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What matters the most

Recently, we have witnessed the natural earth disaster happening to Burma and China. So many people lost their loves ones in the tradegy. People in disaster struck areas are removed and would not be going back to the place that they had called home.

Memories of losing loved ones are inconceivable and hard to bear- only one who have grieved before would understand that magnitude of the heartache and suffering caused. For some, it is hope, hanging on a thin thread- they are hoping against hope that somehow, their missing family members will be one of the survival. Sometimes, it is the not knowing that’s killing the person- and they never knew if they would ever see their loved ones again.

These happenings had really made be sit back and evaluate the priorities of my life. Yes, I work for a living, in an environment that’s constantly pose new and unexpected challenges. Most of my ex-colleagues and friends are surprised that I can work for so many years for my company. Every morning, I joined the group of nameless and tensed faces going to work. And I asked myself, is it how I want to spend the rest of my life?

As I re access my life’s priorities, I realised that spending time with my family, help others and deepening my spiritual practice are my main priorities. I’ve always chose a profession that I am able to help others- that’s what had driven me to work in an extremely stressful and demanding job- that what I do mattered and I help my front liners, because once, I was a front liner too. But I felt is now to step down and give other aspiring individuals a chance to advance.

Come end of May 08, it will be the 8th anniversary of my dad’s death. He passed away from stroke at the age of 55.

He had worked hard for more than 25years in the same company till retirement, stuck in a job that he did not like to raise money for the family. Because he had wanted to save for the family, he ate lots of economical food that mostly came in fried versions such as mamak mee, economy fried beehon, etc. He was someone who was too stingy to spend on himself but will never hesitate to take out money to buy for me something that I like, if he was able to afford it. The result of taking fried and saturated food, coupled with the stress of being stuck in a job he loathed brought about his high blood pressure. During his time, stress management was not an ‘in thing’. People are expected to just work and be grateful that they have a job. No one emphasize about stress management. Of course, he also did not take his medication regularly and had decided to wean himself off medication without telling us.

One year after we renovated the house (we used to live in a pathetic structure whereby the house leaked during heavy rain), stroke took my dad’s life. He had only managed to enjoy his retirement for one year- and he had worked hard for more than 25 years.

In these recent years, I’ve taken a strong interest in health, especially after joining a gym and a year later, changing my eating habits, I could see that I have a choice to be healthy or not. I’ve always thought that chronic fatigue was a condition that I have to live it for the rest of my life, but it was not to be. I had the eating pattern that was well on the way towards obesity, diabetes and hypertension. But I’ve changed it- it was an uphill battle at first, with many trials and errors along the way. In my journey, I’ve learned lots of things, and one of them- there’s hope of reversing chronic health conditions as the result of a sedentary lifestyle such as diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol. If I had known it 10 years earlier, than my dad would probably still be alive today.

So I am now doing whatever in my power, research and plan programs for people with such chronic illness for them to break away and gain back the quality of life they so wanted. This is what drives and fuel me now.

For every individual that I make a difference to, I will dedicate it to my dad’s memory.

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