Monday, September 28, 2009

My Favourite Boy

David is my most favourite boy in Kechara Media & Publications. Ok, so he's the only boy but he really is one of my favourite people here. It didn't start out that way though. When I first met him, he didn't make an impression. He mostly kept to himself and we didn't talk much. Then when I started to work with him and had to edit and proofread his writings, he started to grate at me. He was mostly pleasant though - though sometimes petulant. I just couldn't get why and how he was so careless with his writing - many spelling errors and simple mistakes that I shocked me.

He spent most of his time in Ladrang with Rinpoche, called away at a moment's notice, so at KMP it was also difficult to rely on him to do work according to particular timelines. Eventually, we just resigned ourselves to the fact that he was simply using KMP as a waiting room while he rested between being called to Ladrang.

Things came to a head this year, when Rinpoche wanted to streamline KMP. We went through a rough patch when we sat David down and asked him what he wanted to do. He looked petulant and said he wanted to do anything that was mindless. What do you have a passion for, I asked him desperately.

Nothing, he simply replied.

I gnashed my teeth in frustration. How can one have a passion for nothing? But that was exactly what he really wanted to do. Nothing.

Would you prefer to be elsewhere, David? I finally asked.

He thought about it and replied no. He wanted to be in KMP, he said. There was nowhere else for him to go.

In that moment, all my frustration melted away.

When we had the meeting with Rinpoche to discuss the streamlining of KMP, we requested for David to stay with us. Fortunately, David stayed.

Since then, it was as if the old David died and a new one was reborn.

It wasn't instant or overnight, but slowly, over days and weeks, David changed.

His mood became positive. He started writing. He spoke up at meetings and his advice was usually sound. He started to share his knowledge - and he knew a LOT! All the hours and hours and hours spent with Rinpoche finally fruitioned and David became a wonderful, participative member of KMP.

He helped out whenever asked, ferrying and carrying (as he was the only boy) KMP books from storerooms to cars to outlets to everywhere. Now, I can't even remember what his black face looks like.

David is off to Nepal for a couple of weeks tomorrow.

I'll miss him :(

Love you lots, David, and I'm very proud of you. And I'm very proud to work with you.

Sean's reflections

On Saturday night, Sean and I had dinner with my father so we were late to the Lantern Festival at Kechara House and the lantern making session and kids' performance were over.

Sean said a bit petulantly, "Lucky I missed the show.", which I thought was very rude so I told him to write to me why he said that and why he shouldn't say that.

Other than that, i didn't give him any guidance as I wanted him to think about it. Below was his reply. Quite cute. I'm glad he is internalising some Dharma..

Sean's email:
The reason why I said these words: “Lucky I missed the show” last night is that I was actually jealous that the rest of the kids could have so much fun together whereas I did not and I was very depressed that I missed so much of the Lantern Festival event that I was waiting to have fun in for a very long time and I did not manage to make a lantern…

The reasons why I should not say these words are:

1. It sounds offensive to the other people who might have been there
2. It is bad to be jealous .
3. Makes oneself sound very “oh,poor me..”
4. It does not sound good .

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Gone - in an instant

Today, my father rang up to tell me that one of his office staff, Khoo, had been run over by a motorcyclist and died.

I didn't know Khoo well but I remember that when I was small - about 6 or 7 years old - he used to take me across the street to the store to buy comics and sweets. I remember him as a kindly man, who didn't say much. I hardly go to my father's office these days - but if I visited, it was usually a fleeting visit and I'd just nod to him as he sat in the front office. He had been sitting at the same desk for as long as I remember, and I guess I thought that he'd always be there - immortal.

My father said that they were surprised that Khoo hadn't come to work this morning and they called up hospitals to see if he was there. And he was. My father said Khoo was 80 years old. I was quite shocked. How can he be 80? He didn't look 80 to me the last time I saw him. And if he was 80, what was he doing still working? My father then told me that he actually didn't do any work, but he needed the money, because he lived alone. So he just came to work everyday and got a salary.

And just in an instant, he's gone.

It makes me sad to think of his life - what has he been doing for the past 80 years. And how it would have benefited him for his next life.