Ideas

Paul Chong                            Saturday 18 November 2017
A Chinese by Descent
An Australian by Consent

Ideas the greatest commodities in the world
When they come you are never told
Don’t be surprised by their appearance
Jotting them down will be a rich experience.


Their appearances don’t come by rhyme
Thoughts & ideas emerging all the time
Taking a shower or asleep ‘neath a sheet
Reading a book or seeing your footy team beat.

Ideas are opportunities knocking on the door
Be aware & you’ll never be poor
Ideas gained & ideas tilled
Committing to action means you’ll be fulfilled.

Ideas are rich & poor
Depending on how you stir
Begin now with your pen
Carrying them through will make you grand.

(Originally penned on Tuesday 3 July 1990 @ 4.40 am)

Lives of Great Men All Remind Us That . . .

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Paul Chong

A Chinese by Descent
An Australian by Consent

 

It’s said: Some men are born great
Others achieve greatness
And still others have greatness thrust upon them.

Having said that, it’s interesting to note that all you need is one talent in life to carry you on the road to success. However, the road of success is often strewn with obstacles making the going rough & tough. But it’s when the going gets tough that the tough gets going (Knuts Rockne) . . . that is the cruz that makes all the difference.

In “A Psalm of Life” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 – 1882) wrote these memorable lines:
“ Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time ;
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate ;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
        Learn to labor and to wait.” (Part Extract)

Yes, we can all make our lives sublime – to be of very great excellence or beauty. Persistence is the key word, the crucial medium in our everlasting effort.
If you examine the lives of great men, you’ll find that life to them wasn’t just a bed of roses. They were men made of sterner stuff & were able to turn the tide of adversity to victory. They channelled all odds to what they had got.The tough rise to the occasion, above the storms & conquer all elements of peril.

Thomas Edison, the great American inventor when asked of the secret of his success, he merely attributed it to “One percent inspiration & ninety percent perspiration.”
And what did his teacher said of him? His teachers told him he was too stupid to learn anything.

Abraham Lincoln entered the Black Hawk War as a captain & came out a private. He failed for a period of 30 years as from 1831, yet while others failed & gave up, he went on to become the GREATEST US PRESIDENT in 1860.

F. W. Woolworth got a job in a dry goods store when he was 21, but his employer wouldn’t let him wait on the customers because he didn’t have enough sense.images-4

Walt Disney was fired by his newspaper editor because he had “no good ideas”.
Einstein was four years before he could speak& seven before he could read.

Longfellow biographer Charles Calhoun noted that “A Psalm of Life” became a popular & oft-quoted poem. It even risen beyond being just as poem & into a cultural artifact. Among the many quoted lines are “footprints on the sand off time”.

After Longfellow’s death, biographer Eric S. Robertson noted, “A Psalm of Life”, great poem or not, went straight to the hearts of the people, and found an echoing shout in their midst. From the American pulpits, right and left, preachers talked to the people about it, and it came to be sung as a hymn in churches.”[16]

The poem was widely translated into a variety of languages, including Sanskrit & Hebrew.[
17]

Calhoun also notes that “A Psalm of Life” has become one of the most frequently memorised and most ridiculed of English poems, with an ending reflecting “Victorian cheeriness at its worst”. Modern critics have dismissed its “sugar-coated pill” promoting a false sense of security.

One story has it that a man once approached Longfellow and told him that a worn, hand-written copy of “A Psalm of Life” saved him from suicide. Nevertheless, Longfellow scholar Robert L. Gale referred to “A Psalm of Life” as “the most popular poem ever written in English”. Edwin Arlington Robinson, an admirer of Longfellow’s, likely was referring to this poem in his “Ballade by the Fire” with his line, “Be up, my soul”. Despite Longfellow’s dwindling reputation among modern readers and critics, “A Psalm of Life” remains one of the few of his poems still anthologized.

The question is would your life be something that others would admire & emulate?

Fond Farewell to My Golf


Paul Chong   Tuesday, 14 November 2017

It’s about fourteen years since I know & love Thee
Playing Thee in the Spring, Summer, Winter or Fall
But sadly & fondly I have to bid farewell to Thee
With chronic backache & glaucoma hitting me
I reluctantly need to surrender to nature’s call.

GOLF is “Good Old Loving Fun”.
The above lines briefly relate my romance with golf. I was an avid senior golfer . . . learning to play at an ripe old age of 65. I must be crazy then. Indeed I was, rising up before the first light of day, spring, summer, winter or fall. With my neighbour George Burns (you may be curious by this familiar name . . . the late George Burns, the famed comedian actor), we were always the first to tee off.

We were members of the Pickering Brook Sports Club. Weston Road, Pickering Brook, Kalamunda. As with most Australian country bush golf courses, this is a “sand green” course. The course green is a bit rough. The putting green is sand, which requires you raking the sand from the ball to the hole before putting. There are certain acceptable rules different from the usual lush green golf course.

We usually play nine holes, leisurely taking about two hours or slightly more. Quite often in the early morning hours from 5.30 am on, no other golfers were around, leaving the whole golf course to us. We often had kangaroos lying far off & around in family groups. They disappeared sooner than our appearance.

Perth is such a great place for golf. The climate is so conducive to afford you all-round year play. You won’t perspire in summer nor would you be cold in winter.

I was improving & lowering my handicap to 24 when I discovered that I could not see the flight of my golf ball & where it landed. At the same time, i was getting many more “windy” shots, all because my depth perception was deterred due to glaucoma. Further I was aggravated by my chronic backache, for which I had an L4/L5 spinal operation some 10 years ago.

Sadly, I have to say goodbye to golfing for the rest of my natural life. To know to part often break many a heart. Every now & again, I still try to drive from my car porch to the Darlington National Park fronting our home or putting in our own backyard . . . but it is not the same as playing with someone or a team as in Pickering Brook or elsewhere.

I contend myself in having played in Shenzhen(China), Genting Highlands (Malaysia), in & around Perth courses like Hillview Golf Course, Whaleback Golf Course, Araluen & others.

Most men will chase after skirts
But great men go after “holes”!
In golf, it’s getting your shot into the “hole” with the minimum of shots that counts!

Let Go & Let God

Paul Chong                                        Saturday 4/11/2017.

Whatever our past, Whatever our present
Guide us not to our future.
We are all completely in God’s hands .
It’s only wise & rational to place our faith & trust absolutely in Him – our Creator & Provider.
Irrespective of who we are, rich or poor, powerful or weak, intelligent or otherwise,we like to feel & think that we are invincible & in full control of our destiny . . . never realising that right from the womb to the tomb there’s but one room . . .a one-way ticket in our life’s journey. Whoever we are, whatever we do, there’s no return journey. That room of 6 by 3 by 6 is our resting place of R I P.

What’s next is ETERNITY. For some life’s journey is smooth & easy without major upheavals or hazards. The privilege of old age is not shared by all. Even then there’s a time limit of how long we can live.
For others life is a constant struggle for survival. Like a little boat setting out to sea, it has to brave the storm. The perils of life’s journey can either make us or break us. The weak will tumble & fall, only the tough get going.

Life is not the same for us all. Why? You may ask. God in all His mightiness made us all different. I have no answer here. It’s an eternal question. Faith is all the substance needed.They say that the good die young & evil live on. Does this notion stand up to reasoning? A small child is told by the father to jump & he would catch him in his protective arms. Safety is assured when he is around. The child should heed the father & not take the risk of jumping when the father is absent. We are all children of God. Our future rests with Him. It’s our own doubt that lands us in calamities.

Man’s ingenuity & intelligence can go only so far. There’s a limit in what medical science can achieve.
We need God.Man cannot conquer the impossibilities God alone can conquer them all. So let go & let God. May God’s grace & mercy be upon you on your life’s journey. This life is only temporary. Let’s take God’s hands towards life’s eternity which I forever & ever. The great oak tree grew from a tiny acorn. Faith is that tiny seed which will assure your great eternity.

Begin Right & Everything Will Be Alright

 

Paul Chong                        Sunday, 15 October 2017
A Chinese by Descent
An Australian by Consent

 

 

When you wake up each morning
Feeling bright & breezy
The day ahead will be light & easy.

If you wake & say
It;s one of those days
Then in bed you might as well stay.

Be careful of what you think or say
As you’ve got to feel right
In order to give you that fight.

Your mind can only hold one thought at a time, and is most susceptible to negative thought. So why not fail it with positive thought? To illustrate this point practically, we can play a game on a colleague in the office by suggesting variuosly he’s not well. Before long . . . he really begins to feel unwell. This is autosuggestion.

Our mind is constantly being bombarded by negative thoughts. There is no escaping.In tough economic times, the tendency is for people to react negatively. The biggest problem we have is not the problem itself, but our attitude towards it. Negative thinking pervades through all levels of the society – by word of mouth, by conversations with friends or strangers, by television & other news media. Negative thinking is like disease or cancer, and once the country is infected with it, it consumes the mind, the heart & the soul & the emotional support system is inevitably sapped or eroded away.

People at this point in time need more than just help. They need hope & where would they find it?

There are a number of things you can do to fortify your mind with positive thinking – associate yourself with positive minded people, read positive books, sing positive songs, meditation & just avoid all negative aspect aspect of things & environment.

Dr Norman Vincent Peale, the author of the best seller “The Power Thinking” says the following worthy of note:

Someone once said”great people are ordinary people with extraordinary amounts of determination.” In like manner, heroes are ordinary men who perform extraordinary things, Yes, you’ll need that extra strength & tenacity to see you attain great heights. It is your ability to survive tough economic times that will ensure your enjoying the good times.

“Tough times never last, but tough people do” according to Dr. Robert Schuller (September 16, 1926 – April 2, 2015) the founding pastor of the wonderful Crystal Cathedral.

The wind blows, storm strikes
Dark clouds roll by
Somehow their shape change
Light breaks
And once more it’s sunny & bright again.

Changing Times

Paul Chong                 A Chinese by Descent . . .      An Australian by Consent

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Kipling told the story of a band of primitive stone-age men huddled around a campfire.They had earlier engaged a tremendous battle that day with a wooly mammoth or a sabre-tooth tiger, or perhaps both. And suddenly one of their members leaped to his feet & began walking up & down, gesticulating & talking, making sounds so graphic that everyone around the campfire relived the frightful battle all over again.

He told them the story of what they had done, & they were filled with awe & frightened all over again, for there was magic in his words. So they took him away & killed him.

Today, they would have to pay him a tremendous fee for such a performance. Different perspectives in different times.

Strange as it may sound, but that was the mind-set of the time then. Things however change over the course of time. Nothing ever remain the same. After all to grow to progress is to change. Somethings change for the better; for others negative aspects may take hold. What would it be cannot be told. Is today’s world a better place to live in? There will be a whole range of opinion . . . ranging from good to bad. After all, opinion is about the cheapest commodity available.

Accompanied with change, there is usually a price to be paid. The crucial point is whether you are prepared to pay that price. Needless to say, the greater the price the greater will the reward be. There ain’t any free lunch in this world.

Let me just say in closing with reference to the privileged “takers” or “beneficiaries” of the ruling Malaysian government for the last 50 odd years. Sinking into the quagmire, socially & politically, is awaiting at the door. The knocking is getting louder but went unheard thus far. The social & political quagmire offer only a one-way ticket . . . there is no return.

The double-edged sword which kills both ways is dubiously held by the UMNO (United Malay National Organisation) government in Malaysia, the end result will be determined by the fate of time.

Make Time


Paul Chong                                                        Friday, 13 October 2017

 

“The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

When friends tell me that they have no time, I tell them to make time. We should all learn to be master of our time & not a slave to it. After all time is but an illusion & should expand & contract to suit our purpose & convenience.

As a personal example, I had run a delicatessen from morn to night, working 14 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year for over 7 years . . . and still found time to write! Any other person in a similar situation would certainly find that he has no time for any other activities. Over & above that, I managed to organise a group tour to China in the year 1989. The group of people was drawn largely from among our deli customers. I was kind of planning for my next business in travel. Incidentally, the China Tour happened to be our holiday dream.

To do my writing, I made time by waking up at an early hour when most people are still sound asleep. Writing also happened in between rendering customers’ service. My time was thus properly & fruitfully utilised.

The well known children’s poem by Julia Fletcher Carney reads:

“Little drops of water
Little grains of sand
Make a mighty ocean
Make a mighty land.”

It further continues:
“So the little minutes
Humble though they be
Make the mighty ages of eternity.”

What do you do with your time? Are you a slave or a master of your time? Time is not what you have, but what you do with it that counts. Thus if you do the little things, you can have time both quantitatively & qualitatively.

How & Why China Surges Ahead . . .

  Paul Chong                                           Thursday, 12 October 2017

A Chinese by Descent . . . An Australian by Consent

 

 

As a Chinese by descent, I can understand how we could be sleeping on hard floor mat, and yet would be celebrating our determination remembering & consuming “the pill of bitterness”,  the shame and humiliation that we suffered – drawing strength from it & turning adversity to victory . . . all within ourselves in our own quiet way.

Persistency & courage are the kind of stuff that men are made of. Unrelenting, we have been known to be most assiduous in our economic pursuits. Both inventive & innovative, our creativities were & are mainly directed for peaceful use like the gun power – not turning it into the Western use for weapons of mass destruction. For the Chinese, festivals, celebrations, peace & harmony take priority like the use of fireworks & fire crackers.

. . . Patience . . . EnduranceThe Chinese are fast learners, skilled in reversed engineering with the flair for improvement. They are very resourceful & full of initiative. Their mental ability & capacity are simply astounding. Putting up with hardships, self-sacrificing, the willingness to work hard & working smart all contribute towards the magical performance of the Chinese & the rapid rise of the nation.

Though seemingly featuring to be of minor significance, the Chinese have a great capacity for thrift & savings. In this way, many a small business man starts off small but eventually ends up big. The end result of success is the accumulation of little successes.

Having said that, herein below are some very good examples/testimonies of the Chinese refusal over the question of development/exchange of technology with other countries which initially snubbed China.

1. Recently France offered to swap with China’s ageing Mirage 2000 fighter technology in exchange for China’s world beating Quantum Communication technology. Naturally China declined.

2. Ukraine wanted to sell its last cruiser to China, China said no thank you. Not interested.

3. UK proposed to co-operate with China to develop their aero-engines, China said “Go hang yourself.”

4. Mighty US proposed to exchange part of their space technology in exchange for access to China’s space station. China said “Go kiss my ass”. Back in the early 90s, when US and Russia invited 16 other nations to form a joint venture for the international space station, China applied to join and was rejected by none other than US. The table has now turned.

5. In 2009 US Defence Secretary Robert Gates arrogantly proclaimed that China was incapable of developing the 5th generation fighter before 2020. Then in Jan 2011, Gates made an official visit to China. Just as Gates stepped off the plane in China, the first prototype J-20, China’s first stealth fighter flew over his head. Gates must have thought the alcohol he consumed on his flight must be playing tricks to his eyes. In 2017 March, China official declare J-20 to have entered operation service with Chinese airforce. The speed at which this happens not only took the west by surprised, it also scared the shit out of them.

The west has consistently boycotted China in every form of technology sharing or transfer. China was forced to go alone. Guess what? The more China is denied anything, the more determined and speedier China will be to develop it’s own. China was cut-off by all including Russia when she wanted to develop her A-bomb. She succeeded in exploding one in 1964. A mere 32 months later, she exploded her H-bomb, the fastest among all nuclear nations. US 86 months, Russia 75 months, UK 66 months, China 32 months !

China’s R&D budget in 2015 was 75% of that of US. In 2000, it was a mere 12% of US. By 2022 it is forecast that China R&D will surpassed that of US.

So for those who still think China is always lacking behind, backward, can only copy and make low tech products, incapable of innovating and taking lead, just sit back and watch how events will unfold in the next few years. On the other hand, for those with a less jaundice view of China, I suggest you might consider making a trip now to China and witness for yourself the advances in high-speed trains, use of digital technology, their infrastructures, just to name a few.

In closing, it is evidently clear & most crucial that people are the greatest resource or asset a country possesses. Without the right people, country cannot grow & progress. Country cannot just rely on its natural resources, as in the case of Malaysia.

 

Ideas

Paul Chong                                              Tuesday, 10 October 2017
A Chinese by Descent
An Australian by Consent

 

Dr Napoleon Hill in his book “Think & Grow Rich” has this to say: “Whatever the mind of man can conceive & believe, it can achieve”. Ideas essentially begin in our mind, and conception must follow by belief before materialism. It’s popularly thought that idea arises in a reflexive, spontaneous manner, even without thinking or serious reflection. A new or original idea can often lead to innovation. All inventions started off as ideas – ideas are the mothers of inventions.
Idea is simply defined as a mental impression, a thought or suggestion as to a possible course of action.

Here below is a little poem I wrote onTuesday, 3 July 1990 on “Ideas”:

Ideas are the greatest commodities in the world
When they come you are never told
Don’t be surprised by their appearance
Jotting them down will be a rich experience.

Their appearance don’t come by rhyme
Thoughts & ideas emerging all the time
Taking a shower or asleep ‘neath a sheet
Reading a book or watching your footy team beat.

Ideas are opportunities knocking on the door
Be aware and you’ll never her poor
Ideas gained and ideas tilled
Committing them to action means you’ll be fulfilled.

Ideas are rich and poor
Depending on how you stir
Begin now with your pen
Carrying them through will make you grand.

Ideas are not easily accepted by one and all. Ideas can be both stimulating and frustrating. It’s gratifying to say that only smart people possess ideas. You’ll find that the “idea man” is the key personnel or asset in any organisation.

 

Staying Healthy & Living Long

Paul Chong                                      Sunday, 8 October 2017

A Chinese by Descent
An Australian by Consent

 

 


Ambiguously, do we eat to live or live to eat? One thing is certain, we are what we eat. It follows that we should watch our diet, if we want to stay healthy & living long.

In this modern era, everybody is health conscious & is prepared to spend more in buying organic foods, to avoid harmful pesticides & artificial fertilisers. This is but one perspective . . . there are other considerations.

Besides watching what we eat, we must safeguard against the temptation of overeating. The Japanese have an ancient proverb “hara hachi bunme” which says it best: “Stop eating when you are 80% full.” It is recommended to eat in moderation & spread our meals into regular smaller portions.

All overeating build up our visceral fats causing all sorts of ailment. A healthy person should have a rating of 1 -12. Anything above spells risk.

The Japanese, about the most healthy people in the world, eat in moderation avoiding consuming huge quantities of sugar, fat & trans-fat. Nor are they constantly gulping down quart sized cups of sugary soda. They also tend to eat less red meat, more fresh vegetables and fewer processed foods. They also drink a lot of green tea which has substantial health benefits.

One prominent aspect is that they consume a lot of fish. According to new research, a lifetime of eating tuna, sardines, salmon and other fish appears to protect Japanese men against clogged arteries, despite other cardiovascular risk factors. Diet rich in fish and pickled vegetables, may be responsible for Japan’s incredible longevity. Fish is rich in
Omega-3 Fatty Acids. More raw fish is being consumed by the Japanese than any other nationalities.

Japanese people enjoy one of the longest average life spans in the world — 86 years for women and 79 for men versus 80 and 75 respective years for Americans — with far lower rates of obesity and chronic diseases like osteoporosis, heart disease and some types of cancer.

Physical exercise is important.. More Japanese do walking and bicycling; even stair climbing at train stations than western slugs who sit behind their dashboard, then sit at a desk all day, then sit on the sofa in front of the idiot box. Around 70% of Japan is mountainous and even cities have some hills, and that means more legwork for many of them. Many use public transportation on a daily basis, and that means more moderate exercise.

When watching television, most people generally like to munch tit-bits like popcorn & chips, which unknowingly go towards our horizontal expansion.

Lifestyle & habits of eating are difficult to change. We need to look at this positively & emulate the Japanese if we wish to stay healthy & enjoy longevity.