a sudden understanding

When I was a teenager growing up, I started feeling disconnected from my family, and the thought that they didn’t love me had been haunting me until I was 20.

That year, I was admitted to the hospital for major surgery and I had to stay there for a couple of weeks. For the first few days after the operation, I could barely move, walk or talk; all I could do was lying in bed. Thus I had to rely on my parents and sister to do almost everything. They fed me, changed clothes for me, cleaned up my body and helped me do other personal chores, all of which required much patience.

Meanwhile, it concerned them that I usually felt drowsy and slept a lot as a result of medicine injection treatment. Anytime I woke up, they always asked me whether I was feeling better, hungry or thirsty, hot or cold, and so on. Then they would respond by giving me food or drinks, cooling me down with a hand fan or warming me up with a blanket, etc. They were there for me almost 24/24 everyday.

One day, I woke up as usual and noticed my mother sleeping beside my ward, looking wiped out.  All in a sudden a warm feeling of being surrounded and protected like a child came over me, and I realized my family members would always love me truly no matter how old I might get.

Remember you will always be loved 🙂

bucket lists

My small happiness for yesterday: Creating a bucket list.

Well, I used to hate the idea. I never created one before. To me, it would make no sense to crazily do anything just for the sake of crossing each item off a list. It would limit my freedom, as someone wrote. But hey, what if I use it as a tool for inspiration and creativity? Just a little of enlightment for the day? In the end, one can choose to be limited or to be inspired. So now I choose inspiration instead!

Let your bucket list inspire you 🙂

So here’s mine: http://bucketlist.org/list/ngockhong/ What’s yours? Photo credit: Janett’s Sage

when strangers meet

I met Opal, a nice and sweet girl, when I was in a rush to catch a train to the airport (for the flight back home). As planned I should have arrived there in 10 minutes to check in, but I just figured the train I was planning to take wouldn’t come until an hour later. My brain froze in a second; the thought of missing the flight scared the hell out of me. While I was all balled up, she appeared from nowhere, explained me a few things then said, “Follow me.” So, with her kind support and guidance, I got to the airport on time.

Opal, a very nice and sweet Thai girl

Opal amazed me. We’re from different countries, we speak different languages, we never met before, we weren’t delegates in any conference, we have no mutual friends… we were strange people that met outside by chance, but she gave me a hand. We talked very shortly but I was open about myself more than normally I would be. I felt happy to share because I felt like she was just an old friend of mine. I don’t know why. But I guess, it’s the universal language of kindness that has made the connection between us.

And I believe people all over the world can be connected the same way.

[repost from photo album: my heart is a kaleidoscope]

Black sheep

I have to witness quarrels between a child and her mother over her schooling stuff, almost everyday. Many times she has cried over her homework of some subjects because she can’t pick herself up to do it; it’s just too difficult, too boring and out of her interest. That kid who hates doing homework is my younger sister. Should I blame her for not being aware of how important and beautiful those subjects are, why she should study those subjects, and that that she should force herself even if she doesn’t like to because that’s the way almost every student generation has been taught? Even though her sisters did a good job fitting in and so do her classmates now, why the hell she can’t do it?? What a black sheep of the society, isn’t she?

Well, maybe it’s her fault. Maybe our family’s. Mine. Our society’s. But who cares whose fault it is? I just care that there must be a more suitable approach for that kid somewhere. Darn it, I’m just a graduate, I haven’t married, I haven’t had any children, and I don’t have a clue how to teach a child.

But I think I’ve found something in this video. Right here, the video below. The child speaking is Logan, 13 yrs old, who leaves traditional education for homeschooling and he talks about his learning experience.

The best part is when he explains how he has tailored his education to his interests. Just amazing.

I wish I could pull my younger sister out of the dominating traditional education and let her craft her own learning path, like Logan’s mother did to him, because that would definitely be where the creativity, happiness and healthiness come in. She could find learning is fun, and from her education she’ll be able to “make a life, instead of making a living.”

mỉm cười


Đi mua bánh mỳ. Vừa đứng đợi bánh, tôi vừa quan sát chị bán hàng. Tay chị thoăn thoắt làm, mặt chị tỏ vẻ khó đăm đăm. Có vài vị khách mới đến hỏi mua, cũng không thấy chị nhoẻn miệng cười với họ. Mặt chị cứ lạnh băng vậy thôi. Không biết điều gì đang khiến chị không vui? Chị đang khó chịu với mấy vị khách mặc cả bớt của chị vài đồng, hay lo hôm nay bán được ít hàng, hay tối chủ nhật lạnh mà chị không được về nhà bên chồng con..?

Thôi thì này…

“Bánh của em đây,” chị trao bánh cho tôi.
Đưa hai tay đón lấy, tôi nhìn thẳng vào mắt chị và nở một nụ cười tươi rói: “Vâng, em cảm ơn chị ạ.”
Bỗng, mặt chị dãn ra… chị nhoẻn miệng cười. Chị nhìn tôi, với niềm vui nho nhỏ xen lẫn một chút bối rối ngạc nhiên trong ánh mắt.
Có lẽ chị đang khó hiểu tại sao có một con bé mua hàng ất ơ lại cười với chị.

Có đôi khi chỉ cần thế thôi; một ánh mắt, một nụ cười, một lời cảm ơn…

Đi về. Bỗng dưng thấy trời ấm lạ.

Chủ nhật, 20/10/2013