Category Archives: Perspectives

The Succulents

Lessons of life, these small plants have to, offer to us, and, it’s, an important one too!  Translated…

Don’t know when, raising the succulent plants became, a trend.

One afternoon, I was strolling down the underground shopping strip, and, stopped in front of a small plant, and, I’d, suddenly understood, where that sense of healing that people talked about came from.  Those chubby leaves, resembled the paws of the bear, with the lighting, the soft and thin fuzz, made me feel, extremely, calm and collected.

On the succulent plants, as I thought, the images of those potted cute things came.  The healing sensation culture, made the succulent potted plants became a total trend, turning it, into a brand new sort of merchandise, they’d gotten, posted on the websites.  These plants are regulars at the cafés all around, an assortments of handicraft designs of them too, the potteries.  Real and fake, the fake looked, so very, real, and, how easily, human were, saved, in this mixture of what’s real and what’s fake, and, doesn’t this symbolize how we’re, squeezed too hard daily, that we needed to, look toward this small plant, to find our renewed energies?

At this moment, I stood, before the glass window, looking at the bear paw, in the temperature and humidity controlled room, hearing the salesperson tell of how to care for the succulent plants.  Thinking, that, they’re, both succulent plants, and, could it be, that the ghost plant?

wonders of nature here…photo from online…succulent plants 的圖片結果

In my childhood memories, the succulent plants weren’t as precious as these.  It’s a sort of a food, instead of a decorating plant.  This began, with my eldest uncle who’d loved his plants as if, they were, his own children.  Way before the trendy gardening came, my eldest uncle and aunt already, decorated their yard and rooftop, into small gardens.  In my impressions, he was always, living in dirt.  From when I was younger, I’d, watched him digging into the dirt, in the front yard, he’d told me that he was, loosening the soil by the seasons, so the flowers and trees can, grow better.  He’s the kind of man that would, pluck a flower as he trekked up the mountains for you, to taste the nectars.  Once, he’d had me select my favorite flower by his racks of plants, that I can take one with me.  I’d only recalled that I got very excited, and ran toward that patch of flowers, but felt panic all of a sudden.  Having the conditions of selective difficulty, I’d felt, anxious, of the sudden influx of the choices presented to me.  In this heat, I’d, pointed toward that patch of gray off to the corners.  As I walked near, the greenish purple color of the plant, made it look mysterious, the leaves were criss-crossed, like a dream catcher.

My eldest uncle laughed, “You sure do know how to pick them, this is for eating!”, he’d quickly plucked a few leaves off, ran into the house to wash them up, not long thereafter, I’d, stared at the fatty leaf, hesitant, as I, took a bite, that crisp sound, with the sour and stale juice that came onto my tongue, and, as I chewed it more, the taste turned, sweeter, perhaps, it’d, tasted like the unsweetened bell fruit, with that taste of herb to it.  This discord of the appearance and taste, was impacting to me, “It’d, tasted like the bell fruit!”, my uncle’s smile became a squint in his eyes, nodded toward me satisfactorily, “This small leaf, will grow into many flowers, you got the pick!”  He’d placed the leaf into the palm of my hand.  Looking at the fatty leaf, I’d thought, “nice to meet your acquaintance!”, and that was when I recalled, that my very first cultivated plant, was also a succulent.

It’s, quite amazing, the parent plant stayed in a huge garden with the enriched soil, and the high humidity, did it ever imagine, that its leaves were going to, move into the lanai of a building in the city?  But, it’d, lived up to the expectations, the leaves multiplied.  In a couple of years, the small finger-sized leaves, became this, bush of leaves, a small garden.

Weird, how as we aged, we’d gone from a leaf from the ghost flower, into a bear claw crassula?  From when I was younger, I’d believed, that life will be like a ghost plant, with the goal, worked hard, under the sun, and, get enough water, I will be able to, bloom, grow, leaf after leaf, after leaf, and successfully, bloom.  But, the reality was like the wind, slapping you across the face.  And after awhile, we’d, slowly, grown, into a viewing plant that’s, fearful, of getting hurt, used to, hiding ourselves, inside that transparent glass container, trading in our protective colorations, for cuteness, sitting in our, isolated, universes, preserved ourselves.

very different in appearances, but, same in “nature”, with the strong will to survive, in the harshest of all conditions!  Photo found online…

Sometimes, life is like a cruel desert, turning us, into, a cactus.

I’d often forgotten, that beneath that healing image, the cacti, with the needles, are a member of the succulent plants.  From succulent, into prickly, that soft fuzz no longer in existence, replacing them, the prickly needles.  The flesh, through the grinds of the days, became calluses, but, the calluses, the thorns, used their stubbornness, wrapped up your heart that’s, softest and most fragile, most, easily hurt.

Hey, did you ever see a flower of a cactus?  Oh yeah, it blooms too.

I’d once, owned a round and stout, cactus with the shorter thorns.  Days into years, its plain looks made people think it’s, nothing more than a décor. Yet, one spring, it’d, started, budding around, with a small light hidden within.  I will, never forget that morn, as the sunlight shone slanted onto the lanai, and, there appeared, a palm-sized flower out of the cactus.  Bright yellow like a fire burning, but, thin as the wings of a butterfly.  The petals soaked up the sun, golden, in full bloom, shown its deepest, gentleness.

At that very moment, all the memories of pain, walking through all those summers, became, light as a grain of sand.

And so, this, is the lesson that people can learn, from these plants, surely, they’re, not easy to care for, but, if you look after them well, they will, show you a side of life that’s, quite inspiring, and teach you, that weathering through the seasons of life, is something as plain as living from day to day.

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Filed under Connections, Expectations, Interactions Shared with the World, Lessons, Observations, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Values

The Air, My Friend

The column by Jimi Liao, translated by me…

The child to the sloth, or, the sloth, to the child…

Let’s take it slow now…………

No matter how quickly the world changes………

Let’s just, take it slow……………

No matter, how worked up others are around us………

We will, continue to, take it slow together………

One day…

Someone will, finally, get us………

Understanding, that slower is faster……

We’re in no rush……………

Slowly, slowly, slower, slower………………

And this, would be how hard you’re all, PUSHING your children, to catch up to your tempos or paces, and by doing that, you’d, deprived your young, of taking their times, to grow UP slow, at their own paces, and, at the same time, you’d, SLAUGHTERED your young children like P-I-G-S, depriving them, of a happy, AND carefree childhood!

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Filed under Awareness, Bad Behaviors, Bad Parenting Behaviors, Being Exposed, Child Development/Education of Children, Childhood, Growing Up Too Fast, Interactions Shared with the World, Kids Raising Kids, Lessons, Losing Sight of What's Important, Messed Up Values, My Thoughts on Various Issues, Parent-Child Interactions, Parenting/Parenthood, Perspectives, Problems with Grown-Ups, Properties of Life, Story-Telling, Things Left Behind, Translated Work, Wake Up Calls

To Fulfill Their Dreams, Wei-Xun Yen Donated Over 40,000 Bowls of Suspended Noodle, He’d Sent the Developmentally Delayed Children Out to Sea on a Yacht

Good deeds are still, “infectious” here, translated…

Yen, who was originally a mobster, because the deities appeared to him in a dream, with the consoling of his mother, he’d, turned his own life around, he’d started trekking the island, to donate funds to the orphanages, and he’d borrowed from the ideas of foreign cultures and started providing the donated perishables to help those in need, in just four years, he’d given over 40,000 bowls of noodles, yesterday, he’d even fulfilled the dreams of nearly a hundred residents of an orphanage’s dream of “going out to sea on a yacht”.

“Teacher, look, so many boats”!, the students came to the pier, and were all very, excited, and as they’d set sail on a multi-million dollar yacht, they’d enjoyed the sea breeze that brushed against their faces even more; the teacher, Chen said, that as the children learned that they’re taking a trip out to sea on a yacht, all of them got very excited.

顏維勳已經是第N次接受媒體採訪,從進出監獄的荒唐歲月到發起全台發送愛心物資的「環島行善團」及愛心待用麵店,就像是一齣名為「浪子回頭金不換」的戲劇,注定成為勉勵、警惕世人的題材。(陳明仁攝)he used to be a gangster from before, photo from online…

Actually, the starter of this program, Yen, was imprisoned for manslaughter charges when he was just fifteen, for killing a person with whom he got into a verbal altercation with, he said, that back then, he’d hung around with the wrong crowds every day, that late one night, he’d dreamed that a deity told him, that “do good, you will have problems resolved”, he was doubtful, closed his tattoo parlor, and set up a temple, he received probation for his crimes, and, it’d waken him up, and decided to start anew, as a brand new man again, set up a community, went around the island, to perform the acts of kindness, in one month, he’d trekked across the distant regions, and, donated to over a hundred orphanages.

Yen borrowed the acts of kindness from the international fronts, in his mother’s noodle shop in the marketplace, hung up the sign of “Do-Good Noodle Stand”, and started up the plans of providing the noodles to the needy free of change, so the guests can pay for the unserved noodle, so those who needed the food can have it without having to pay for it, and, his act of kindness, had made a fellow gangster motivated to help out too.

Yen said, that he’d visited an orphanage to deliver the resources, and saw how the children were, drawing out their wishes of setting sail there, and he’d started up the “Distant Dreams” activities, not only was he able to raise a total of $125,000N.T. in funding, the yacht owners supported his cause too, and helped fulfilled the children’s dreams of setting sail out to sea.

“Everybody is glad to help out”, the C.E.O. of the Four Seasons Bay, Lin said, all of our yacht owners were more than happy, to be able, to help out with this cause.

20151103-更生人專訪.(右起)張再興.陳修將.顏維勳(陳明仁攝)and now, he’d sorted through the donations with his friends, and sent them to the orphanages, for those in need!  Photo from online

And so, all it took, for this man, to realize that he was on the wrong paths in life, was having a dream of the local deities, and that was enough, to help steer his life in the right directions, and he’s now, helping to fulfill the dreams of children who couldn’t afford to dream.

This showed, that all you need, to turn your life around, is just that one good thought first, then, you work hard at it, and, you will surely, make a difference in the world too, just as this man had!

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Filed under A Cycle of Kindness, Awareness, Cause & Effect, Helping Behaviors, Kindness Shown, Lessons, Life, News Stories, Observations, Overcoming Obstacles, Perspectives, Properties of Life, Turning One's Life Around, Turning Over a New Leaf

Sisyphus in the Subways of Paris

The help from unknown strangers, that’s, made this woman and her daughter felt warmed in the hearts, translated…

I’d come to understand how Sisyphus was feeling. As I took two suitcases with the illustrated books, standing by the subways of Paris, faced with the dozens of steps heading upward.

Going against gravity, is already, a challenge in itself, let alone, when I’d needed to, push a huge rock that’s, way oversized, way heavier than my own body weight. And so, Sisyphus kept, pushing uphill continually.

Ahhh! I’m, after all, luckier, than Sisyphus, someone offered to help me out.

A graceful woman with silvery hair, used her wrinkled hands, stated in English, that she wanted to, help me out, and, grabbed my small suitcase to carry. I’d understood, that the moment she’d, lifted it up, she’d, be regretting it, because, it was, filled with books, weighed, just like the rocks.

But, why had, this kind hearted elderly woman offered me the helping hand? Because there was a middle aged man who saw her hauling a suitcase as she’d, stumbled up a staircase, and gave her a helping hand. And, she’d, gone down the steps, emptyhanded, and turned around and saw me with great difficulties, climbing up the steps, she’d, immediately, “paid it forward”, and, lifted up the suitcase, that was, apparently, heavier than she was.

I’d naturally, used my English and French, to tell her thanks, but it wasn’t, necessary, but I still had a bigger suitcase in my arms, and, this “evergreen marathoner” had, surpassed me already.

And yet, this pushing the rocks upward, with me, as the last leg. Or maybe, I hadn’t, found where to put my strength to best use yet, I appeared to be too foolish, and, an onlooker can no longer, take it, another younger, more fashionable woman, entered, into this race of mine, and, took the large suitcase I was handling, away from me.

Ah! What, is in this thing? All her friends, started, dissecting my case with their eyes from the various angles, and finally, they were, able to, lift up, that huge rock, then, lift up the legs, push up the steps; lift up the legs, push up the steps………as for me? With nothing in my hand, I’d, used both English AND French, to cheer my helpers on.

I’m, way luckier, than Sisyphus, the rock didn’t roll back down, as it was about, to reach the heights, and, all of those “competitors” who were involved in this race of mine, stood on the top of the stairs, with tears in the eyes, waved goodbye to me. And, my youthful daughter stood, panting, by her large suitcase, with great confusion, watched, this skit that had, happened in the subways.

The two of us, kept sliding the three large suitcases along in the subway of Paris, and, discussed how incredible our adventures were. As we just turned the corners, holy! Stairs! Stairs! Stairs! It seems, we’d, added, a second show, of the “Trials of Sisyphus”!

And so, from this you can see, how helpful, these strangers were, to this mother-daughter pair, and, without the strangers’ kindness, this mother-daughter pair, would’ve, NEVER been able to, carry their two large suitcases up that first flight of stairs, and yet, after they’d passed this first hurdle, there comes, the next one…but, the kindness of the strangers who’d, offered them a helping hand, can’t ever be forgotten that’s for sure!!!

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Filed under A Cycle of Kindness, Awareness, Connections, Cost of Living, Interactions Shared with the World, Lending a Helping Hand, Life, Modeling Behaviors, Observations, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Story-Telling

From the Inside of Harvard: Asian Students Found to be Discriminated Against

Racism, found in one of the MOST prestigious schools in the U.S., and you still think that there’s NO problem in this world that we’re currently residing in??? Is someone IN DENIAL or what??? From the Front Page Sections, translated…

The Harvard University was accused of discriminating against Asian students, based off of the documents turned in by the S.F.F.A. provided to the courts by the students, the Asian American students’ “personality characters” received a consistent lower marking, and thus, the rate of admittance were, lowered, had it not been so, the number of Asian students in Harvard would be, doubled, and reach forty-three percent.

S.F.F.A. accused Harvard for systematically discriminating against Asian students, that it was, against the civil rights laws. The S.F.F.A. claimed, that in admissions, Harvard used a “balancing of the races” method, causing there to be a lowered number of Asian students getting accepted, and allowing more whites, African Americans, and Latin Americans who aren’t as qualified to get in.

The New York Times reported, that the analyses by the S.F.F.A. showed, that on “positive characteristics”, including personable, courage, friendliness and “gaining a wider spectrum of respect”, the Asian applicants always scored lower than the other students who’d applied.

The Asian students performed exemplary in the areas of academia, tests, and extracurricular activities compared to the other races of students, but because of the Asian students’ “positive characteristics” being lowered, thus, it’d, reduced their chances of getting accepted into the school.

Harvard had denied the allegations on the fifteenth, stated that the analyses conducted by statisticians of the school showed NO such tendencies; during these past few weeks, Harvard had tried to prevent the related reports from leaking out.

And, if this is true, then, it only showed, how RACIST one of the most prestigious university in the U.S. is, and, maybe, the heads of the departments are rationalizing how they’re only, trying to give equal opportunities to ALL the students of ALL the races, but this is racial profiling, and it’s, happening right now, in 2018!

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Filed under Current Events, Discriminations, Downward Spiral, Perspectives, Racial Profiling, Racism, Wake Up Calls, White Picket Fence

Bowie Tseng Witnessed Life & Death Firsthand, “Leaving is What He Wanted to Do the Most”

The interviews with those considering euthanasia, whose been in ailing health conditions, from the Entertainment Sections, translated…

Bowie Tseng in Basel, Switzerland, witnessed the 104-year-old Australian biologist, Goodall, ending his own life by euthanasia, in the final three days of his life, she’d stayed with him, ate with him, held conversations, in that final moment, she was, filled with ambiguity inside, “in just one hour, he will be gone, and I’d messed up the time he should be spending with him family, because of work, until he’d finally asked those around him, ‘what are we waiting for?’, the employees of the clinic told him, ‘there are still forms we need to fill out’, he’d sighed, ‘there are always forms to be filled out’, at that moment, I’d, let go, I shouldn’t use my own sorrows, to interpret him leaving the world happy, that’s what he wanted to do the most, as a bystander, we should, give him our blessings.”

獨家/親眼目睹百歲生態學家安樂死 曾寶儀:巨大震撼!photo fo Bowie Tseng interviewing the elderly man in Switzerland, from UDN.com…

Bowie Tseng took the documentary filming, in the past few months, she’d trekked to Great Britain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Ireland, to interview those who’d lost their loved ones by euthanasia, and in February, she’d also, interviewed the activist for euthanasia in Taiwan, Dar-Jen Fu, “he’s weak, needed morphine to stay alive, in the interview sessions, he was still full of responsibilities, claimed the purpose of his wanting his own death.” And, before she set foot to go to Switzerland, she’d thought of a million questions to ask Goodall, the biggest shock for her, “I’d never interviewed anybody who’d determined her/his own date of death, how do I go about approaching him, how do I ask my question, to not be offensive toward him, how do I, say goodbye.”

Bowie Tseng said, “He’s older than I imagined him to be, I’d held onto the oldest hands I’d ever shaken, with the years on them, wrinkles, spots, and because of muscular atrophy, the joints were very apparent, but he was still very strong. I’d gone with him and his family to the botanic gardens for a stroll, he’d petted the plants along the way, I’d asked him if he was saying goodbye to them all, and he’d asked me, ‘why would I?’, at that very moment, I’d found, all the questions I’d wanted to ask him to lose meaning, because he doesn’t care anymore.”

There’d been war between the pro and anti euthanasia groups, Bowie interviewed a British elderly woman, who was born with severe handicap, and in the entire interview, she’d needed the respirator connect to her, and every fifteen minutes, the nurse had needed to help get the phlegm out of her lungs, but because of her optimism toward life, and her two marriages, despite how bad her conditions for staying alive was, she’d spoken up against euthanasia, and her speech had helped altered British law, and, gotten the parliament to vote against euthanasia. And BBC filmed the life of “Simon”, the businessman who had ALS, who’d not progressed to the point when euthanasia should be a consideration for him, he was accompanied by his own wife, to have it, as the footages come out into the open, it’d shaken up the entire world. Bowie Tseng said, “I’d interviewed his wife this time, and she’d told me she was regrettable for doing this, she believed, that death is not the business of the individual, although you may be ill, but you still don’t have the rights, to take away the time your family gets to spend with you.”

something used, to show that you don’t want to be resuscitated, photo from online…

After this experience, Bowie Tseng said, “I will work hard, to cherish my life every day, every gathering with friends, every meal, I will work hard, to make all of this meaningful.”

And so, because this woman was personally interacting with these individuals who are in the process of getting euthanized, it’d impacted her, on a personal level, and, she’d bore witness to how bad someone was living, and yet, still was against euthanasia, this is probably going to be, the most memorable experience of interview that this woman will ever have in her entire life.

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Filed under Choices, Do-Not-Resuscitate, Euthanasia, Lessons, Life, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Right to Die, the Finality of Life, The Right to Choose How One Will Die, Values

Learning to Let Go from Saying Goodbye, to Be a Man of High-Quality

On the last rites, the final rites of one’s passage, translated…

I’d gone to two funerals of my high school classmates in these past few months, and, at the funeral, the collages of their lives were played.

Those old scenes all came back to me, I’d thought about the laughter, the sorrows, the ups and downs of life we’d shared, our friendships which were kept, I couldn’t help but start crying hard! And, in the three, or five-minute short film, it’d, told of the stories of their over fifty years of life, and this was, saying goodbye to life.

We are all, staying afloat in this sea of mirage, and we’d felt, that cold chill! In this mirage of a life, we’d gone to the funerals, and we were often, impacted by the mixtures of emotions. Looking at others, then, thinking about ourselves, our whole life is a huge lesson in learning to say goodbye, and the hardest part of it all, is learning to say goodbye to ourselves, to say farewell to the youth that’s slowly going away, to wave goodbye at the beautiful faces that time had, sculpted, to say farewell, to those whom we loved and cared dearly, our families, to say farewell, to all our meaningless pursuits of fame and fortune…to bid farewell, to everything earthly. Life is learning to let go!

As I’m about to become Buddha! My funeral, I’d wanted to be like how the Buddhist Master, Shen-Yen’s making myself into a better person.

Before I go, I shall, have that slight smile, and with a heart of gratitude, for everything that’s happened in life to me; before I go, I hope that my loved ones, friends, families, and relatives can, use the Buddhist chants, to help my soul return to the West. As for the rituals, I’d wanted everything to be simplified, I shall become nothing but mud, to become the guardians of the flowers.

And so, this is, what life is reduced to, when we all die, we’d become, NOTHING, it’s what we did whilst we were still living, that will, hopefully, get remembered, it’s the lives we managed to touch when we were still on earth, that will keep on flowing, even after we’re gone, and, like this person, just keep everything simplified, because, there’s NO need, to have a flashy funeral, because you’re, already D-E-A-D, and you should NOT care who shows up at your funeral, besides, why would it matter to you? You’re, no longer “here” (on this PLANET???)………

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Filed under Aging Gracefully, Awareness, Expectations, Letting Go, Life, Observations, On Death & Dying, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, the Finality of Life, The Right to Choose How One Will Die, Things Left Behind, Values