The Mind

Wandering, undisciplined,
Hijacked by the brutal future,
And the tyrannical past,
Alienated from the precise present,
Wherein lies our revelation
And our elation.


Heaven and Hell

The contrast between the fortunes of Taiwanese and Hong Kong people today couldn’t be clearer, as reviewed by the TV news today.

Following the report on the momentous election campaigns of the upcoming presidential election in Taiwan is the one on the farcical scenes of two clowns from the camp of Hong Kong pan democrats campaigning for being “elected” as the representative to participate in the “election” of the next Chief Executive. While the Taiwanese are proudly contemplating how best to make use of their votes to choose a president of their choice, we are condemned to fooling ourselves that the hallucination or downright lie that we have a say in who will be given Hong Kong’s top job next. (Not that it would make any difference, of course!)

The subsequent report was equally revealing about the pitiable state of Hong Kong people. Some vendors of pork complained about the two supermarket chains recently making a huge slash of pork prices by 30 percent, saying that this was an attempt to drive the small vendors out of business so that the chains can monopolise the market. Such aggressive moves of the supermarket chains are nothing new. Not so long ago, it was reported that they bullied wholesalers to stop supplying products to small retailers who were selling those products more cheaply than they did. Hong Kong people are cursed with the cruel reality of being exploited by, and at the mercy of, the tycoons who own those mega multi-billion dollar businesses.

I congratulate Taiwan for being the own region (or country, depending how you look at it) populated by Chinese which provides its people with the right to choose their own leader and government. While I won’t feel sorry for ourselves, the difference in fortune between the two peoples is a pill which is not easy to swallow.



I can no longer locate the source, but I remember reading many years ago the research findings which suggests that by writing down our resolutions, we are five times more likely to have them realised.
So, for the record, here are my resolutions for the new year:
  • Dispel fear.
  • Combat procrastination.
  • Learn and practice meditation.


4, 3, 2, 1... Happy New Year!

What the priest said about New Year celebration at the mass today echoes what the Pope said at about Christmas a week ago.

The priest talked about how people take part in mass activities, such as the countdown last night, without pondering the meaning of the occasions. This is much like what the Pope said about how the increasingly commercial celebration of Christmas has obscured the message of Christ’s birth.

The fact that so many people take part in these celebrations, I believe, is a sign of their boredom, loss or fear. People are not used to or are even afraid of quiet time and actively seek to fill the emptiness by looking for instant, sensual gratification. So when they travel on buses or trains, they bury themselves in whatever engagement or entertainment their smart phones offer, be it to chit-chat with friend, play video games, listen to music or watch films. When they get home, the first thing to do is to switch on the television. Quietness is to be purged at all cost.

Quietness is actually very valuable. As Psalm 46:10 tells us, “Be still, and know that I am God.” We need to create space to see God’s presence, but, sadly, we typically leave very little inner space for God. Didn’t the Bible tell us that when Jesus came to the world, “there was no room” (Luke 2:7) for Him?

Maybe we should learn a lesson from Mary. As the Gospel today tells us, when all who heard the message about the birth of Jesus wondered at what happened, Mary “kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).

At the turn of the year, it is better for us to find some quiet time to reflect on what lessons to learn from the last year that would help us improve in the next one than to be part of the raucous countdown party at the Time Square.