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2013年第二季度

大家最近好吗?好久没有静下心来写东西了。这段时间生活过得很快很丰富,但可惜没有记录下来。

上一个季度,除了工作,我花了更多时间在看书、主持团契、以及参加小组活动。上一个季度也是我第一次在中国过年,学会自己从淘宝上买东西,发传单,还有去了长城大约五次。

即使住宿还没找到,我很感恩神每天供应我一切所需。

接下去,我打算开始一个新的系列,以“为什么”开始来更好地了解我自己,以及让我梳理我的思路。如果你想更好在某个方面更好地认识我,或者有个问题要我回答,欢迎在在我的博客留言或者给我发邮件 :-)

第一期:《为什么我喜欢中国、北京》

Lessons Learned From Having a Phone Stolen

Today, my phone was stolen out of my hand by someone on a motorbike while I was walking along a small lane in Ho Chi Minh City. It was definitely painful on multiple levels—self esteem, data theft, financial loss. I also pondered about what may be running through that young lad’s mind, and what drives him to engage in such an activity? Was he financially motivated, or driven by the adrenaline rush?

While I’m thankful that the financial loss is the least of them all, I realized that having a battle plan would make such events easier to deal with.

Pre-theft:

  • Set up (automated) backups, whether in the cloud, on your computer, or in your brain. For me, I sync my contacts and calendar with my computer.
  • Register the phone number. This will ensure that you can obtain back the same phone number you used to have, saving you from having to update all your contacts of your new number.
  • Take an inventory of what’s on the phone, know what you’ve got.
  • To take it further, there are “find my phone” apps and full disk encryption that I could have employed. I would have considered looking into one of those solutions with which I could brick my phone by sending it a specially crafted SMS.

Post-theft:

  • Step one: stay calm. No matter what the impact of the loss, stay calm. It is not the end of the world.
  • If you have a “find my phone” app installed, try to see if you can access your phone and brick it.
  • Inform your service provider of the loss, and request for a replacement SIM card.
  • Once an alternative line of communication has been set up, inform key people about the loss.
  • Reset passwords for apps that you have on the phone. For me, this included terminating my Gmail sessions too.

When done, go out, buy yourself a new phone, restore your data, and pick up the pieces where you left off. The world has not stopped, and neither should you let such an event devastate you.

蒙福的生日

因为我薄技的中文词汇,我就会用最简单的方式来记录我的厦门之旅。这段时间让我感触到很多我没有想象过的事情。来到厦门,爱上了厦门。以下的列表就是我这次厦门之旅的点滴。

  • 每日过海沧大桥迎接新的一天
  • 温柔的蔡家庭
  • 鼓浪屿
  • 厦大漂亮之漂亮的校园,包括芙蓉湖、上弦场、情人谷
  • 学习笛子的速成、笛子包含磁性的声音
  • 每一位路过而变成朋友的人,尤其是一对聋哑的男女朋友,让我看到了克服困难的精神
  • 一位从公交车站旁边的垃圾桶里取出了未吃完的饭盒,把里面的食物吃掉的爷爷
  • 我最喜欢的歌之一,《谁能使我与神的爱隔绝》

Enchanting Xiamen

I have been in Xiamen for one week now, and find it to be quite an nice city. The emotions being here evokes reminds me of my time in Melbourne. Of course they are vastly different cities across the Pacific Ocean. I don’t think the people sitting in the office buildings surround me at Starbucks Lu Jiang Dao will agree with my statement though.

Last night I saw an elderly man dig for leftover food in disposable food containers in a rubbish bin. Perhaps there is something about visuals that penetrates the soul, just like how the video of Yueyue shook the world.

If the opportunity arises, I wouldn’t mind settling down in Xiamen. While it is not a cosmopolitan metropolis like Shanghai or Beijing, Xiamen has her own aura of home. Relatively smooth traffic, clean air, the less frequent use of English making Chinese more prominent. It is the Chinese standard of a land of mountains and water (有山有水), bordered by mountains on the west and water on the east.

A New Experience

I headed off together with Weibo early this morning excited to go about, find a nice coffeehouse and look for work. However while at Starbucks Lundu, there happened to be a hearing impaired couple sitting near me, and I challenged myself to break the ice and say hi to them. They are seriously one of the most amazing couples I’ve ever seen.

Through a combination of hand gestures, facial expressions and words on paper and screen, we shared about 7 hours of life together. I got to witness their love that they had for each other that was built up since knowing each other in 2004. It gave me a taste of their life as I watched them sign their thoughts to each other and choose words on their phones.

They were extremely friendly and full of confidence, something I wasn’t expecting. They shared some of their many difficulties in life like social stigma, and how it was harder for them to find work and that affected them with lower salaries and the rising price of housing. I was really impressed as to how they have sought to experience a full life in spite of their handicap.

A few months ago I started having the thought to learn sign language, and I decided to go with China’s version. Should I pursue this opportunity? Two things necessary is lots of patience and a heart to learn. And time, of course.

Bring Me Back

God, will you bring me back, bring me back to ten?
God, will you bring me back, bring me back to before all this started?
God, will you bring me back, bring me back to before I ever stumbled into SM?
God, will you bring me back, bring me back to before my innocence was stripped from me?

God, will you bring me back, bring me back to fifteen?
Back to when I met my first love and fell in love day after day?
Days we shared with such intimacy and openness
Days when history was all unwritten and I thought I could change the world

God, will you bring me back, back to when each step was a step of life?

Perhaps time will never turn itself back. But perhaps all this has happened for a reason. Maybe it is so that when I walk out, I may understand deeper truths that I would never fathom had I never entered. Maybe it is so that I would gain some wisdom in this time, with which I may help someone someday. Or at the very least to be able to empathize with another person in this subculture.

Business Luncheon with Paul Ji

On Friday 23 Sep, I had the opportunity to attend a business luncheon with Paul Ji organized by the Marketplace. It was my first time attending a business luncheon and I found it to be insightful though I didn’t have much networking to do. I even went under my yet-to-be-registered company heh.

From the Marketplace’s website:

Paul Ji (季小立) started his business at the age of 11. By the age of 24, he was already making USD 1 million dollars per day, buying a new car and starting a new outlet per week. He could afford almost anything that money could buy except the very woman he loved. He prayed, “I am willing to lose everything to win her heart…” This one prayer changed his life…

Paul Ji, 38 years of age, a Mainland Chinese, was once the wealthiest Chinese in Brazil. His current project is building the largest multi-billion-dollar mall in Zhejiang, China. Come and learn from a man’s amazing journey of love and entrepreneurship.

Paul’s family migrated to Brazil when he was very young, I think during the revolution? Coming from Wenzhou probably gave him a leg up with entrepreneurial DNA implanted in him. There was once he wanted to sell a certain kind of shoes, but he had no cash, and as he borrowed cash from his mum, his mum would only permit him to buy a different type of shoes. So he went with his mother’s option, made profit from that, and then bought his own stock after that. I guess that must have been his first business at 11.

Later in life he had a girlfriend whom he didn’t really enjoy because she was always keeping tabs on him. However there was this girl whom he really liked, so he decided to take her out in a car with two doors because 恋爱里面是没有第三者的. His previous girlfriend would bring her dog along sometimes. He then took the girl he liked on an around the world trip, during which there were some problems with the business, but it didn’t matter to him.

The main talk was about branding. In ancient days, when an agreement was made, the parties took a cow, cut it in two, and walked between the two parts signifying that should anyone violate the agreement, then let that party be as the cow. People later used wax seals, branding an item as theirs. This later evolved into signatures, and the weight of the agreement rested on the reputation of the parties.

在他的定义里,发财的人就是把财发给别人的人。

包围着品牌有四个关键的部分--品味、品质、品格、品行。

The most important thing is the brand concept, the DNA. The brand is a commitment to the buyer about the product. China is a 1.5 billion marketplace of love.

Luxury comes from the word lux, meaning light, love.

Branding is a dream. Do you have faith for your dream? Or is it just a daydream? 可靠、可信的爱的原则。

Question 1: What does it mean to brand oneself in the context of working in a company?
Answer: 我们必须顺服,有真诚、智慧. Submission -> follower of a mission.
谁可以作老板?有体贴客人的心的人!

Question 2 asked by a lady who had refined herself over the years: I work in the construction industry, and sometimes colleagues do not have the same standards of character. What would branding mean in this context? Should I lower my standards?
Answer: Let your dream lead you. If you come to see a place saved, is it necessary to maintain high standards in all areas? Choose one dream for life. Jesus Christ. The church is here for society. 我们现实的梦 -> 王所看见的!我们是嫁给王子的。

Question 3: As a social entrepreneur, what can I do about the conflicting impressions of others? Some see us as a social unit, some see us as a business.
Answer: If you are a prince, even if others think you are a beggar, you are still a prince.
Care about how others feel. If you are a prince, you can lower yourself as a beggar and servant too!

Question 4: Husband and wife teams?
Answer: Depends on the mission. Is the wife equally committed to the mission, or may she be reaching her limits of what she can contribute? Relationship comes first.
The business grew 50x with his wife around, and another 5x after firing her.

Taxi Driver in JB

Today I took a taxi, and chanced upon the same taxi driver who previously drove me before. We thus struck conversation with our existing relationship. I realized that taxi drivers aren’t all that bad refusing to go by meters and things like that.

He asked me for advice on whether he should buy his child a laptop to bring to class at secondary 2, which I felt may be a little risky in Malaysia. I also wasn’t sure of how helpful it would be, given the recent article I read citing a case study where the introduction of technology into a certain area didn’t result in an improvement in test scores.

I also found out that his taxi rental is ridiculously cheap at RM120 a month, and he said that if he works hard he can bring home about 4-6k after tax and (house?) rental.

He shared of how he and his wife separated over a difference in personalities, and I urged him to find back his first love with her. It reminded me of how we are all real people living in a real world with real problems. That if we would just open our eyes and look around, we will see needs that can be met everywhere, just like what Bill Wilson said.

I don’t know if the taxi driver would take my advice, and I don’t know if I’ll ever meet him again. But hopefully, maybe, my one small bit of encouragement can make a dent in his decision scale.

Making Progress

Sometimes what you hear may not be what matters are. And perhaps some matters don’t even have a definitive definition! My friend told me a fairly wise thing last night, that in an argument both parties are right—at least in their own eyes. And some things isn’t always about being right or wrong either. Haha and my friend said something else too—that whenever you feel that you’re experiencing the greatest stress, think about it as the halfway mark of your next biggest obstacle. And fear not he who can kill the body but rather fear He who can kill both our body and soul.

And a tweet by Ps Kong: 因為祂活著,我能面對明天!因為祂活著,所有恐懼都離去!

Amen! No matter how bleak the future looks, he holds tomorrow in his hands :D

Small Stuff and Big Stuff

Earlier I was chatting with a friend re the STB dispute, and he made the remark that “in life all this are small stuffs, we are healthy … can eat .. can walk .. can jump, PTL!!”. How true! Thank God that I can finally release the mental burden of the case.

Tonight during dinner the thought of the North-South Korean situation came to my mind, and it suddenly adds perspective to the dispute with my neighbour. I thought about the millions of Koreans stranded on either side of the peninsular, families split apart by few who hold the power in their hands. I thought about the amount of grace that the South has continually given to the North, not just the financial and material cost of numerous humanitarian aid packages, but the repeated “slaps on the face” every time the North responded with belligerence.

Truly, there are far bigger issues to invest our time in.