Category Archives: Philosophies of Life

The Sensible & Rational Sides of a Marathon

A more “scientific approach” to running a marathon here, translated…

I can’t really run, but due to chance, I’d had a ton of friends who are, marathoners.

In order to experience this, I’d, entered into my very first, smaller scale, but beautiful marathon around the Sun Moon Lagoon, and I’d, signed up for the shortest distance, the “Fun Run”.  The group of us used brisk walking to replace the jogging; but I’d, still needed to train for it.查看來源圖片like this???  Photo from online

On that day, I’d gone to train with a group of visually impaired runners to the riverside.  They’d used a rope, with knots tied on both ends, one end on the visually impaired runner, the other on the seeing volunteers, like the three-legged race, they’d moved forward together.  I’d, followed them closely behind, not long thereafter, there’s, this huge distance between me and them, and, before I knew it, they’d, vanished, into the distances.

I’d continued holding my own tempo, with the cold wind blowing across my forehead, sweating down, it’d felt, really, awkward.  There’s, almost no one else by the riverside pass, most of the times, it was, just me, and every now and then, a cyclist would, speed by me, and then, I was left, all alone.  Most of the time, what accompanied me was, this strong sense of, solitude.

And yet, for the visually impaired to run the marathons, wouldn’t it be……I’d, blurted out, “BORING to even think on it!”

“how can you be bored, by ‘thinking’ about it?” in a gathering, the topic of marathon, it’d, sparked up this debate for the two individuals on each end, they’d told me, a ton of imaginations they had of, marathons.

One of the accompanying runners started as an “intern”.  He’d followed a more experienced guide runner to run with the visually impaired.  On the way there, he was, led by the experienced guide, and on the way back, he’d, led.  He’d spoken, with that disbelief in his voice, “The experienced guide told me twenty kilometers’ worth of stories, and the whole path was only, twenty-one kilometers long, oh mine!”  Whatever she’d thought up of, she’d, told me, to her grandmother, to her childhood, to the flowers by the road, the weather, her job………and a turn, before us, there was, this pass, paved with the shades of the trees, and, she’d started, talking about, Mother Nature, what’s meant by “blue skies”, what’s a “green pasture”, what’s a “never-ending ocean”……she was able to, pull out that horizontal pass, and, through it, led the visually impaired runners onto a journey, like the runners aren’t there to run, but instead, to listen to a tale.

I was curious, why did she talk, incessantly?  Turns out, as the visually impaired runner started running, he’d started cramping, and the volunteer chose to tell the tales, to distract him from his own physical discomfort.  If he’d only told of what they’d encountered on the way, it would be, too boring, after all, ordinary people don’t run too fast, and the scenes, are almost, at a standstill; and this experienced accompanying runner, thought of how to get the visually impaired runner, to enjoy the run as he ran blind………so, this, is how fun running a marathon can be!

And yet, not all the visually impaired runners are, blessed enough, to have a companion runner who’s so full of facts to tell.  I’d recalled that many years ago, I’d, gone to chat with a visually impaired runner of an international marathon on this subject, he was very rational, so was his companion runner, he’d, described the marathons he ran as a “battery cell”.

He’d told me, that running a marathon, it’s, a test of how long the battery on you will last, and, you’d needed to, assigned the energies spent on the way effectively.  He’d made the examples, “If your battery is fully charged, the best case scenario is, you’re able to use it, to finish an entire marathon.  Like how it takes a hundred minutes to run a marathon, then, it would be best, if you’d, used one-percent energy per minute that you run!”  You can estimate conservatively, that you’d only needed fifty percent energy to get to the finishing lines; nor can you, overspent, like as you’re half way through, you’d, used up all your energies.  If you’d run faster, how much energy will be spent, if you run slower, how much energy it will, cost you, you’d needed to, recalculate the time needed constantly, add in your physical strengths, and combine it with the speed to which you’re, running with, and use the exact amount of time, to drain up all the energies you may have in you, to just make it, past the finishing lines………

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!  How much, this, represented life itself!

And so, from this, you can see, that running, is no longer just about exercising the body, you need to make the precise calculations, of how much energy it takes you, and, calculate, and factor in all the possible things that can happen on the roads, which is why running a marathon, is sort of an art, and a science!

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under A Cycle of Kindness, Connections, Helping Behaviors, Inspirational Tales, Kindness Shown, Lending a Helping Hand, Lessons, Life, Observations, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Values

A Bunch of Foolish Business Owners in Taiwan, Sponsored Children Who Lived in Poverty Abroad… “Weathered Through My Share of Hardships, and Now, I Want to Help Those Like Me”

Passing the kindness along, because they’d been through the hardships of their lives, and now, they want to help!  From the Front Page Sections, translated…

“I’d Never Bent in Business in My Life, Never Borrowed Any Money from Anybody, But, for the Sake of Helping to Raise Funds for the Charity, I Don’t Know How Many Times, I’d, Already Bent My Back, Begged Others, to Pull the Money Out of Their Own Pockets”.  The Man Who’d Said this, was the Fu-Wei Technology Group’s C.E.O., Hsiao, He’d Started His Company in Changwha, and it’d Already Grown, to Across the Straits to China, Became a Factory for the Intelligent Switching System’s Provider Company, This Past Few Years, He Had Another “Job” He’d Poured His Heart & Soul into—to Help the Fund for Families & Children to Raise Funds for a  Children’s Center, Along with Helping to Sponsor the Children in Poverty Here, as Well as Abroad.

In mid-October, the temperature in middle Asia’s Kyrgyz is already in the teens, Hsiao and thirty more other members of the Taiwan Fund for Children & Families arrived in the dead of winter.  This group consisted of members for Changwha, they were all small-scale business owners, they’d weathered through the poverty in their childhoods, and built up their businesses, from the ground up.  Although many members are approaching their golden years of life, they’d still, taken the three transfers of economy flights to Kyrgyz.  Every member of this group had one thing in common: they are all, very stingy when it comes to themselves, but, they’d, become more than generous in their charitable acts, other than being the permanent sponsors who’d donated $200,000N.T. at once, this time, they’d also, taken along the collected funding of $2.5 million N.T.s, other than visiting with the children they were sponsoring, they’d also, hoped to help build the watering stations in the communities too, Hsiao laughed and told, “We pay the highest amount for this trip!”, and this sort of a foolishness, the outside world often, couldn’t, understand.

Sponsoring Foreign Children, “Donating the Time, AND the Money”

The Taiwan Fund for Children & Family is one of the oldest foundations that helped children out of poverty, in two years, it would enter into its seventieth year of being set up, being able to come so far to this very day, the foundation didn’t rely on government assistance, but the kindness of the members of this society.  From fourteen years ago, the foundation started helping overseas, to help the children in poverty in China in helping them attain better education, and improving their health statuses, currently, there are, SIX total stations abroad.  There was also, a group of sponsors, who’d flown to the various stations abroad by the year, to visit with their children whom they’d never met, and donated the money to better the living environments locally, although they’re unlike the huge corporations, being able to toss down a huge sum all at once, but, they’d donated their money AND time for long-term.

It Wouldn’t Matter if the Needs Were International or Not

But, this group of sponsors were often questioned, there are children in poverty locally too, why would they help the children in poverty abroad?  Hsiao said, ninety-percent of the donations collected by the foundation is being used in Taiwan, only ten-percent are being used overseas, he’d believed, that if there’s a need, then, help shall be given, doesn’t matter if it’s national or internationally.  A member of the group, Chen, who once owned a travel agency, she’d weathered through carrying up her husband’s debts of over twenty million dollars N.T., and she’d not only managed to pay it all up, she’d even, bought a property, opened up her own travel agency.  She said, that being born in the fifties and sixties, everybody was poor, and they’d, received help from abroad back then too, and now, as she’d become, able, she felt compelled, to give back too, “And I’d found, that doing good, can make me even more money!”

And so, this man started something wonderful, because he’d been tried by his own life, grown up in poverty-stricken environment, and knew, how important, having the necessities of life, including the chance of receiving an education is, that is what he’s helping those children in less fortunate backgrounds to achieve, providing them with their most basic needs, so, the children won’t have to worry, and they can, focus on getting an education, and hopefully, pull themselves, out of the poverty they were, born into.

5 Comments

Filed under A Cycle of Kindness, Inspirational Tales, Life, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Values

The Air, My Friend

The column by Jimi Liao, translated…

Because I can’t keep my self all the time, keep maintaining that bright happy smile,

So, I’d made an enormous sculpture, to tell myself: be happy, smile more!

the artwork of Jimi Liao, from UDN.com…

This is just odd, and, it’s so sad to see, that there are still, adults “educating” their own young like this: that they can’t be unhappy, they need to be happy, and you DO realize, how this, is considered as a sort of emotional NEGLECT, right???

4 Comments

Filed under Being Exposed, Coping Mechanisms, Cost of Living, Expectations, Life, Messed Up Values, Negligence, Observations, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Socialization

East 2

Life & death, encountered, in the walkways of a hospital, translated…

The passage I go through to work every day, I’d learned recently, that it was called “East 2”.

It was straight, passing through the hospital’s main building, on the one end, it’d, gone straight into the hallways of the lobby of the hospital, and on the other, into the E.R., with no twists and turns along the way, and naturally, this became, the quickest route for the medical staff to get to where they need to be. 

The flooring of this hall was the warm colored light yellow tint, with posters filling up the walls, and only a few doors opened here and there, nothing more.

Every single morn, a group of white coated people were, sucked in by “East 2”, and spit out at the other end of it, in the evenings, it was reversed.  Day after day, year, after year.

I’m like all other medical staff members, rarely thinking of why the hallway was designed as such, just felt that it was, convenient.  Several times I’d seen the ambulances parked outside East 2 and the E.R., with the family members all around, hands together, ranting something.  I’d understood, that those were the patients who were terminally ill, who’d decided to go home to die, and I’d, not paid enough attention to them.

Until one day, as I was walking into East 2, as I was about to exit out, there was, a group of people, pushing along the body covered in black cloth, and that was when the real purpose of this passageway was, understood by me.  The funeral systems in Taiwan are quite advanced, quick and efficient, those men who were, well-trained were, pushing along a body on a stretcher, in synchronized motion, silence, and worn those clean, white uniforms, and they’d, passed through East 2 without bringing too much attention to themselves.

I’d only, brushed shoulders with these men, but, I’d glanced over at their shirt, and saw three bold black characters printed on their shirt.

Odd, out of place, or even, a bit, ironic, it’d said,

Fighters of life.

And so, this, is where it all ends, for everybody, we get, carried out, like what these men the writer bumped into at the hospital by, and it makes you realize, just how unnoticeable life actually is…

6 Comments

Filed under Life, On Death & Dying, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, the Finality of Life

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.

Leave a comment

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

Seeing the Love without Boundaries from a Foreign Spouse

How the kindness cycled around, from the Front Page Sections, translated…

Last week, I’d gone to a free clinic session for the foreign worker fishermen, because most of the fishermen were from Indonesia, so there was a translator alongside me all the way; I’d had the spare time, and struck up a conversation with her.

“I’d seen you every single time in the free clinics, you’re always smiling, very kind and gentle, you’re, a rare gem!”, I’d commended her.  “Doctor, you thought too much of me, they’re my countrymen, floated across to Taiwan to work, I’m glad, that I can, be of some sort of minute assistance.”

I’d asked her where she came from, “I lived in Jakarta originally, my father is a catering chef, with an unstable income, and there are, too many mouths to feed, and so, in my high school years, I’d, married to Kaohsiung, hoping, to make some extra money, to wire it back home, to help with my family, but………”, she’d taken a very long inhale, continued, “not long after we were wed, my husband was diagnosed with oral cancer, after three surgeries, countless electrotherapy sessions, he could no longer work”.  What made her situation worse was, as her kids rode together on a scooter to visit their father at the hospital, they were hit by a car, her daughter was injured severely, in the I.C.U., her son with fractures, and needing surgery.

Back then, she was looking after her elderly in-laws on her own, her sick husband, and her injured children, she felt hopeless.  But thankfully, her parents in Indonesia wired some money for her, and her eldest sister who’d married to Malaysia flew over especially to help her out too for three months; more importantly, the national health insurance coverages, it’d, helped her out with the costs of the treatments; she’d worked as a translator at the agency during the daytime, at night, she’d gone to school, to hone up on her Chinese skills, her son part-timed through school, they were, just, getting by.

“Actually, the Taiwanese people are quite helpful, I’d met a ton of those who were willing to go out of their ways to assist me, by just being there for emotional support, or those who’d, offered to help me with my finances.  I’m grateful, and in order to pay them back, I’d, signed on these sorts of voluntary work, to make what I can do useful and helpful, and this time, I’d, brought along my children who’d healed from their injuries to volunteer also, to make sure they will note, the love that’s, without the borders in Taiwan.”

Her husband may not be well-educated, or made a lot of money, but she’d, loved Taiwan like it was her home country, as the trials came, she’d, taken them all in, no complaints, no regrets, she’d, utilized her spare time, to hone up on her skills, to acculturate herself into the local communities, and knew to give back, she is, the model citizen for all of the foreign spouses that’s for sure!

And, this, is how this woman was, driven by the cycle of kindness, she was shown kindness when she was in need, when her family had problems, she’d received help from all around her, and that was what drove her, to give back now.

2 Comments

Filed under A Cycle of Kindness, Because of Love, Being Alone, Connections, Cost of Living, Getting Treatment, Helping Behaviors, Kindness Shown, Lessons, News Stories, Observations, Overcoming Obstacles, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Social Issues, Socialization, Values

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!!!

1 Comment

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