A Wonderful Life . . .

Starring: Ronald Cheng, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Vincent Kok, Teresa Mo, Yuk-Wah So   – It’s A Wonderful Life. 2007

The reality of life is that we are born to die. The future is set & final. It’s only the question of when & how – over which we have absolutely no choice or control.

From the womb to the tomb, one room in the ground is certainly waiting for us. There’s no escaping!

Some people always look to the future – moving forward, moving on, living for tomorrow, hoping for a better day. Others are grounded in the present and still others spend a lot of time reliving their past affairs and accomplishments.

Imagine the possibility of these scenarios:

  • Living a life without limits (Refer T D Jakes’ Reposition Yourself)
  • To have the option of living all over again repeatedly. (Refer “Groundhog Day” 1993)
  • To live life backwards – instead of living in a forwardly linear progression. (As propounded by T. H. White in “Living Backwards or In Reverse”). One takes inspiration from the past, energy from the present and vision from the future

Most will agree that living in the present is the most favourable and realistic rather than the three mindsets mentioned above. The present is all we have & anything that we can be certain of.

Often, in word processing software, we use the Un-Do button. Ever experienced a “faux pas” and wish life itself came equipped with such a key? Regrets live in that rear view mirror and no longer affect you. Hitting un-do brings the past back to the present only to force you to relive it. So, whenever you feel you’ve chosen poorly, forgive yourself and move on. There is no “retry” no “re-do” and no “un-do” to our experiences. What’s done belongs to history and you choose to either live with it and make it right the next time under similar circumstances or you can live your life in a constant loop of regret and blame. Life teaches us we can’t “un-do” anything. Choose instead to learn and grow. Make the best out of the circumstances.

In his song, “I Love The Now,” singer songwriter Jimmy Buffett writes:

Tomorrow’s right around the corner

I’ll get there somehow

But I’m stuck in the meantime

And I love the now.”

The movie“Holiday” is about Johnny, a thirty-year-old man, played by Gary Grant who decides that he would like to use what little money he has to take a few years off for self-discovery. Afterward, he’ll be ready to settle down to a life of work and responsibility. Johnny feels, ‘Why wait until you’re old and sick to retire?’. That’s doing things backwards & it’s most mundane.

They say that “Youth is wasted on the young”. Alternatively, it’s often said “Don’t grow up so fast” or “Don’t grow old but grow up!” No matter how old you are, grab hold of that youthful spirit and natural ferocity and go for it. It may take some bending over backwards, but life happens now and the future becomes a memory in an instant.

Here’s Woody Allen’s Perspective on Living Backwards.

Woody Allen describes why he wants his next life to be in reverse, starting old and getting younger. Source: cslacker.com

I love words. It’s why I write & read. Also why I love lyrics and poems and movies. Words are powerful. They need to be guarded, for no retrieving is possible once they depart from our mouth. Most of us use words for the purpose of communication. Some of us wield words like artists wield brushes, painting something beautiful and or compelling out of what could have been merely mundane. Good writers have the ability to “paint with words”.

Reminiscing the Past

Reminiscing the Past

The old scenery is still there . . . never fading

But looking ahead should be more exciting.

In the words of  Soren Kierkegaad:

“Life can only be understood backwards;

but it must be lived forwards.”

prindawnPrincess Dawn Cruise

It is said, in life we do three things: we’re born, we consume and we die. As you get on in years, history accumulates future fades . . . that’s why old folks tend to reminisce the good old days, since the days ahead are dimming, fading and getting less and less, and worst of all teeming with lots of uncertainties!

In so doing, the joy of redeeming and recapturing the days gone by, seem all so exciting, rejuvenating . . . making life more comforting and worthwhile. We were young once with all the life, dreams, hope & aspiration ahead of us. We are not old and silly fools. We have wisdom gained through life’s experiences unmatched by any other form of education. We have had our adventures, travels to exotic places, had rendezvous of the kind that the young ones never know about. We have had our studies with good academic qualifications and credentials. We have had our successes and failures. All materialistic accomplishments go towards not just history accumulation but also the fortification of the future.

sunsets-on-huangshan01.jpgSunset in Huangshan, China

The reality is, life is so full of vanity and futility. Life is like a hurricane. It hits you hard momentarily and just as quickly it’s gone! Prosperity is good, but neglect not life’s posterity.

I guess it’s easier for most to look back than to look forward. But then the glory of the morning sunrise is no more glorious than the magnificence of the golden sunset. It all depends on you as an individual. Your ATTITUDE is your FORTITUDE. Attitude scales the ALTITUDE. Needless to say, attitude is more important than aptitude! Believe you me, we’ve been there . . . done it . . . lived it!

My grandfather & father shared little or none of their past with me. It is like having a good musician interred with his best music . . . lost to the world. It’s so sad! My song shall be heard through the generations. It’s the least of the legacies to be left behind.

Though the years ahead may diminish in proportion to the accumulated years behind us, it is for posterity that we recount the past. Perspectively, history provides guidance and teaching, faith, hope, love and respect for the good things that were done before the coming of the young. Thus, be willing to listen when the old folks talk. We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen twice as much as we should talk.

Paul Chong

A Chinese by Descent

An Australian by Consent

A Better Today For A Brighter Tomorrow

A Better Today For A Brighter Tomorrow

Let’s promise our kids not just a brighter tomorrow but also a better today. Today matters more than yesterday and even more than tomorrow. Yesterday is dead and gone. Whatever you do you can’t bring it back. Tomorrow spells hope and fulfillment of dreams. However, tomorrow may not be in sight. If today cannot get by or like a cancelled cheque, how would the kids buy tomorrow?


In this world of uncertainties, a world of gloom and doom particularly in the Middle East & Africa, what is there for the kids to live for? In major cities and metropolitan areas of the world, under stress and strain, many kids have been known to commit suicide. Youth is the spring of life but winter sets in early, unfortunately, for many a frustrated kid and young adults.

In an ever changing landscape globally, internationally and nationally in the political, economic and social realm, life is one of constant and fluid adjustment and adaptation. It’s a question of survival for the fittest. The weak fall by the way side. The highway and flyway pose to be insurmountable ways.

The way to the top is by way of good education, and not just good but the best there is. Competition has never been tougher and progressively so. A basic degree gets nowhere for higher degrees are being sought after. While the educated are striving to be among the best, neither there are millions being deprived of a good and proper education nor have the opportunity for one. The disparity stares hard in your face.

Human resources are the backbone and strength of the nation. They are built up right from young. The kids must be assured of safety and security, of hope and opportunities, of a life that will fulfill hope, dreams and aspiration. The society must be stable, the economy strong, and politically secured without the threat of unrest and wars. What kind of future can the Palestinian children expect? What of the North Korean impoverished kids? Or in Africa where everyday is a battle, life is like living death.

There is too much politics and political leaders are there more for their own gain. Life and death are mere statistics to them. Power and fame are the names of the game. Promises are made only to be broken. Human factors are numerical factors without any compassion attached. In dealing with mankind, there can be no winners only losers. Kids and women are the ones who suffer most and where can they turn in the face of adversities.

We shall pass this place but once. Let’s make this place a better place today to inherit that great tomorrow.

Paul Chong

A Chinese by Descent

An Australian by Consent