HAPPINESS IS INFECTIOUS

Happiness has its own set of problems.

It is contagious. Happiness is a “bug”. It is infectious. Spreads beyond our control. Spreads by sight. Spreads by sound. Spreads by feelings.

Happiness absorbs all spoken languages. It is understood in all languages. Happiness says a lot even without having to utter a word.

Not having plenty in worldly possessions does not hinder you from having plenty in happiness.

Happiness is over-flowing in abundance. It is not far away, it is everywhere.

Just reach out and “touch” it without having to physically touch it.

The greatest thing about happiness is the ability for it to be shared by you, to others.

Press the “ACCEPT” button in your life to activate happiness.

~ ALAN IAN ATKINSON
Writer, Author, Storyteller

P.S.: Remember to take your daily dose of Vitamin “h” for happiness and spread it to others.

OVER COFFEE

Last Tuesday morning (yesterday to be more precise); I had a very dear friend to me and my family, Patrick Archibald; drop by my house for coffee.

In the midst of our conversation, the subject of Laura came up. She was doing well in college, coping with all her assignments, internship and what-have-you.

We reminisced how time has flown by so fast…

Jeannie and I decided to just leave Laura’s bedroom as how Laura left it so that whenever Laura comes back for the holidays, she can use her own room. All her posters that she stuck on the wall and her wardrobe are as they are. Then, she has loads of notes from friends and motivational phrases on almost all the walls in her room. Books, all neatly arranged and segmented as to how best she liked it. All that you see in the pictures below are is it as she left them.

Patrick thought that was a novel idea to be in the presence of Laura – a reminder of all the things she likes and loves; that whenever we walked in the room, the presence of Laura is vibrant. Not that we have to spend all our time in the room. We know it is there. That itself, brings joy – happy memories.

I really never thought of looking at it that way. But it is true. Whenever, we walk into Laura’s room, it brings a sense of joy.

It is for that reason, most of us carry a picture of our loved ones in our wallet. Nowadays, we have loads of pictures and videos stored on our smartphones – the “don’t leave home without it” (phrase sounds familiar…).

Patrick went on to say that this is the same with our relationship with God. We may have a crucifix or an altar in our homes and or workplace. We know that it is there and are comfortable knowing that we are in the presence of God and He with us.

So true. Over a cup of coffee, I got all these additional “goodies”.

Madina Cappuchino

The coffee I served Patrick was “Madina Cappuchino”. I am not sure if it is out in the market, yet. This cappucino is rich and frothy. I think it is well balanced, given that ” its limitation is supposed to be because it is in powdered form” and does not go through the usual “ritual” of preparing a Cappucino. If it is priced right, meaning reasonable, not leaning towards “expensive”, it should do well.

Who will this appeal to? First to a person who likes to have coffee on the go, but does not have the time to go through the rigmarole of preparing it. Next to the group of people who like milky coffee, yet want to hold the sugar. To the general public and guests that come over to our homes. We can offer them a choice from a variety of quick-make coffees that we often have, to choose from; without breaking the bank on those very sophisticated, state-of-the-art, time-consuming-to-prepare, barista type machines. Though, if someone else offered me barista style coffee, I would surely accept.

Caffe (Barista Chillout Compilation) [Music For a Cup of Coffee]

VOLUNTEER FOR DUTY

As the Selangor novice swimming championships in Shah Alam fast approaches (starts tomorrow October 15th, actually); there will be a build-up of excitement varying in degree from being nervous as a swimmer competing for the first time, or second time…maybe it is his (her) 5th or 6th competition. The other end of the degree of excitement is the swimmer that cannot wait to race even though it is his first time doing so.

While the athletes, their parents and coaches often take center stage in any sport and competition, a major component of any competition are the technical officials. These are the people that run the competition. In recent times, you would probably have heard of technical officials involved and mired in controversy with how they carry out their duties. That sport is Formula 1. Not in swimming or if a situation ever does arise; it is very rare.

I can give my views more on swimming due to my personal experiences. The technical officials involved on deck (at the swimming pool area) are the referees, race starters, judges and officials on both end of each of the 10 lanes of the swimming pool. Then, there are the marshals who register the swimmers before each race and get them ready in their respective lane positions before moving them to their lanes to ready for the race.

An integral part of the officials team are the officials in charge of hospitality. These are some ladies who ensure that food and drinks are ready lunch, morning and afternoon breaks. Experience from the Selangor run competitions is that they usually don’t stop for lunch breaks, more so when there are many heats in each event. The organizers know the athletes, their parents and coachers are usually at the pool as early as 6.30am and try to end the competition each day, as early as possible. The day can end at 7.00pm or 8.00pm if there are many heats in each event and if there are several major rest breaks.

There are also the announcers and IT people (ensuring the results are up on the notice board almost as soon as the race is over).

Being a technical official most definitely has its perks, the best of which is first hand experience and involvement in the championship itself. No duty is too small that it lacks merit. Every technical official has to play his or her role in order for the meet competition to be a success. Parents are encouraged to volunteer themselves for duty as technical officials. You can take up a Grade III Technical Officials’ course (as I did), if you intend to serve as an official, long term.

The swimmers – ultimately they are the stars of the “show”. Some start as early as 5 years old and work their way up. In their innocence, they are entertainers out of the water, as well. Some years ago; I had a young English girl who was probably around 7 or 8 years old, come up to me and started chatting. I was a marshal at that championship. She talked about her elder brother and pointed out where her mum was in the spectators’ stand. It was her way of overcoming her nervousness as it was her first race in her first championship that she was taking part in.

Laura, when she was a novice swimmer.

I had young children come up to me (and they still do), asking me to help show them which event, heat and lane there are racing in, or if they had missed it. Many come up to me after their race asking how they did. To me, they are all winners.

The highlight for these young athletes is before and after their races, in the secondary pool; where they get to play with their friends. Their laughter and smiles on their faces – epic!

Uncle Gerald – Member of The Gomes Kids of Lorong Hicks Road.

How can you give when you’ve given all you’ve got?

You’re giving is not a bottomless pit, or an overflowing endless waterfall, though it may seem like that it is one.

During that time of giving, you did not spend much time in replenishing your giving, all that was out.

Uncle Geraldo – 87 years old.

It was Uncle Gerald’s (mum’s brother) birthday yesterday, September 19th. Jeannie and I paid him a visit. As we got near the home, we actually overshot it by a few doors. I think it was because the familiar sign “No visitors allowed” was not up any longer.

We were told by one of the caregiver’s to go in straight to his room. This is a fairly new term to me – “caregiver”. I was first introduced to this term when dad came out of hospital after the accident he had over a year and a half ago, where he slipped, fell and injured his leg. The hospital had a metal plate bolted on him with screws, I think.

Sorry, I took a short ice-cream break – I had a Magnum “Belgian Chocolate Luxe” – Magnum’s best ice-cream with rich, dark chocolate ice-cream inside. The outside is Magnum’s signature chocolate body. This one is dotted with crisp rice pops. I love it! The dark chocolate ice-cream is supposed to be the consoling part – dark chocolate…healthier than normal chocolate. Whatever…! It was madnessly sweet.

It just so happened that I passed by a mirror after finishing the Magnum “Belgian Chocolate Luxe”. Deng! Deng! Deng! For a few what seemed like very long milliseconds, I could only see my stomach. Like an after thought, the rest of me followed. I am trying not to feel too guilty here. Like most days. I skipped breakfast and lunch, went for my brisk 10km walk (clocked a favourable time), weighed in at 72kg (1.5kg overweight), picked Jeannie up from work and had two roti canai with some fried chicken at The Taj Curry House. So, it should be good, right?

Uncle Gerald was so happy to see us. He told us that my brother Malcolm, our cousin’s son, William; and a few others had visited him. He also had many calls come in, even while we were there.

At 87, he had resigned himself to a small room with his bed, a 2-door wardrobe for his clothes, and a small sort of cupboard for his valuable and other belongings. He had a small Samsung Tablet and his smartphone to keep him in touch with the world; just like his father, Oli Papa, my grandfather on my mother’s side.

Oli Papa had been blind for about 50 years. Everyday, he would sit by his PIE radio and tune in to the radio stations around the world to keep him abreast with the latest that was going on in the world.

I remember seeing a radio that was Oli Papa’s everyday companion; quite similar to this PYE radio. Oli Papa also smoked a cigar a day and had a glass of neat brandy. He knew how to live life.

Uncle Gerald donated his big house to the church, sold whatever he could sell and donated that money away. Now, confined to his room, he spends time on his tablet. I wonder if he stays in his room because there are quite a few eligible ladies staying in that house with him. I am sure they may want to share more than a few bible verses with him. Uncle Gerald never married. So, here’s his chance to go dating.

A teacher before, he still applies that method of explanation for most things. He throws in a few metaphors here and there. His diction of the English language, the Queen’s English, i.e.; is at its best, as usual.

Uncle Gerald longs for all his nephews, nieces, other family members and friends to visit him. He welcomes all visitors and will scratch off all his scheduled plans for the day, just to spend time with those who visit him. His mind and memory are still sharp so he will know you are when you visit him.

Should he have gone to stay in a home? I don’t think he should have thrown in the towel just yet. He probably did not explore all avenues before he did so. This is only my view. I may not have delved deeply into the underlying factors as to why the old folks home. There may be a fair maiden there, we never know. He may just pull a rabbit out of the hat.

NOTES:
Founding Member of “The Gomes Kids Of Lorong Hicks Road” – 1930s, Japanese Occupation of Malaya: WW2, 1950s

INSPIRING OTHERS AN EXCELLENT REASON TO LIVE

The large, dark grey, near black rainclouds started forming and soon banded together, unleashing frightening bolts of lightning, scaring away whatever sunlight that was trying to break through. Bellowing thunder, that rumbled almost uncontrollably and backed with fierce winds that was huffing and puffing to blow everything in its path away. The raindrops raced each other to fall from the rainclouds, onto the ground, many of them becoming little puddle creators. Those little puddles soon became floods, causing damage to buildings and vehicles in may parts of Kuala Lumpur.

My sinus or sinusitis has taken the cue from the weather and has started acting up. Not much drama here, just the usual blocked nose, the mucous causing my face to puff up a bit, little pain and a bit of tiredness.

I first started having sinus in the ’80s. My sinus attacks usually showed up around Christmas. I thought, back then, that I could have been allergic to some food like the vegetable pickles (which I love) that was only found during the Christmas season. After a few seasonal attacks, the sinus never came back for a long time. Until, about ten years ago. The attacks much milder than what I had before, came around December to February each time.

The pattern was the same each year. I seemed to be like a weather vane. I could sense we were going to have heavy rain for a few days in a row. Then, I realized my sinus was due to the rainy weather in Malaysia from December to February each time.

It has been raining heavily over the last several days. The days are very hot in temperatures when it is not raining and miserably wet, with floods in several parts of the country. Rather unusual weather for this time of the year. Some blame it on the climate change phenomena.

I never had this issue when I travelled to other countries during their rainy spells or winter cold. A doctor then told me that the humidity in Malaysia could be the culprit, that during rainy seasons; the humidity could be at very much higher levels. He may have hit the nail on its head.

I was told that this was something that I and others like me, would have to live with. I hope that someone or someone(s) are working to find a permanent relief to this irritant.🤓

As I am enjoying every moment of life, I ponder and think.💭 Many (same as “they” haha) have said that I am a thinker. I wonder if I am more a questioner than a thinker? That itself, is a question. Whenever I get the answer, it leads to another question…😁😂

A permanent relief to a life illness should never include the choice of death. Never. Life is a gift. A gift that only comes to us once. We have to make the best of it.

Every moment in our life that comes, is a new moment for each and every one of us. It is so magnificent. A frontier that no man or woman has ever been before. We are all “space travelers”. No one can say that we have lived that new moment before it has come. No one else can live the future of our individual life for us.

Green plant sprout in desert, Unsplash

Yet, there are countries where living life seems not to be at the apex of priorities and euthanasia is made legal. I would guess that the government of that country / those countries, would have made it law to gain the popular vote to stay in power; I don’t know. It is sad.

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Canada, for one; has gone all in for euthanasia, and it is going to get worse now that the “strict guidelines to protect against abuse” — in the movement’s parlance — have expanded to people with chronic and disabling conditions, and will soon expand to those with dementia and mental illnesses.

The statistics are startling and illustrate that once euthanasia consciousness infects a culture, it grows like a fungus. Comparing the Third Annual report (2021) to the Second Annual Report (2020), the report states that there were: 10,064 assisted deaths in 2021 up from 7603 in 2020.

Some people were euthanized out of fear of loneliness caused by Covid lockdowns. In one case, a woman asked to die because of the isolation she would face. Ironically, her family was allowed to attend her death, but not visit as a means of helping her continue on. Moreover, hundreds of people chose death, at least in part, due to fear of loneliness in 2019, a trend that has continued.

Canada conjoins euthanasia and organ harvesting, giving the despairing a reason to choose death over life. Beginning in 2023, the mentally ill will be eligible for euthanasia. Smith(1)

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I really cannot begin to understand why these people have opted for euthanasia and am not in a position to judge them. I think hospitals / companies / organizations, selling this idea to these people who may not have been in the right frame of mind at that time; that, their organs can be harvested to give others life; is definitely not a reason to opt for euthanasia.

My brother-in-law, Victor Ong; suffered a severe stroke in the beginning of 2021 which caused him brain damage. The doctors advised us, his family; that there was nothing much else they could do for him and that we should give them permission to take him off “life support”. We could not make that decision and sought for other specialists’ opinions. We wanted him to live. In the end, he succumbed to his situation and passed on.

“Kuku” (uncle) Victor was popular with his nieces and nephews. He spent time with them whenever available and communicated with them frequently by social media – Whatsapp.

Victor had another side of life which his family was not very aware of. He was very popular with his Monfort Boys mates, including his seniors and juniors. He was also very popular with his fellow employees at The Star Publications. The evidence was when they came in droves to pay their last respects to him and offer comfort to the family.

Victor did his part by contributing to life by his life. He was happy in his own way.

Dreamstime

Living has to continue to be made the reason to live. Inspiring others, as Victor did; is an excellent reason, for one; to live.

NOTES:
1. Wesley J. Smith, “10,000+ Canadian Euthanasia Killings in 2021”, National Review, August 3, 2022
His views and statistics on his article, are his own.