Saturday, May 31, 2008

Will You Give This To Daddy?

Last week I was in Atlanta , Georgia attending a conference. While I
was in the airport, returning home, I heard several people behind me
beginning to clap and cheer. I immediately turned around and witnessed
one of the greatest acts of patriotism I have ever seen.

Moving thru the terminal was a group of soldiers in their camos. As they
began heading to their gate, everyone (well almost everyone) was abruptly
to their feet with their hands waving and cheering.

When I saw the soldiers, probably 30-40 of them, being applauded and
cheered for, it hit me. I'm not alone. I'm no t the only red-blooded
American who still loves this country and supports our troops and their
families.

Of course I immediately stopped and began clapping for these young
unsung heroes who are putting their lives on the line everyday for us so
we can go to school, work and home without fear or reprisal.

Just when I thought I could not be more proud of my country or of our
service men and women, a young girl, not more than 6 or 7 years old ran
up to one of the male soldiers. He kneeled down and said 'hi.'

The little girl then asked him if he would give something to her daddy
fo r her.

The young soldier, who didn't look any older than maybe 22 himself,
s aid he would try and what did she want to give to her daddy. Then
suddenly the little girl grabbed the neck of this soldier, gave him the
biggest hug she could muster and then kissed him on the cheek.

The mother of the little girl, who said her da ughter's name was
Courtney , told the young soldier that her husband was a Marine and had
been in Iraq for 11 months now. As the mom was explaining how much her
daughter Courtney missed her father, the young soldier began to tear up.

When this temporarily single mom was done explaining her situation, all
of the soldiers huddled together for a brief second. Then one of the
other service m en pulled out a military-looking walkie-talkie. They
started playing with the device and talking back and forth on it.

After about 10-15 seconds of this, the young soldier walked back over to
Courtney, bent down and said this to her, 'I spoke to your daddy and he
told me to give this to you.' He then hugged this little girl that he
had just met and gave her a kiss on t he cheek. He finished by saying
'your daddy told me to tell you that he loves you more than anything and
he is coming home very soon.'

The mom at this point wa s crying almost uncon trollably and as the young
soldier stood to his feet, he saluted Courtney and her mom. I was
standing no more than 6 feet away from this entire event.

As the soldiers began to leave, heading towards their gate, people
resumed their applause. As I stood there applauding and looked around,
there were very few dry eyes, including my own. That young soldier in
one last act of se lflessness, turned around and blew a kiss to Courtney
with a tear rolling down his ch eek.

We need to remember everyday all of our soldiers and their families and
thank God for them and their sacrifices. At the end of the day, it's
good to be an American.

Friday, May 30, 2008

What Do You Know About Smiling?


The other day, the birthday boy in my daughter's first grade class said to me, "You smile all the time." I hear this a lot. Basically, it's my nature, an emotional set point of sorts.

I remember, however, a more awkward time in my life when this wasn't yet true. In about 8th grade, I was paging through my American Girl magazine and came across an article about how to make more friends. I took notice, because although I did have friends, my best friend since age 3 was choosing to hang out with other girls (and boys) rather than me, and I was feeling rather blue. The only thing I remember about the article was that it mentioned smiling - "people would rather be with someone cheerful, so smile a lot."

It felt a little foreign at first, but I remember consciously practicing, smiling throughout the day. I didn't tell anyone about it, and aside from that few days of "working"on it, I didn't think much about it for nearly two years. It wasn't until I exchanged school pictures with a cute friend who signed the back of his senior picture for me and mentioned that he appreciated my (frequent) smile. I realized in that moment that I had internalized the advice in the article. Smiling had become my habit, a part of my personality.

My next experiment on smiling came my junior year in high school French class. My classmate and I were bored. We were tired of conjugating verbs and reading French literature, and somehow came up with the idea of smiling for the remaining 20 minutes of class. From this place of boredom, we set out with wide grins on our faces. We poked each other now and then when we thought the other was slacking.

What I quickly learned was that this "fake" smile tricked me into believing it was real, and it started turning into a true smile. I could sense my spirits rising to meet that smile and could feel the happiness and joy bubbling inside of me. Smiling became easier for the remaining time we had left. It quickly escalated into laughter.

Trying to stifle the laughter in order not to be noticed by Madame made us laugh even harder. Our cheeks were hurting and we were holding our stomachs, relieved and overjoyed to hear the bell ring. I may have learned more in that 20 minutes than I did the entire rest of the school year.

Years later my husband was reading Tony Robbins and trying out his suggestion of smiling in the mirror for 2 minutes to start your day. It was fun to watch his mood increase while grinning into the shiny glass in front of him. Remembering back to high school French class, I gladly joined in.

Fake it 'til you make it, and enjoy your day! C'est magnifique!

Jeanie Stewart

Jeanie is a writer and a smiler, living in Maui, Hawaii. You can reach her at: jeanieonmaui@gmail.com

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Smiling helps relieves stress in you and in others. However, more than
often, in the corporate world, smile is no longer a must have, rather a
good to have.

Unless necessary, one should only smile to the correct people, usually your bosses or the people whom you can gain something from i.e. customers.

While one tries to restrain the smile from one's face, sooner or later, one will eventually forgets how to smile. Like all other skills, learning to smile is not science. Rather, it is an art. It has to be learn and put to practice.

Many people often got it the wrong way. You are happy because you smile, not the other way round.

Think about it. =)

Monday, May 26, 2008

More Interesting Facts About Plants

This is a sequel to the post, Stop Seeing Plants As Just Plants. If that article has caught your attention and interest, this article may prove to be valuable to you. ^^



Gone are the days of believing plants are just passive organisms.


Earlier this year, researchers found that plants can communicate through little understood chemical mechanisms. Now scientists are even saying that plants can do something perhaps even more incredible: Control the weather.


According to researchers at the Scottish Association for Marine Science and the University of
Manchester, brown seaweed, kelp, has the ability to create cloudy days at the seaside. But why would plants want to alter weather patterns? Apparently, because cloudy days make the plants more comfortable.


When the sky is overcast kelp are comfortable when the tide goes out, since they are able to stay moist until it comes back. On a bright day however, they dry out. When they start getting dry the plants become stressed and begin releasing iodide. The iodide rises, causing clouds to form overhead, which in turns protects the kelp from unwelcome sunshine.


Kelp plays an important antipollution role in the removal of ozone close to the Earth’s surface. Frithjof K├╝pper, of the Scottish Association for Marine Science, who led the research, explains that the benefit is mutual. Iodide can neutralize ozone in the atmosphere and, as it rises, “these chemicals act as condensation nuclei around which clouds may form”. Hence we get a healthier atmosphere and the kelp also gets what it wants: Shade.


This discovery reveals just one more fascinating secret of the green kingdom, a kingdom that is just barely beginning to be understood by humans. For most of history scientists, and mankind in general, considered plants to be passive organisms just with no reason or means of communicating with one another. But research earlier this year also revealed that many plants actually ‘chat’ quite a bit over their own networks (which may also indicate that your aunt isn’t quite as crazy as you thought. You know, the one that talks to her petunias and expects an answer).


How Plants Talk to Each Other


Researcher Josef Stuefer at the Radboud University Nijmegen found that one purpose for plants having their own “chat systems” is to warn each other, which has led scientists to conclude that plants are not nearly as boring as once supposed.


In fact, many plants form internal communications networks and are able to exchange information efficiently. Herbal plants such as strawberry, clover, reed and ground elder naturally form networks. Individual plants remain connected with each other for a certain period of time by means of runners. These connections enable the plants to share information via internal channels in a manner very similar to computer networks. So what kind of things do plants tell each other?


Stuefer and his colleagues were the first to demonstrate that clover plants do indeed warn each other via these network links if enemies are nearby. For example, if one of the plants is attacked by caterpillars, it will warn the other members of the network via an internal signal. After receiving a warning, the other intact plants will strengthen their protective chemical and mechanical resistance so that they are less attractive for advancing caterpillars. This early warning system allows the plants to stay one step ahead of their enemies. Experimental research has revealed that this communication significantly limits the damage inflicted on the plants.



Plants €Recognize Their Family


It is also known that plants have “family values”, with new research revealing they have the ability to recognize close relatives in order to help each other survive. The ability to tell family from strangers is well known in the animal kingdom, which allows us to cooperate and share resources. However, it is a relatively new concept that plants also possess the social skills of being able to recognize and communicate with relatives. Even plants that are not connected seem to have the ability, although scientists still have no clear idea how they do it.


Earlier this year, Susan Dudley and Amanda File of McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, demonstrated for the first time that plants can recognize their kin. Their research showed that though lacking cognition and memory, plants are nonetheless capable of relatively complex social interactions.


"Plants have this kind of hidden but complicated social life," Dudley notes.


Their study found plants from the same species of beach-dwelling wildflower, for example, grew aggressively alongside unrelated neighbors but were less competitive when they shared soil with their siblings. Some researchers speculate that plants must communicate through their roots, identifying themselves using tiny chemical signatures specific to each plant's family. But just how the plants determine which of their neighbors are siblings remains a mystery, Dudley admits. While learning and memory are important factors for kin recognition in animals, there obviously has to be an alternative explanation for plant recognition, she noted.


This research, along with other emerging plant studies, is revealing that our current concept of plants is probably a poor reflection of reality. "Scientists are eager to discover more about how plants communicate and interact with their environments."

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Stop Seeing Plants As Just Plants

Have you ever thought that plants can control weather, own family values or even communicate to each other through their own form of communication network?

For a pretty long period of time, we human beings have always thought that we are the only beings on Earth that can communicate to one another effectively through the use of languages or words. However, research studies have shown that even plants have the ability to communicate among themselves.

In addition to that, plants actually have more power than we could have imagined. ^^



Cleve Backster was an American expert on lie detectors. In 1966, using a lie detector, he accidentally discovered that plants have high-level emotional activities that were similar to those of human beings. He then conducted a series of studies that amazed the world.


Plants Have Feelings!


One day, Backster connected a lie detector to the leaves of a dracaena, commonly known as a “dragon tree.” He wanted to see how long it would take for the leaves to react when he poured water on the plant’s roots. In theory, a plant will increase its conductivity and decrease its resistance after it absorbs water, and the curve recorded on graph paper should have gone upward. But in actuality, the line that was drawn curved downward. When a lie detector is connected to a human body, the pen records different curves according to the changes in the person’s mood. The reaction of the dragon tree was just like the undulation of human mood swings. It seemed that it was happy when it drank water.


Plants Have ESP


Backster wanted to see if the plant would have any other reactions. According to past experience, Backster knew that a good way to elicit a strong reaction from a person is to threaten that person. So Backster dunked the leaves of the plant into hot coffee. No reaction. Then he thought of something more terrifying: burn the leaves that were connected to the lie detector. With this thought, even before he went to get a match, a bullish curve rapidly appeared on the graph paper. When he came back with a match, he saw that another peak appeared on the curve. It was likely that when the plant saw he was determined to start burning, it got frightened again. If he showed hesitation or reluctance to burn the plant, the reactions recorded by the lie detector were not so acute. And when he merely pretended to take action to burn the leaves, the plant had almost no reactions. The plant was even able to distinguish true intentions from false ones. Backster nearly rushed out into the street to shout, “Plants can think! Plants can think!” With this astonishing discovery, his life was changed forever.


Later, when Backster and his colleagues did experiments around the country with different instruments and different plants, they observed similar results. They discovered that even if leaves were picked off from a plant and cut into pieces, the same reactions were recorded when these pieces were placed near the lie detector electrodes. When a dog or an unfriendly person suddenly came in, the plant reacted too.


Plants Are Experts at Detecting Lies


Generally for experiments involving lie detectors, electrodes are connected to a suspect and then the suspect is asked meticulously designed questions. Everyone has a clear-headed side, which is usually called “conscience.” Therefore, no matter how many reasons and excuses one gives, when lying or committing a bad deed, that person knows clearly that it is a lie, a bad deed. Hence, the body’s electric field changes, and this change is what is recorded by the equipment.


Backster did an experiment in which he connected the lie detector to a plant and then asked a
person some questions. As a result, Backster discovered that the plant could tell if the person was lying or not. He asked the person what year he was born in, giving him seven choices and instructing him to answer “no” to all of them, including the correct one. When the person answered “no” to the correct year, the plant reacted and a peak was drawn on the graph paper.


Dr. Aristide Esser, the director of medical research at the Rockland State hospital in New York, repeated the experiment by asking a man to incorrectly answer questions in front of a plant the man had nurtured and cared for since it was a seedling. The plant did not cover up for its owner at all. Incorrect answers were reflected on the graph paper. Esser, who had not believed Backster, saw for himself that Backster’s theories were correct.


Plants Can Recognize People


In order to test how well a plant can recognize things, Backster called on six students, blindfolded them, and asked them to draw lots from a hat. One of the choices had instructions to uproot one of the two plants in the room and destroy it by stomping on it. The “murderer” had to do the deed alone, and no one else was to know the culprit’s identity, including Backster. In that way, the remaining plant could not sense who the “killer” was from other people’s thoughts. The experiment was set up so that the plant would be the exclusive witness.


When the remaining live plant was connected to a lie detector, every student was asked to pass by it. The plant had no reactions to five students. But when the student who had committed the crime walked by, the electronic pen started drawing frantically. This reaction indicated to Backster that plants are able to remember and identify the person or thing that causes them harm.


Remote Sensitivity


Plants have close ties with their owners. For example, when Backster returned to New York from New Jersey, he found from the records on the graph paper that all his plants had reactions. He wondered if the plants were indicating that they felt “relieved” or were “welcoming” him back. He noticed that the time of the plants’ reactions was the moment when he decided to return home from New York.


Sensitivity to Life on a Microscopic Level


Backster discovered that the same fixed curves would be drawn on the graph paper when plants seemed to sense the death of any living tissue, even on the cellular level. He noticed this by accident when he was mixed some jam into the yogurt he was going to eat. Apparently, the preservatives in the jam killed some of the lactobacilli in the yogurt, and the plants sensed this. Backster also found that the plants reacted when he ran hot water in the sink. It seemed they reacted to the death of bacteria in the drain. To test his theory, Backster did an experiment and found that when brine shrimp were put into boiling water via an automatic mechanism that did not require human intervention, the plants had very strong reactions.


The Heartbeat of an Egg


Again by accident, Backster noticed plant reactions one day when he cracked an egg. He decided to pursue this experiment and connected the egg to his equipment. After nine hours, the graph paper records indicated the heartbeats of an embryonic chick – 160 to 170 beats per minute – the same as a chick embryo that had stayed in an incubator for three or four days. However, the egg was an unfertilized egg that was bought from a store. There was no circulatory system inside it either. How could Backster explain the egg’s pulse?


In experiments done at Yale University Medical School during the 1930s to 1940s, the late professor Harold Saxton Burr discovered that there were energy fields around plants, trees, human beings, and cells. Backster thought Burr’s experiments offered the only insight into his egg experiment. He decided to put his plant experiments aside for a time to explore the implications of the egg experiments and how his findings might relate to the issue regarding the beginning of life.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Sequel To Genius Dip - Part 2



This is the sequel to the Genius Dip. Consists of nuggets of thoughts and comments Burt Goldman received after his successful release of the Genius Dip Part 1.

Short and concise comments by the parents around the world can sometimes bring light to darkness. As what they mentioned, people will have to fight hard to stay in the dark when there is light.

Prepared to be enlightened?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Giving When It Counts


Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital,
I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from
a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery
appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year-old
brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and
had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness.
The doctor explained the situation to her little brother,
and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his
blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment
before taking a deep breath and saying, "Yes, I'll do it if
it will save her."

As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his
sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning
to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded.
He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice,
"Will I start to die right away?".

Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor. He
thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his
blood in order to save her.




Most of the time, what you gives isn't really that important.
Rather, it is the attitude that you gives along with your gift.

Those receivers who laugh at your gifts are definitely not
worthy of them. Stop giving to them if that is the case. Why
waste your time, effort and money on those unappreciative bas**rd.
Both you and I know we have much better things to do than, isn't it? ^^

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Name That Boat

My friend wanted a boat more than anything. His wife kept refusing, but he bought one anyway.

"I'll tell you what," he told her. "In the spirit of compromise, why don't you name the boat?" Being a good sport, she accepted.

When her husband went to the dock for the maiden voyage, this is the name he saw painted on the side: "For Sale."




Well, this will give you an idea how to deal with stuffs which you don't like your partner to own. However, this trick is only good for once. ^^

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Why Force Your Child To Be Ordinary?

When given the opportunity, our kids can definitely perform the extraordinary. If you already have a kid or is planning to have one, stop drilling into his/her head that s/he has to be ordinary. The very fact that they are already born with different DNA as others proved that they are already the extraordinary.

Unless we start recognizing, believing and nurturing the genius in our children, we'll only be pushing them into the crowd and have them get lost in it and cross our fingers hoping that someday they could stand out from the crowd by themselves and do the extraordinary. Now that definitely doesn't make sense!

Every child is a genius on his/her own. They are just awaiting for us to discover, believe and nurture them.

Kid Talented With Pool



Is Your Kid Good In Drawing Too?



How Much Do You Know About The World?



A Video For Thought



Monday, May 19, 2008

I'm A Genius Once! OK!!

Click on the image above to access your report for FREE

"The psychologist researchers at Harvard Graduate School of Education discovered that
virtually all children up to the age of 4 had genius capabilities, but the proportion of
geniuses in a population drops as the age group increases. By the age of 20 years and
above, only 2% of the population retain their genius abilities."

It is certainly interesting to know that we are actually geniuses in the making. However, throughout our life, getting to know the "correct" way of living, having to study to ensure that we will have enough to survive on, we gradually lose our ability to think for ourselves, to go for what we are capable of, to fully develop our true potential in life.

Although the report mainly talks about the contributions of the America's education has on the genius dip, somehow or rather it seems to fix nicely into the puzzle in Singapore as well.

Undeniably, throughout the 13+ years of education in Singapore, I have picked up some valuable knowledge which I can find applicable in the real world which I live in.

The content which students in Singapore are taught is not the main issue. However, as what Blurt Goldman mentioned in his report, it is how the knowledge that is being passed down from generation to generation, that is should be our main concern here.

If you have read about Jack Canfield's story "The Animal School", you would have not only nodded your head once.

Argh... enough blahing here. If you have the interest to know more about the genius dip and how you may in the future, or even now, help your children develop their genius, you may want to give this report a read. Nothing to lose, but everything to gain.

Genius is A Given, Not A Gift. Think about it.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Learning To Give Up

Jenny was a bright-eyed, pretty five-year-old girl.
One day when she and her mother were checking out at the
grocery store, Jenny saw a plastic pearl necklace priced at
$2.50.

How she wanted that necklace, and when she asked her
mother if she would buy it for her, her mother said, "Well,
it is a pretty necklace, but it costs an awful lot of money.
I'll tell you what. I'll buy you the necklace, and when we
get home we can make up a list of chores that you can do to
pay for the necklace. And don't forget that for your
birthday Grandma just might give you a whole dollar bill,
too. Okay?" Jenny agreed, and her mother bought the pearl
necklace for her.

Jenny worked on her chores very hard every day, and sure
enough, her grandma gave her a brand new dollar bill for her
birthday. Soon Jenny had paid off the pearls. How Jenny
loved those pearls. She wore them everywhere, to
kindergarten, bed and when she went out with her mother to
run errands. The only time she didn't wear them was in the
shower. Her mother had told her that they would turn her
neck green!

Now Jenny had a very loving daddy. When Jenny went to bed,
he would get up from his favorite chair every night and read
Jenny her favorite story.
One night when he finished the story, he said, "Jenny, do
you love me?"

"Oh yes, Daddy, you know I love you," the little girl said.

"Well, then, give me your pearls."

"Oh! Daddy, not my pearls!" Jenny said. "But you can have

Rosy, my favorite doll. Remember her? You gave her to me
last year for my birthday. And you can have her tea party
outfit, too. Okay?"

"Oh no, darling, that's okay." Her father brushed her cheek
with a kiss. "Good night, little one."
A week later, her father once again asked Jenny after her
story, "Do you love me?"

"Oh yes, Daddy, you know I love you."

"Well, then, give me your pearls."

"Oh, Daddy, not my pearls! But you can have Ribbons, my toy
horse. Do you remember her? She's my favorite. Her hair is
so soft, and you can play with it and braid it and
everything. You can have Ribbons if you want her, Daddy, the
little girl said to her father.

"No, that's okay," her father said and brushed her cheek
again with a kiss. God bless you, little one. Sweet dreams."
Several days later, when Jenny's father came in to read her
a story, Jenny was sitting on her bed and her lip was
trembling. " Here, Daddy," she said, and held out her hand.

She opened it and her beloved pearl necklace was inside. She
let it slip into her father's hand.

With one hand her father held the plastic pearls and the
other he pulled out of his pocket a blue velvet box. Inside
of the box were real, genuine, beautiful pearls. He had had
them all along. He was waiting for Jenny to give up the
cheap stuff so he could give her the real thing.

====================================================

Learning to trust in yourself, to know who to trust and to
know when to give something up as something better
is coming along.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The "Easy Way" Out Is Often The "Wrong" Way Out

"How are you feeling?" asked my friendly neurosurgeon Dr. Alex Gol as I lay in my hospital bed in the rehab hospital at 3:30 P.M. after a torturous day in therapy. I could not yet utter a single word after sustaining a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) at the age of 19. So I nodded as if to say, "OK." Dr. Gol then calmly replied, "That's nice," and quickly left the room with a smile.


As he was leaving I thought to myself, "Dr. Gol...so nice...so calm...so peaceful." I tried to reposition myself in my bed as the door closed behind him in order to get more comfortable, but something was not "right" in the hospital hallway as I heard a great commotion coming from there. (True, I could not yet speak; however, nothing was wrong with my hearing and there was plenty of screaming coming from the hall.) I wondered, "What was the problem?"


I soon found out the cause of the chaos: it was sweet, serene and calm Dr. Gol who was causing it.


As soon as he left my room he erupted: "WHO'S THE NURSE TAKING CARE OF MIKE? WHAT'S HE DOING IN BED SO EARLY? HE'S A 19 YEAR OLD VICTIM OF TBI, NOT A 95 YEAR OLD STROKE VICTIM! GET HIM OUT OF THAT BED, AND I DON'T WANT HIM BACK IN BED UNTIL HE GOES TO SLEEP!"


The nurses had never seen Dr. Gol act like that. In fact, they had never heard him raise his voice. They quickly got me out of bed and put me in my wheelchair until 9 P.M.


I was miserable. I wanted to get back into my comfortable bed - well, it was not so comfortable but it was much less uncomfortable than my wheelchair or any kind of chair, for that matter.


As I said, after therapy was over at 3 P.M. I wanted to get straight back in bed; however, throughout the following weeks and months the nurses did not want to face "the wrath of Dr. Gol." Therefore, after therapy I remained in my wheelchair in my room until I went to sleep. Being in the wheelchair for so long was agonizing!


I hated Dr. Gol after that eventful day when he asked me that seemingly simple question while I was trying to relax in bed. However, years later I loved him as I realized Dr. Gol was only doing what was in my best interest.


When I returned to college after being out for so long, my professors, after learning what had happened to me and realizing that I could no longer read as quickly as before I was hurt, were more than happy to say, "Mike, it's ok. Just read what you can and we'll test you on that material." However, one professor did not say that. Dr. Sheldon Ekland-Olson, a sociology professor, said, "Mike, I understand you have difficulty reading. I've had many students with many visual problems. For those students, I refer them to "Recording for the Blind." They have access to many textbooks on cassettes. Here's the phone number..."


I "hated" that statement as I wanted to take the "easy way out." (My feelings of "hate" were very similar to those I had for Dr. Gol on that eventful afternoon in the hospital.) However, I have since learned that the "easy way" is quite often the "wrong way."


Sometimes everyone needs a "push." Even I, recently, had to be reminded to push myself as I had gotten "lazy" at the gym. However, a "stranger" reminded me to use my right hand. Even though it was difficult, I thanked him for the reminder.


I have learned that the difficult things in life are often the sweet things in life. One cannot experience "beauty" without experiencing "bitterness." Remember, "push" yourself to "get through the thorns of the rose bush, to experience the beautiful flower of the rose."


Every time I think of some difficult thing in life, I close my eyes, see Dr. Gol, and smile.


=========================================

Shot in the head during a robbery, Michael Jordan Segal defied all odds by first surviving and then returning to college. He then earned two degrees with honors, married his high school sweetheart, Sharon, and became a father to their daughter Shawn. Mike is a social worker at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston and an author (currently he has two book projects he's working on: an autobiography and an anthology of his short stories). He also is a popular inspirational speaker sharing his recipe for recovery, happiness, and success. Please visit his site at: www.InspirationByMike.com

=========================================


If you are thinking you are currently having the worst life ever out there, think again.


The very fact that you can still be rumbling, complaining and comparing yourself with others shows that you are perfectly fine and you have really yet to suffer the worse.


Mike, short name for Michael Segal, has always been one my sources of inspirations for the the past few years, the past 6 years of the time of writing to be exact.


The time when I broke my arm, got "chased" out of my unit, being joked around by your so-called friends and children asking their parents what I have done to cause 2 ugly scars on my arm was probably the most difficult period of my life.


First you were being treated as an handicapped, next people whom you thought were there for you were just there to make fun of you while outsiders shun you after noticing the 2 deeps scars on your hand. Anyone around me knows that and understands that?


Well, things definitely could be worser than that. Luckily, that is as far as it went for me, except to having to break the same exact hand, same exact bone and went through the same exact surgery the second time! How's that!


And if you are thinking this cannot be the most difficult period of my life, I certainly hope you are right. It couldn't be and shouldn't be. A life without challenges is a life without improvements. Who needs a boring life anyway!


What can't kill you, build you. A phrase Mike lives by and a phrase I'm still learning to live by.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Cambodia Siem Reap, Anyone?

Have you being to Siem Reap, Cambodia before? Yup, Cambodia a third world country and certainly doesn't rank well among all the countries in the world in terms of security, safety and hygiene.

Nevertheless, the country's beauty and serenity what I will go for if I were to visit that place again. No busy, shuffling of footsteps or people constantly looking at their watches wondering if they still could make it on time.

Just dirty streets and people walking around looking for jobs to do or ways on how to carry on with their lives. I don't know about you. However when I first step foot into Cambodia it definitely makes me think again.

Small girl selling Hand Made Accessories in AngKor Wat

Am I taking things for granted for the past 20+ years? Have I been grateful and appreciative of what I have been given? Too often, what is achieved easily is easily neglected.

Hopefully in the next few years I will have the chance to go over to Cambodia once again to experience the serenity and my peace of mind there.


Now, if you were thinking of giving Cambodia, the mystery country a visit, I will highly recommend you pay Angkor Wat a visit too. I am not sure if Angkor Wat is one of the 7 seven wonders in the world, however it is surely one of the many wonders in my heart.

And to kill 2 birds with 1 stone, won't it be better if you can do some charity work, travel and play at the same time?

As I was surfing the web for some information about Cambodia, I came across this Volunteer Travel where with a nominal fee, you will be able to travel to Cambodia, visit Angkor Wat and have the chance to interact with the people there and do charity at the same time!

For more information with regards to this trip, visit the website
http://takemetoasia.com/volunteer-travel-asia/group-volunteer-siem-reap/

They will be departing from 22 May 20008 and return on 25 May 2008.

And for more beautiful sceneries from Cambodia and some other places which I visited during my last backpack trip:

http://ZachBackpack.Shutterfly.com/action/


Saturday, May 3, 2008

I Am Going To The Zoo, Zoo, Zoo....

Now it really gets me thinking. When is the last time I went to the Singapore Zoological Garden? Was it when I was Primary 4 or 5 that time?

That is like 13-14 years ago when I last went to the zoo!

Ok, let's think back, what did I actually do on that day? Frankly speaking, we didn't really do much that day except to walk around, rushing to meet the animals' feeding time and stop by some notices to read some interesting facts about the animals we were visiting. That's what makes me feels so tiny. It seems that there is really a lot of things or should I say general knowledge which I do not possess.

I also come to realize that humans are really neglecting the other beings whom we once shared the nature with. Humans are forgetting that we do not own the Earth. Rather, we are only one of the various species roaming the grounds of Earth.

Actually, the zoo trip was suppose to start at 0830am as we had agreed the day before that we would catch the feeding of the elephants show. However, the only thing I saw that was been fed was ME, in KFC. Someone actually came late and caused me to miss the show. Haiz...

Well, I still have to give her the credit of getting the free admission pass for us and also accompanying me throughout the whole day. That day is truly an eye opener and reignite the child in me.

All in all, the trip was very enjoyable. After that went for badminton and had dinner with my badminton friends. A very fruitful holiday I must say. At least not like the past holidays where I would spend the whole day sleeping at home.

I have placed the pictures in another blog post, Pictures Taken In Singapore Zoo. Take a look if you want to.