Skip to main content

Advice to share - written by an old man my son met in the streets of Kuching, Borneo

While wandering the streets of Kuching in Sarawak, Northern Borneo, my son and his girlfriend were approached by an elderly man who "wanted to practice his English". Their immediate reaction was of course that he wanted to sell them something - which he did, but not in exchange for money. He persisted and because they're polite people, a conversation ensued. Turned out he wanted to share some advice in the only way he knew how. By meeting people in the street. At the end of the chat, he handed them this photocopied sheet of paper which I've transcribed as best I can below. As far as I can see, the thoughts it contains seem in line with what I understand to be broadly Buddhism, but judge for yourself. Wise words whatever the label. Comments in [  ] are mine...



"Shared [and possibly written] by Y T Ong (age 78) Malaysian/Chinese in Nov 2015 at Kuching, Sarawak, East Malaysia.

The followings [sic] 'What really is worthwhile'

3 Ps... Passion + Persistence + Possibilities

4 things we can do:-
  1. Drop pretence. Eternity is not for shams
  2. Drop worry. Worry is spiritual nearsight to danger
  3. Let go of discontent. Make a heroic life out of whatever is set before us
  4. Let go of self-seeking. In the eternal life there is no greed [what's the point of trying to be the richest man in the cemetery?]
8 values can enhance one's life:-
  1. Be wise in the use of time
  2. Value work
  3. Seek happiness every day. If you are not happy today, you will never be happy [I think what he's saying is if you can't be happy today, when can you?]
  4. Cherish love. True love never nags [not sure about this one. My wife nags, and I love her]
  5. Keep ambition in check
  6. Embrace friendship
  7. Do not fear sorrow
  8. Cherish faith [as an atheist, I guess the advice is 'cherish it if you have it'. My advice would be to respect faith, but question everything]
In conclusion, life is but kindness. [There is] an old Chinese saying "Throughout the world, we are all brothers and sisters". It echoed [a] few thousand years ago. Never assume, always ask [my point about faith]. In short, find out the real facts. Action speaks louder! [the pen is mightier than the sword].

The best discipline is self-discipline. Nothing is final. Living is struggling."



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Phillips screws - yes I'm angry about them too

Don't get me wrong. They're a brilliant invention to assist automation and prevent screwdrivers from slipping off screw heads - damaging furniture, paintwork and fingers in the process. Interestingly they weren't invented by Mr Phillips at all, but by a John P Thompson who sold Mr P the idea after failing to commercialise it. Mr P, on the otherhand, quickly succeeded where Mr T had failed. Incredible isn't it. You don't just need a good idea, you need a great salesman and, more importantly, perfect timing to make a success out of something new. Actually, it would seem, he did two clever things (apart from buying the rights). He gave the invention to GM to trial. No-brainer #1. After it was adopted by the great GM, instead of trying to become their sole supplier of Phillips screws, he sold licenses to every other screw manufacturer in the world. A little of a lot is worth a great deal more than a lot of a little + vulnerability (watch out Apple!). My gromble is abo

Would we pay more for their stuff?

I'm confused. Brexiters argue the Germans, Italians and French will still want to sell us their cars, so continued free trade with the UK is in their best interests. But we'll have to negotiate this (with an EU unwilling to make leaving easy) by threatening to make their cars more expensive for British people to buy. We'll do this because WE need to make imports more expensive to try to restore our balance of payments. Are Brits prepared to pay more for their Audis, Fiats and Renaults in order to make British cars more appealing, or do Brexiters want to pay more in order to punish them for taxing our insurance and banking products? Either way, imports will cost more. While in the EU, we buy their cars because we like the choice and don't want our own government to tax them. Indeed it would be better for British car manufacturing if we went back to the good old days of being encouraged to buy cheaper British cars (made by foreign owned factories). Is that what Brexite

Brilliant Inspiring Statues