Sunday, 26 April 2015

Moments of simple happiness

The cool sea breeze blows near the end of a warm day
The darkness is setting in slowly while I talk to a friend
My son drops by and says hello to my friend
We stand there a few moments, saying nothing,
mesmerized by the beauty of the scene

Moments of simple happiness
Valuable beyond many things

Saturday, 25 April 2015

The safety of the port

I read today in a book by Napoleon Hill:
A ship is safe in the port but the ship was not made to be in the port.

I think there is so much wisdom in the above quote.
Sometimes our ship gets damaged in the storms of life.
Then we need to keep the ship in the port to make some repairs.
But so many among us tend to cherish the safety of the port so much,
that way after all repairs are done, we tend to stay there for much too long.

Ships are made to be at sea.
Whenever at sea, the risk of more storms is there.
But through our previous experience we may have learned to navigate through quite some storms.
Life is meant to be lived to its fullest. By doing so, surely we have to take some risks and we will meet some storms. Our ship of life will get some damage and we  many have to come back to the port for some emotional repair. But then we step straight back into the risky business of living a life to its fullest. We learn to navigate better, to avoid more storms and if storms happen to navigate straight through them.

Never stay in the safety of the port for too long
Ships are meant to be at sea
Life is meant to be at least a bit risky;
dare to take the risk that is necessary to achieve your dreams.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

One year

One year of posting reflections on this blog.
200 reflections.

I look back on this activity with quite some satisfaction.
I did not get a million visitor. The total page views up to now is just above 7000 (this is excluding own page views). Statistically speaking, this is not a whole lot and I would sincerely like to see this be a few multiples of that number.

Whatever happens, these 7000 page views have happened. Some may have frowned, some may have shaken their head, but I very truly hope that some have gained a grain of inspiration, a speck of motivation or a few cents of valuable insights through these pages.

As for myself, I have enjoyed the process. It was RW Emerson who stated that man is only half himself, the other half being his or her expression. I think there lies so much truth in that. If we manage to express our deepest thoughts and feelings, it a source of peace of mind and joy.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Unscrambling hope

  Epoh And Evol

Epoh, Poeh, Peho
O yes we get it scrambled
Evol, Voel, Velo,
O yes we get it scrambled
Hope and love
O yes we get it often scrambled

Let us unscramble it today
Let us put in effort and time
To get at least these two unscrambled
Hope and love unscrambled

There is so much hope
There is hope that one day
We will have a truly caring society
With no one left behind, all get love

There is hope that one day
Bullying will stop
In all its forms
It will be replaced by love

There is hope that one day
Peace will be there for everyone
A borderless world
Without armies, only love

There is hope that one day
Zionists and Talibans are shaking hands
That they will see the true message
Of our Creator, which is love

There is hope that one day
Kindness will be on all our minds
More than money and power
And above all that, love

There is hope that one day
Hunger will be something of the past
All will have enough of food and drink
Through labours of love

There is hope that one day
We will all drive electrical cars
With engines getting free energy
Obtained from turbines fed by wind

There is hope that one day
All of us will be united
Caring for the common good
Serving each other according to our talents

There is hope that on a daily basis
All of us will be able to hug the trees
The most magnificent trees
The most beautiful flowers

O, yes, there is so much hope
There is so much love
Let's unscramble them today

Aufie Zophy

Monday, 20 April 2015

Free

The clichés that are heard quite often include:
The best things in life are free.

Generally I do not like too much clichés but this one I like very much.
Staying in a hotel, all staff were trained to be super friendly.
While for some it shows that it was an ordered thing to do,
many manage to (at least appear to) be genuinely friendly.

If they truly manage to be genuinely friendly, I think they must enjoy the job very much.
I tried to answer their friendliness with equal friendliness from my heart and the above mentioned cliché was becoming so obviously true. The best things in life include definitely genuine friendliness among people and it is absolutely free.

The more we are aware of this, the more beautiful our lives may become.
Enjoy today a tiny bit or better still, a very large chunk of giving away some free friendliness

Sunday, 19 April 2015

For an old lady

Making bread is a fun activity.
Have you ever kneaded a bread by hand?
Fun, a bit like a boxing ball, just softer and more fun!
As a kid, I loved it whenever my mom was baking her own bread.
Not that I liked to eat the bread so much, it was just the process of making it.

Actually this reflection is not so much about baking of bread.
It is about what happened after my mother baked the bread.
Many a time, she asked me to bring one of the breads to her auntie.
She had an eighty-over year old auntie living about 8 km from our house.
The auntie had lived a tumultuous life full of excitement and challenges
but now she was old and alone in her house.
She had this old stove, next to which she was sitting most of the time.

Soon after the breads were out of the oven, I was on my way with my bicycle to bring one to auntie (we called her tante keutje). When I arrived, she, with her small curved body got up from the chair and what I could see on her face was one of the most beautiful smiles. She was visibly happy. She offered me lemonade and sweets and asked me lots of questions. She laughed at my answers. What I remember was that she was visibly happy. I am not sure how much my mother had intended to teach me affability for the elderly through this sending of bread to an auntie but she certainly did. I cherish the moments I entered the house with the bread and the huge smile of the old lady.

My mom had so many superb and non-traditional ways to teach us empathy, compassion and all the good values she practiced herself. I want to say thank you, mom, for teaching me how to appreciate the smile of old ladies. They sure are beautiful to see, they bring us peace of mind and sprinkle bit of true happiness in our heart.

Friday, 17 April 2015

The one in the next seat

Recently I have been traveling quite frequently by plane
Each time I sit down, I silently hope that the seat next to me will be empty.
These seats in economy class are really close to each other;
people are sitting in each others' personal space.

But more often than not the seat next to you get filled.
Most of the time I keep myself busy with reading or dozing off.
The person next to me does usually the same.

So many flights have gone smoothly without me saying even a word
beyond hello to the person sitting next to me.

Yesterday was a bit different. Next to me sat a young guy traveling alone. He was clearly a Caucasian and after I had done the usual part of reading and we got a drink, I asked him whether it was his first visit to Kelantan, the place where I stay and where we were going to. He replied with a smile and told me he was nervous since he was on the way to meet the parents of his girlfriend for the first time. I could see the level of excitement, mixed with a certain level of fear. I remembered vividly the first time I met the family of my own wife.

I had a really nice and enjoyable time talking to that stranger next to me on the plane.
When we landed my wife and I shared a bit of his nervousness and when we walked out we recognized the girlfriend and her parents as he had described while he was still waiting for his luggage. Later on the parking lot, we saw him with the family, talking happily to each other, except the father of the girl who still looked a bit worried for his daughter. I hope his inter-racial relationship works out fine for him as it has worked out for me.

If I had not started a conversation, I would have missed all the excitement.
My next flight I will start a conversation with the one sitting next to me if the seat is not empty...

Sunday, 12 April 2015

From the mountain

Actually the meaning of my last name is "from the red mountain"
but that is not what this reflection is about :)


"we do not see the world as it is, but as we are"

I think the above quote is really so worthy of a deep reflection
Are we looking at the world from within 4 walls?
Are we seeing the world from our garden?
Or do we on and off manage to go the top of spiritual life
to see life from the highest levels possible?

Can you imagine how different you see the world from a mountain top than from deep within your kitchen?
Can you imagine how differently we can see life if we manage to rise to a certain spiritual calmness, a certain spiritual height that is often achieved to silent reflection.

Let us be aware that we see the world not as it is
but as we are, from where we stand
from where we stand physically
from where we stand intellectually
from where we stand emotionally
from where we stand spiritually....

This reflection is inspired by a chapter in book by Robin Sharma, titled leadership wisdom from the monk who sold his Ferrari. (wondeful book, fully recommended to read)

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Ocean of truth

I was just reading a Sufi text that compared the Truth with an ocean.

If we look at the ocean, we can only see that part within our visual field.
But the ocean is almost endlessly bigger than that.
An almost uncountable number shores and coast lines
A vastness of expansion and depth

I tend to agree that our current understanding of the world
our understanding of life
our understanding of the universe
our understanding of quantum physics
our understanding of spirituality
our understanding of everything
reaches the size of a few drops in the ocean of Truth.

If we mange to look beneath the surface
a miraculous world opens up
but still we see with our limited vision and intellect
just a few drops.
No matter how high we deem our own understanding
we should never cease to explore the ocean of Truth
with an open and humble mind


Friday, 10 April 2015

Asking

I remember reading the story of the University of Washington receiving a huge donation from a lady living in Chicago. When the University of Chicago people heard about this, they were a bit upset and contacted the lady to ask why she donated so much money to the University of Washington and not to them. The simple answer of the lady was: because they asked for it.

Asking for what we want seems to many of us so difficult.
As children we have not too many problems with that but
gradually after a few disappointments, we prefer not to ask
rather than run the risk of getting a no.

If we manage to put our ego a bit aside, a no is not really bad
If we do not ask, we are certain not to get what we wanted
If we ask and we get a no, we are still certain not to get it
So basically, logically nothing really changed, except
that we may be a bit emotionally upset for being refused something.

So next time we want something,
it may be worth to consider:
Does the potential emotional upset of a no
weigh up against the benefits of a potential yes.

If our egos are on the biggish side, 
the anguish of potential 'no's
may prohibit us to ask for what we want...


A wish of peace

If there is a disagreement
wishing someone peace
sometimes can work wonders.

The power of peace
for an open mind
should not be underestimated.

If my wife is angry about something
and I wish her peace
A smile comes often on.

Initially it did not work that well
but with time she knows
that the wish comes from my heart

And when she opens her mind,
lets the peace in,
she cannot but smile....

Don't believe it?
Try it!
Next time anyone is angry with you.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Living ideals

More then ever I want to make a positive difference in this world
I had my youth ideals
I have never truly lost them
Through the many years, they have been polished a bit
But I still want so much to make a positive difference

Let us all think about what our ideals were
perhaps when we were 15 or 18 years old!
If it looks like we have lost them,
do the necessary thinking to revive them.
If each makes on a daily basis a small positive difference,
the sum may become huge