterment of society, and so on.

Also, I think everyone appreciates being credited or acknowledged in some ways, whether expressively or reservedly. Sometimes I wonder how to respond to awards or praises in an appropriate manner, as my response may be perceived by others as being humble or being proud. Then again, perhaps humility and pride are strange bedfellows, for they can in a way co-exist in a contradictory fashion in which we are somehow wired to be, given our complex, multidimensional nature. While we may not be expecting or looking for praises or recognition when we seek to do something meaningful or fulfilling, sincere compliments and acknowledgments can go a long way to keep us motivated to continue doing the good work we are doing, as they serve as feedback to let us know that our labour of love is not in vain as it has shown to help make the lives of others better in some ways. It appeals not to our ego but to our conviction that we are on the right track to help alleviate people’s sufferings and so on, and it brings refreshment to our weary souls and renews our vigour and resolve to advocate social justice, emancipation, empowerment of the disenfranchised and so on.

In fact, Jesus himself might be saying that he appreciated being appreciated for helping others when he spoke about the leper who returned to thank him after he was healed, while the other nine lepers who got healed didn’t return to thank him. Jesus, of all people, would be someone who is humble and secure in who he is, and still, he is moved by sincere praises when people acknowledge his good work, even though he often tells others to not announce to anyone after he heals them.

Jesse Williams’ recent BET award acceptance speech taught me how it is possible to use his award to inspire others as he dedicated his award to all those who have also contributed to the humanitarian cause of social justice and racial equality and freedom from oppression. He is wise and mature to know that everyone plays a part in working together for the common good, and everyone deserves to be recognised for the good work that they have done and are doing to make the world a better, safer and more equitable place for everyone. As a representative of these contributors, he uses his platform to speak on behalf of them and gives them the credit they deserve, so that they too can be mutually encouraged and inspired to continue with the good work for the healing of humanity.

“Now, this award – this is not for me. This is for the real organizers all over the country – the activists, the civil rights attorneys, the struggling parents, the families, the teachers, the students that are realizing that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do.” Jesse Williams

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Posted in Healing, Nature

Deconstructing the health industry

Come to think of it, why is the health industry so called? Is the emphasis on health or industry? I suppose it depends on our perspectives, and I am going to share a perspective shaped by my experience of going to a hospital yesterday.

Yesterday I accompanied my mother to a hospital for her routine quarterly medical appointment. It wasn’t a very pleasant experience. For a start, I started having runny nose when I reached there, probably due to the air-conditioning and the invisible bugs that struck when my immune system was low. I also found the place rather crowded, and I disliked having to wait for the number to be called or wait for the lift to arrive.

In addition, I noticed a rising number of people on wheelchairs at the hospital over the years – is the nation getting sicker and weaker due to the aging population, the unhealthy diet and lack of exercise, and so on? Last but not least, the hospital has been renovated recently to look more modern, more corporate, more office-like, with computers and modes of payment devices, and so on. The hospital – in a nutshell – has become a corporation in a capitalistic world.

Busy hospital corridor activities nurse patient in queue waiting doctor
© Photographer: Bakhtiarzein | Agency: Dreamstime.com

Indeed, the whole hospital environment has been looking more and more crowded and complicated to me. Long queues of patients waiting, coupled with the machine-like efficiency of the system processing information, give the impression that I was in a modern hi-tech factory rather than a healing sanctuary. The hospital seems to have become an industrial cash cow – patients are the customers, and the staff are recruited to attend to the customers and process their payment for the services rendered and the products bought from the pharmacy.

I was wondering to myself if it is really necessary for most people to go to hospital in the first place. I mean, I understand the hospital can be useful for making diagnoses of symptoms, attending to medical emergencies, and so on, but for the majority of the cases when it comes to less serious or less urgent conditions, wouldn’t it be better to seek alternative treatments such as naturopathy, homeopathy, acupuncture, reflexology, ayurvedic therapy and so on, or practise healthy lifestyles or engage in health-giving activities in the form of doing yoga, meditation and so on, rather than going to see some doctors and get pharmaceutical medicines that only treat the symptoms and not the root causes of the symptoms?

In indigenous societies, how do people stay healthy or seek treatment when they are ill where there are no hospitals? As much as their native ways of treatment may look primitive or backward to most modern scientists, they are at least tried and tested and proven and passed on from generation to generation. I believe their treatments also usually don’t have side effects, unlike chemical drugs or treatments.

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Most of all, people living in or close to natural environments such as forests, mountains and seasides, aren’t usually bogged down by stress that is often associated with an urban lifestyle that saps people’s energy levels, through the wage slavery system, the media propaganda about meeting societal expectations and climbing the proverbial career ladder, the corporate doctrine that glorifies hard work at the expense of health and rest, the materialistic view of “success”, and so on.

So, at the risk of sounding simplistic, I think most of the patients I saw at the hospital would be much better off going to a beach or a park to get some exercise and enjoy relaxation than having to go to a factory-like environment and bear with the misery of being cooped up in a concrete building with all sorts of machineries and electronic devices surrounding them for hours, and then paying for pharmaceutical products that only treat symptoms and tend to produce side effects when they are taken in the long term.

Phuket beach resort
© Photographer: Pixelation2 | Agency: Dreamstime.com

Nature is free, enables us to reconnect to our true self, provides fresh, health-giving air, and restores calm and peace to our inner being, with no negative side effects. Isn’t it better if everyone chooses to take care of their own health through diet, lifestyle choices and so on than to depend on the pharmaceutical health industry to do it for them?

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Posted in Rest

Finding my flow and balance

I seem to have found my flow and balance when I was cycling late at night, and the cool weather helps in experiencing the almost effortless feel of pedalling the bike throughout the journey. It is an exhilarating feeling of freedom and lightness, not having to feel as if I need to perform or compete with anyone, or feeling any pressure of time constraint, and so on. I naturally and willingly slow down when necessary, allowing others to overtake me, and I am not feeling like I need to overtake others in order to prove or disprove something. Maybe this is what harmony with nature looks like and feels like.

 

Posted in Love

Breaking the ice of fear and sowing the seeds of love

As it is written, in the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. God is love, so it is logical to say the word is love. Sometimes, words can break the ice and start a friendship.

When it comes to meeting people, silence can be scary. There can be an icy air of silence that poses as an invisible barrier between us and strangers. But maybe that’s where the idiomatic “ice breaker” comes into the picture. By saying something simple like “Hi, how’s it going?” to start a conversation, we can break the ice. We can dispel the air of tension and tenseness and apprehension. We can allay or alleviate the fear of rejection and abandonment that lingers in the subconscious of others that may stem from childhood trauma.

By taking the first step of saying hello, we put ourselves out on a limb, and risk rejection ourselves. We may find ourselves hanging for dear life onto a cliff face (hence, the term “cliffhanger”), or clutching at straw like a drowning person trying to keep ourselves afloat, as we wonder what might the response be. But our very act of sacrifice saves others from that fate of which we are afraid. Whether they respond in kind, at least they feel their presence is acknowledged. They feel that they matter, that they are significant, that they must be worth the time and attention that someone out there gives them.

Even if we get rejection, at least we know we try. As a saying goes, when we do things out of love, we become fearless. We know that we are sowing seeds of love, and the ripples of kindness will spread out to the universe, regardless of how the seeds are received.