Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Body Mind Spirit and MH370 connection

This is a continuation of an earlier post entitled, "What if...people are more important than things?"

Photo via Bala Sivakumar


Have you ever marvelled at the computer or technology today to consider what if Man could make the human body but decided it is impossible after appreciating the complexities of our own body and the miracle functions it carries out every day? If so, you would appreciate your Body just like me and see it as a miracle gift of God to us.

Have you ever looked up into the sky to wonder what if there were other human inhabitants, like us here on earth, in one of the billions of planets up in the vast universe out there? If you have, then you are one with a Mind like mine who can think of unlimited possibilities.

Have you ever been so close to someone whom you have loved for so long and then had to see the person die, and after he or she has gone, you wonder what if the person you knew still lives on in spirit and can connect to you somehow?  If you have, then you are one with a Spirit like mine who feel that we are eternal beings born on earth that will never be destroyed but have an eternal purpose in life with eternal relationships.

With all of the above three beliefs of mine, I embarked on what has become a yearly exercise for me to fast and pray for 3 days and 2 nights straight without food and water for some specific purposes. I have documented my experiences during such a time in the past in a live journal post. This time round I decided to cover my experiences briefly on facebook to be followed by a more detailed journal post later. This has been the introduction of that detailed journal post mentioned earlier.

The link to the facebook post can be found here or copied below. Yes I am in Kuantan again to be inspired by new questions of 'What if...?'

At my favorite spot to fast and pray for personal revelation on the world's problems today, it's politics and even MH370





The purpose of my fast has always been for 1. Praying for the health and welfare of others 2. Seeking clarity of my mind 3. Connecting with the Spirit of God 

This is a Body Mind Spirit integrating exercise of the 3 centers of life that I have recognized in the 1st page of the sharing of my Heart and Mind series of my web page writings. The exercise helps me overcome what that has been quoted as, "..the spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak." (Matthew 26:41) Then there is another quote, "...be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind." (Romans 12:2) I've longed been impressed with the number of times that 'Mind' is quoted in the scriptures as listed here.

At the bottom of the page is the summary of my life's interest based on the energy derived from the 3 centers:



Body objective
The power of prayers accompanied with a fast is a testimony I've gained in the life as a Mormon with fast Sundays practised on the 1st Sunday of each month. Stretching it to 3 days makes it more challenging but rewarding as well. The bodies of a number of people I know in need of medical attention I felt will receive a boost with a fast and prayers for them. So this had been in my heart during this recent exercise of faith. Getting feedback from these people from fb or phone msgs of their positive development over time gives me great joy and further strengthening of my testimony of the benefit of fasting and prayers for the sick.

Checking my blood sugar level also gives a positive sign for my own body's condition

Mind objective
The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 that took off from KLIA en route to Beijing on March 8 has been a mind boggling mystery to the world. My prayers had been for the 239 people on board since the incident was reported in the news.  

In a world of 24/7 news coverage today, the incident became an international sensation due to the disappearance of the plane without any distress call from the cockpit. Soon slow and inadequate as well as inconsistent reporting from the Malaysian authorities aroused even more curiosity from everyone! The fact that there was no closure in finding any evidence of a confirmed wreckage of the plane anywhere to date nor any to support the multiple theories of  of the plane's disappearance makes the whole world audience still anxious to know the final truth! A fair report by a political analyst and photographer Nile Bowie gives a good picture of the situation found here. 

Here I was in the morning of my first day of fasting and prayers in my favorite spot with my mind wandering with the rest of the world about what happened to MH370? Then a little miracle occurred when I looked around where I was sitting...


..... was shocked to see a little plastic toy model of a plane behind me with a couple of horseshoe crabs close by.

Was there something symbolic about this toy plane found on the ground behind me at a time I'm meditating and praying about MH370? What if this was a sign from God?

Seems like there are lots of 'What if...?' questions out there as the recording of the news below suggests :

What if the plane really landed on Diego Garcia Island where there is a US military base?

There are even people out there to show you the arithmetic as proof that the plane did land on the island!

Independent News source of a conspiracy theory that MH370 is kept hidden at US military base Diego Garcia, that uses the above video clip, can be read here.

(Postdated Development events : The above two videos are for some reason no longer working. Such things do happen especially when there exist some controversies in videos posted on the internet where published links may no longer work at a latter date as in the case of officially published suicide statistics of Singapore as discovered here. Below is a later video that seems to be even more interesting!)

I discovered that it even involved Superman in the movie 'Man of Steel' so I updated another video to my old Superman post too found here.


As noted in the earlier post, the disappearance of  MH370 on 8 March had become a baffling mystery to the world, spinning a host of other 'what if...?' questions despite the announcement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on 24 March that the plane ended its journey in the Indian Ocean, effectively ending their hopes of a miraculous survival.

If all the questions or theories so far have not been mind boggling enough for the reader up to this point, consider this story of another similar Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 plane apparently existing in Israel according to this article by an American journalist named Christopher Bollyn.

Referring to the toy model plane found by the beach where I had sat, it could be symbolic that the plane was on land somewhere. Until solid evidence appears such as finding the wreckage of the plane or the black box, there is always hope that the people in the plane could still be alive!


That was exactly how I felt when I came back to the spot at the end of the week before I left Kuantan. I left with hope and prayer in my heart for all the people on flight MH370.

I wish that I could have dreamt a solution to the enigma but I am not a prophet to be blessed to do that and only if that is the will of God too to do so. But for one who seldom dream or maybe may have frequent dreams but usually never remember them when I wake up each morning, I like to put on record here that I did have a dream that slipped away very quickly when I woke up on the 2nd day of my fast. It wasn't anything to do with MH370 but that morning, I just woke up feeling my wife Geok Lee was with me that night and I just smiled.

I am a strange fellow I might add in that my views and feelings of life when phenomenal things happen to me may be a lot different from others if the same phenomenal things happened to them. I find that people may get much more excited of phenomenal things that happen in their life but for me, I tend to gravitate towards my usual logical rationale self where perhaps I'm more interested to figure out how such things happen and if I cannot figure it out, I would just be happy to get the facts down as close as possible to what exactly happened and try to connect the dots through time that may give me greater knowledge or wisdom when I can connect but with no hurry or deadline for that to happen!

I guess I've just expressed about how I perceive my Mind functions when it has to deal with phenomenal things that occur in my life. The next and last section may be more enlightening as it touches the spiritual realm where modern man today are still struggling between the polarities of what is Science and what is Spirituality. Reading writings of some authors who are thinkers like me but with different views may shed more light on this struggle that I have mentioned. I suggest this author by clicking here.

Spirit objective

The Spirit of Elijah seems to continue to remain strong with me as described in an earlier post while in Singapore.
My interest in personal family history began to expand to the fascinating history of China too! I had brought a book along to read in Kuantan that ties in with the time period of my great grand father Tjong Yong Hian.

I found some interesting connections between Dowager Cixi and my great grand father. I've never been really interested in history but I must say the Spirit of Elijah has changed my interests. More stories from these two books will be written in another continuing post found here.

As I am finishing this post on the day of my wife's birthday ie. 4th April 2014, it must include her spirit too in this section.

After all, the very spot where this whole blog post started has Geok Lee's presence there as seen in the photo above. See her on the tiny spec on the left of the O?

Here is the magnified photo of the tiny spec above. She was there with Ray and our beloved Simba but it was the year of the double Os ie.2010 and the pics were used in the Dec story here.

So waking up on Day 2 of my fast, Thur 27 March, I felt a strange feeling as if I had spent the night with her. There was no recollection of any dreams and my mind was a bit disappointed that I didn't have any dreams about the MH370 puzzle. 
All I had with me was my data mining equipment and when I was tired looking at the computer screen, I would read the books I had with me.

Else there is always the local conventional newspapers to read what the government wants the people to believe! I certainly didn't have the gift of a seer and revelator of a prophet as described in the Joseph Smith Papers. Nevertheless, the technology we have today is quite wonderful to access information but spiritual knowledge of a seer and revelator is certainly more sophisticated and powerful. At best, I can expect the Spirit of God to enlighten my mind as read in the History, circa 1841, fair copy

Here is something interesting that happened that is related to my wife as I was searching topics on MH370 on the internet.

Another blog writer received a sign which he referred to as 'Angelic' or 'Afterlife' signs with regards to a black beetle. It was fascinating to find another person covering the MH370 enigma in a wordpress post who found it hard to accept a sign as it was new to him and that he had, in his own words, a 'very skeptical, scientific and business mind.'

What was even more fascinating was that I discovered in another part of his blog had a post regarding his wife who had just passed away recently on 23 Dec 2013. When I read that she had lived from 1962-2013 as written in the above pic, it struck me that she was born in the same year as Geok Lee! 

On further reading of another of his blog post, I discovered she was just 3 days younger than Geok Lee born on April 4 while Brenda was born on the 7th. My immediate thoughts were, Wow, What if... Geok Lee had met her and somehow prompted me to find this blogpost of her husband?

Here is the eulogy of Brenda Jose shared by her husband Robert Chaen in her memorial celebration  :



Geok Lee's eulogy is best shared with videos of herself and many others that are all found here.

This is my favorite, a true story of her other half that won her the top prize in a Story Telling contest in Singapore.



Glad I could complete this blog post in time on her birthday!

Happy Birthday Mom from all of us who will never forget you!


Postdated developments :

Latest news on MH370 and archived news reported since the plane was reported missing on 8 Mar 2014 is well documented by the UK Mirror online news found here.

Sunday night, 30 March 2014 : I found Robert's facebook page and made a request to add me as a friend with a link to this blog post.

Sunday night, 6 April 2014 : After accepting my friend request and some brief exchange of messages on facebook earlier, we managed to have a Skype video chat for about 2 hours! We familiarized ourselves to each other by sharing some our life stories especially around the last days of our wives in hospital. I could see that he was methodical to write down what I had shared with him and added a summary of it to his wordpress post found here.

Monday noon, 7 April 2014 (Utah time) : I made a post on Robert's facebook timeline with Birthday greetings to his departed wife. (Readers must log in their fb account to read any fb post )

Tuesday night, 8 April 2014 : Had a second skype video chat with Robert who invited me to attend as a guest to his signature workshop next week on April 16 & 17 in Gardens Mid Valley. After our chat, a little past midnight, a friend from US Marilyn Maxfield King, who was the first to chat with me on facebook about the MH370 disappearance when it first was announced to the world, shared on my timeline a child's colored drawing of an aeroplane with a caption that I might like to add to it. View my spontaneous comments on the post here.  (The link or post referred here seems to have disappeared and have left a fb message to Marilyn inquiring about it. Below is a screen shot of my message to her at Spore time of 4.46am 15 May 2014 computed using my computer clock of the 1st screen shot below that records that the screen shot was taken 6 minutes ago at the time when my computer clock at the bottom right of the screen read 5.52 AM 5/15/2014. Wow first a missing plane, now a missing fb post that Marilyn sent me of a child's drawing of the plane that I spontaneously commented on!)




Little did I know that the youtube video that I shared in the comments with the lyrics of John Denver's song, "I'm leaving on a Jetplane", when played back on my computer received an insect visitor that became an 'angelic' sign as if it was sent by Brenda Jose :


I quickly got my camera out when the insect first appeared on my desk crawling/walking in front of me which soon got to the back of my desk where the above pic was snapped. This unique insect is larger than the largest ant that I've ever seen but smaller than a grass hopper. It has wings so it could fly but from the back of my desk it just walked round to the front again on the right of my desk to start climbing my book and a pencil to finally end up on my computer!

Watch the live video below that I posted on facebook that night itself after recording the movement of this insect across my computer screen! After informing Robert that I had posted this video, he was quick to respond with the details that, "This flying black insect did not fly but walked across the screen and it distinctively crossed the screen airplane tail and the left wing engine." The significance of this is the similarity of his black beetle sign from the link to his post given above where he wrote, "Incidentally, Brenda had showed me an unmistakable afterlife sign about MH370 in the form of the turning back West and hiding movement of a black beetle on March 12 - half a day after the first ever breaking news of MH370 turning back to the West by Malaysia’s military. This first news were retracted, until the Prime Minister Najib Razak officially confirmed it on March 15, on the eighth day of the missing MH370."





Friday morning, 25 April 2014 : Delayed in KL to return to Singapore as my old faithful van was at the workshop with also some other unfinished errands to complete, I used the additional time to update my blogs and to fix problems I was facing with my three websites, on the Body, Mind and Spirit, I have built and maintained to this date described in the earlier part of this post. The challenge was to overcome the problem that arose from Chrome browser's update to version 32 onwards at the start of the year that distorted the look of my webpages on the screen of the updated Chrome browser but not on other browsers like I.E., Firefox or Safari. I had spent some time in the past couple of months off and on trying to resolve it by referring to forums and contacting known experts without any solution.

So I decided I will personally put my mind to solve this irritating problem during this extra gap of time that I had. Searching forums, news and technical blogs bring amazing discoveries of the latest technical information as well as more knowledge of who and what is going on in the world. This was the case with Robert Chaen and his recently deceased wife Brenda as recorded in the earlier part of this post. My meditative mind coupled with curiosity while seeking a breakthrough in the past couple of days for my Chrome problem may have led me to the discover another interesting man named Aaron Swartz. As I was data mining and executing trial and error exercises modifying the html codes of my webpages, the Chrome problem was also resolved so it was a double whammy as they call it!

While I was data mining through a book archive site that was freely downloadable with a Creative Commons licence, I scrolled down to the bottom of the site to find a one line statement, "In memory of Aaron Swartz." Through clicking more links about Aaron and his work with several cutting edge software companies that focused on archiving information, it led me to www.archive.org

By searching the same archive.org website, I found the video below. Watch it in relation to the question I raised at the start of this post  ie. "What if...people are more important than things?"


After watching the above video to know how the local inhabitants of the island were treated, it reminds me of the thoughts of a man I've got to know since I was young,  from a book of People and Great Deeds, ie Dr Albert Schweitzer. With today's resources of Wikipedia and Youtube, I am able to appreciate more about him. Here is an extract of his thoughts :

"Our culture divides people into two classes: civilized men, a title bestowed on the persons who do the classifying; and others, who have only the human form, who may perish or go to the dogs for all the 'civilized men' care.

"Oh, this 'noble' culture of ours! It speaks so piously of human dignity and human rights and then disregards this dignity and these rights of countless millions and treads them underfoot, only because they live overseas or because their skins are of different color or because they cannot help themselves. This culture does not know how hollow and miserable and full of glib talk it is, how common it looks to those who follow it across the seas and see what it has done there, and this culture has no right to speak of personal dignity and human rights ...

"I will not enumerate all the crimes that have been committed under the pretext of justice. People robbed native inhabitants of their land, made slaves of them, let loose the scum of mankind upon them. Think of the atrocities that were perpetrated upon people made subservient to us, how systematically we have ruined them with our alcoholic 'gifts', and everything else we have done ... We decimate them, and then, by the stroke of a pen, we take their land so they have nothing left at all ...

"If all this oppression and all this sin and shame are perpetrated under the eye of the German God, or the American God, or the British God, and if our states do not feel obliged first to lay aside their claim to be 'Christian'—then the name of Jesus is blasphemed and made a mockery. And the Christianity of our states is blasphemed and made a mockery before those poor people. The name of Jesus has become a curse, and our Christianity—yours and mine—has become a falsehood and a disgrace, if the crimes are not atoned for in the very place where they were instigated. For every person who committed an atrocity in Jesus' name, someone must step in to help in Jesus' name; for every person who robbed, someone must bring a replacement; for everyone who cursed, someone must bless."

"And now, when you speak about missions, let this be your message: We must make atonement for all the terrible crimes we read of in the newspapers. We must make atonement for the still worse ones, which we do not read about in the papers, crimes that are shrouded in the silence of the jungle night ..."

You may want to watch this BBC documentary that has been declassified for public viewing only after 70 years later of another case of crimes that have been shrouded :


Back to Aaron Swartz, he was an American computer programmer, writer, political organizer and Internet Hacktivist who died young on Jan 11,2013. After the experience with Robert and his wife, I thought, Wow What if... Geok Lee had met him and somehow prompted me to learn more about his life and beliefs?  See his Memorial post that I created after learning more about him. In the midst of modern America in our world of advanced technology, I can't help but feel Aaron Swartz has the heart and mind of Albert Schweitzer or at least they share a common A.S. acronym for their names. The difference is one had the opportunity to live a life of service that he had chosen while the other was far too young to lose his life for striving to make the world a better place for others! Read the memorial post of Aaron Swartz with the link given above.

Additional media found on MH370

Youtube - Documentaries TV Real Truth behind MH370 Malaysian Flight (Full Documentary)

Facebook - Flight MH370 The dirty hidden truth and conspiracy facts

The Week magazine - List of conspiracy theories : What actually happened to the missing plane

More postdated events :

To learn about the loss of more Malaysian planes within the year 2014, you can read the earlier post that this post was a continuation of entitled, "What if...people are more important than things?" Look at the bottom under 'Postdated events' section of that post.


Just before midnight, 5 Mar 2016 to 8 Mar 2016 (2nd Anniversary of the disappearance of MH370)
A unique insect was sighted on my KL apartment balcony as covered in this blog post. I made the facebook post below and click the comments icon at the bottom to read my re contact with Robert Chaen whom I had met from the experience recorded in this post. He gave a link to his most comprehensive article on after life signs found here. A specific post he wrote about my insect experience is found here.

Somebody! Anybody! Can you identify this insect that has been sitting just outside of my balcony door for the past hour and don't seem to want to move?
Posted by Sun Fu Chong on Saturday, March 5, 2016

Sept 2017 Diplomat Who Was Investigating Missing Flight MH370 Found Dead




(For those who came to this post following Mom's never ending story, please follow the instruction of the last line below to continue the story. Note that the story first started from the blog post here.  The last post before this one for the story is found here.

Return to this exact line again in a future time period to find the link to click when it has been created, as this is currently the last and latest post of Mom's never ending story for the time being.)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Happy Birthday Leroy Thong!

Flashback Memories of Leroy on his Birthday :

It is Leroy's Birthday on March 13th! Leroy is part of our family from Mom's side, being the only son of Mom's brother Roy. Whenever it's somebody's birthday, it seems appropriate to post flashback photos of the days of old when you were with the birthday person. So here goes.....


... back when I was starting my post graduate studies in BYU Provo in the month of August 2005....???

Ermmm... ok Let's do that again... back when Su was starting her undergraduate studies in BYU Provo in the month of August 2005..

Leroy and his father also came to town 

So it was nice to have Leroy joining us for conferences in Salt Lake City close by in the month of October of the same year.

Here are the two cousins together, Su and Leroy at the Conference Center, after a conference session was over, downtown in Salt Lake City.

October month happens to be Dad's and Su's joint birthday celebration month ...

... so we were glad to have young looking Leroy joining us for dinner with some friends.

Leroy is quite popular to be invited to dinner at the home of other families in Provo too, most of them being from Singapore as they are friends with his father Roy who was originally from Singapore too.

Time flies quickly and by the end of the year 2010, Leroy graduated. Fei and Su were able to be at his graduation ceremony. Since then as we know, he is based in Norway for work.

So we here is our most Memorable Birthday Wishes to Leroy from all of us literally from Heaven and Earth! 




Monday, March 03, 2014

What if...people are more important than things?

Once awhile, I would be reading a new book at the year end and in January of the new year, I would highlight the book as being inspirational to me as if it is a new year's resolution. The last time I remember doing it was in Jan 2011 when I was touched by the Last Lecture by Randy Pausch.

 

This year I was inspired to pick up the above book that I had on my shelf to re read it again. It was a special book as it was one that its author, James Michael Pratt, had autographed for me when I met him in the summer of 2006. Like re reading some books, especially the scriptures or the Words of God, one can suddenly be touched by a passage of words or even a whole chapter of the book as if it is being read for the first time but is not. Such is the wonder and complexity of our human mind of how it learns things or remembers them. This was such an occasion and I even brought the book from my library in Kuala Lumpur down to Singapore to share it with my youngest two boys for a family home evening lesson.

The book is about 12 timeless Virtues handed down to the author by his father, considered as an Everyday Dad. What led me to pick up the book was probably the fact that I am now, more engaged than ever, a single parent Father focused on the rearing of the youngest two children of the family. I guess I became desperate as I struggle handling teenagers of today who often are more exposed to values drilled into them by computer games and videos including influences from peer groups than what parents or their church would teach them about timeless virtues.

In the Book, twelve timeless virtues were saliently incorporated in the stories of each chapter but the name of each timeless virtue was not always the title of the chapter. Hence it was indeed inspirational that I would re-read Chapter 2 that was entitled, 'I should've bought LAX when it was a bean field ' to find that the timeless virtue in my own thoughts of this intended blog post was actually manifested in the chapter as I read the entire story.


Here are some excerpts of the story from chapter 2 :

" Sometimes  we miss out on opportunities that would have enriched us with temporal wealth. A bean field was one such opportunity for Dad. But then Dad thought a lot of what constituted smart business was really a bunch of 'baloney.' He viewed things simply and always with the best interest of others in mind. 'People are more important than things,'he always said.

Whenever I would hear him say that, I would wonder if that wasn't just his way of rationalizing why he never made much money. But I've since come to believe that was how he really felt - that those who spend their lives looking for 'easy street' or their 'one big break' are foolishly misguided.'A lot of people spend their entire lives looking for a free lunch, when in fact all they often find is just better baloney - or more of it,' he would laugh.

To better appreciate where he was coming from, imagine conditions during the late 1930s and early '40s in Los Angeles, where he graduated from high school and met Mom.

According to Dad, today's Los Angeles International Airport is built on land that was once a bean field. He claimed that he could recall when it was for sale for five dollars per acre.

'Dad?' I asked. 'Why didn't you buy it,if it was so cheap?'

'I didn't have five dollars.' was his simple response. 'Those were depression years. Five dollars was a lot of money back then.'

Dad's family was typical of most in those days. Subsistence was a day-to-day affair, and everyone was expected to chip in to help the family survive. They depended on crops from their own home gardens - produce that they used and shared with neighbors. There were no government entitlement programs, no social security safety net, no food stamps or anything else in the form of welfare in those days.

~~~~~~~
'Five dollars could buy a lot of baloney, son. Better to have baloney than beans,' he'd say.

It wasn't prudent by Dad or most other Californians at the time to pay $5.00 per acre for the bean fields in El Segundo, now the home of LAX. You could grow all the beans a family could eat in your own backyard. As a matter of fact, if you had ventured to buy the bean field, you might have risked the ridicule of your neighbors and friends.
 ~~~~~~~
'Fasten your seat belt, we are headed for a bean field,' I've been known to tell the passenger next to me.(when traveling to Los Angeles International) 'See, my dad used to make a dollar a day, and a dollar a day was a lot of money during the Great Depression,' I add. 'He says he could have bought LAX when it was a bean field. Only five dollars an acre too.' If my seatmate is still listening, I tell him about my Dad's other values - the real important ones. 'Son,' he'd say, 'there is just too much baloney in the world, and most things we think are imortant aren't worth any beans. People are more important than things.' By this time my fellow passenger is either grinning or can't wait to get away from me.

Dad wasn't able to scrape up the five dollars per acre to buy LAX when it was a bean field, but by virtue of hard work, he did manage to provide many thousands of dollars to finance the rearing of nine children and to pay his way through life.
~~~~~~~
Now when I fly in to LAX, I see the paved runway approaching, and I smile and think of what he taught; about what really matters most in life. I hear his cheerful voice. Then I whisper almost reverently; 'What might have bean, Dad.'

'Son, people are more important than things. Treat them right. And remember, there is no such thing as a free lunch, just better baloney.'

End of Chapter 2


What if... the truth is really that people are more important than things in this world? I started pondering about it at the start of the new year and wanted to write about it but the activities and events of the start of the year swarmed me! Before elaborating more on this thought, it reminds me of the story of a man in a large audience listening to two invited speakers sharing their thoughts about another timeless virtue i.e. "Money really isn't the most important thing in life."

He first heard from an elderly man, who never owned much in his life,and humbly shared sincerely from his heart of experiences in his life that taught him that "Money really isn't the most important thing in Life." Now after the speaker had finished sharing his testimony of what he felt was the truth,the man in the audience felt that as the speaker had a financially poor background, he probably never had enough money in his life to make him testify what he did, i.e. "Money really isn't the most important thing in life."

Now he waited to listen to the next elderly man known to be a successful rich businessman. To his surprise the rich elderly man also, at the end of his talk of sharing experiences of his life, testified of the same thing as the previous speaker! Now this man in the audience started thinking, well since he was such a rich man, he probably had so much money in his life that he took for granted its value and therefore made him testify what he did i.e. "Money really isn't the most important thing in life." So this man, despite hearing the strong and sincere testimonies of two different people,left the meeting that day convinced that Money is still the most important thing in life!

I share the above story with you first so that as I share my experiences and thoughts about the timeless virtue that 'people are more important than things', I will not be surprised that some readers would not readily believe me!


At a timely moment as this blog post is being written, a good friend of mine posted the extract below on my facebook wall :
(If not clear, the facebook post can be viewed by clicking here.)



My good friend and brother above is also inspired to share innovative presentations of timeless virtues of this life which not everyone may believe due to their own thinking or how timeless virtues are often forgotten in our pursuit of things. They may be overshadowed by more attractive titles on large bill boards and in our modern day can also be in the form of smaller icons found in gadgets that we carry around which constantly distract our attention!

Many stories indicating the possibilities of our after life and existence of timeless virtues can be found in the world and the following are my experiences and thoughts with relevant links to previous written posts included :

Physical realm

I believe my upbringing has a large influence of how I think and feel today. As I ponder about this timeless virtue that 'people are more important than things', I feel very strongly that this is true for several reasons. So reason with me in your own heart and mind as you continue to read my explanations on this blog post.

Everyone has a mother, as I had mine as one who gave birth to me and one who is the mother of my children. If you take a short moment to think about how much she had sacrificed for her children including yourself, what does this say about the truth of this timeless value in the eyes of a mother? I am sure her children are more important than all the things in the world.

Now next is how do we treat our mothers? I remember one of the questions I had that I had pondered about since I was an older child in school was 'Why was it that I treated friends in school better than I some times treated my own mother?' The answer didn't come easy as there were many times that this question popped up to my mind again and again when I found myself repeatedly saying something that was rude or hurtful to my mother which I had regretted after saying it. 

Like every other question in my life, if the answer didn't come immediately, I would be patient to wait for the time when it will be revealed to me and it was one day. Yes of course, it was all about taking people at home for granted and in this case was my mother who was closest to me and had spent the most time with me. We don't have our guard up or our mask on when we come home as this is the place where we can really be ourselves without any pretense. Our family would always love us in spite of our shortcomings. Outside of home, in school for example there is a set of protocols established of how we relate to one another, usually with appropriate gestures and protocols for communication. But these may be forgotten when we come home! Another reason can be that we always see our friends at their best as we may not be aware of how they live in their private lives while at home we tend to see all the weaknesses of family members and become judgemental.

How about Mother's? Do they take for granted their children at home in the way they deal or communicate with them too? For Asians, we have mothers or even fathers who have certain traditional expectations from their children in terms of respect where protocols or ceremonies of the Chinese culture are well established. So at the end of the day, what is the culture of a family and that of the country they live in are factors that have a strong influence on how much they believe that people are more important than things.

All the above shared thus far, seems to center on how we think and the influences around us that shapes our minds which can be classified to be of the physical realm.

The Spiritual realm
  
The turning point of my life to feel people are more important than things truly came about only after my experience of becoming a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or the LDS Church whose members are commonly known as Mormons! Why so one may ask?

While the mind is a great processing house to regulate our flow of information and energy, as defined by Dr. Dan Siegel in modern times, scripture has recorded that the Spirit of God can fill our minds to influence our thoughts. In fact I can honestly say that when I made the decision to be baptized into the Church on 29 July 1979, in as much as I could recognize that the religious doctrines of the LDS church made more sense or had far superior coverage compared to other existing churches that I had studied, my decision to be baptized was still an experiment to me into the Spiritual realm that I had no experience of previously.

Short of receiving a visitation of God or his angels, my experiment that was to test the outcome of living life by simple faith and obedience, proved many things to me with such surety that I cannot afford to deny them to this day. If I did, I believe I would receive the wrath of God or his angels and no man in his right mind would want this. My call to serve as a missionary, my choice of work for my career, my focus on the family and family history work and my on going years of service in the Church officially and unofficially were all aligned to my belief 'that people are more important than things.'

Today my presence on the internet and my extensive travel to stay connected to people from all walks of life in all parts of the world reflects my continued interest in people. There is this soul in people that things seem to lack. Now I have lived a full life rich with a wide spectrum of experiences. There were times of plenty when I had an abundance of things. There were also times of drought when I had a shortage of things. If I shared my witness or testimony to you that people are more important than things, would you believe me?

I like to share a scripture referred to me recently by my good friend,Carlos E. Jeans Gilles, a master of facebook and who is finishing his book, 'In search of the soul of facebook.' It is Matthew 16:26, "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"

I hope my family members,even descendants of the future, as they grow and spread out into the world, would believe me. What if there were more people on earth who would believe than those who didn't, that people are more important than things? Would the world become a much better place?




Postdated events :

The Dalai Lama opens US senate session in prayer

Disappearance of Malaysian Airlines plane MH370 on 8 March 2014


Thanks to Ee Chien from Singapore who shared a blog post on facebook from a writer who is a frequent traveler with the topic Reflecting On Airline Safety And What Really Matters In Life. The blog writer's words sum it all up, "Miles don’t matter. The best premium cabin products don’t matter. Credit card sign-up bonuses don’t matter. Nothing matters, other than people."

The disappearance of the Malaysian Airlines plane MH370 on 8 March had become a baffling mystery to the world, spinning a host of other 'what if...?' questions despite the announcement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on 24 March that the plane ended its journey in the Indian Ocean, effectively ending their hopes of a miraculous survival.

Malaysian Airlines plane MH17 crashed on 17 July 2014

Investigators blame Moscow for shooting down MH17 24 May 2018

Another Disappearance of a Malaysian plane belonging to AirAsia Flight 8501 on 28 Dec 2014

This post with some new 'what if...?' questions will continue in a new post found here.