Wisdom from Books

<b>Wisdom from Books</b>
Stephen Lau's website to help you get the wisdom to live as if everything is a miracle!

Monday, December 10, 2018

The Oneness of All Life

In this day and age, to live well is not easy. Contemporary wisdom may provide a blueprint for living, but that may be too inhibiting without giving you true freedom to live the life you want to live. You are not free so long as you indulge indiscriminately in your inclinations to succeed in your life at any cost. You must understand Nature's natural laws and abide by them in order to attain true freedom. Ancient wisdom in the oneness of all life was founded on basic realities of human nature itself. To pursue these realities is the essence in the art of living well.

Contemporary wisdom is exclusive—even to the extent of wishing others fail so that one may succeed in life. In addition, it states that one must do this or do that in order to succeed and live well. Ancient wisdom, on the other hand, focuses on doing whatever one has to do but with a sense of true freedom—the recognition and realization of the wisdom in the oneness of all life.

Wisdom in the oneness of all life is based on one of the basic laws of Nature: that is, we are all inter-connected, just as the famous poet John Donne says: "No man is an island." .This universal moral principle leads us to true and lasting freedom and wisdom in living. Once we understand that the life flowing in our veins is the same as that flowing in the veins of others, we will learn how to show love and compassion towards others. After all, we are all created in the image of God, and we are no more than expressions of God.

Wisdom in the oneness of all life frees you from the bondage of anger, competitiveness, disrespect, discrimination, envy, ridicule, and many other negative attitudes of the mind, which adversely influence how you live your life. Jesus' saying of "Love thy neighbor as thyself" and Mahatma Gandhi's advocacy of non-violence must be understood in subtle ways. If you "kill" the enthusiasm of someone, you are "harming" that individual because you are in fact taking away the life within that individual. Remember, love and compassion are expressions of the oneness of all life—a mental attitude that liberates human bondage from self-centeredness and gives freedom in the art of living well.


For more information on wisdom in living, read my books: The Book of Life and Living and TAO The Way to Biblical Wisdom.





Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau


Thursday, December 6, 2018

Knowing and Understanding Food Properties

People generally avoid or prefer certain types of food for various reasons: to prevent their predisposition to allergies and food intolerance, such as dairy and wheat products; to satisfy their palates and taste buds; or simply to lose some body weight. For whatever reason, we all have a relationship with food. Therefore, it is important to understand the properties of food, not just their nutritional values.


We eat to live, but not live to eat. To be healthier for longer, we need to understand the properties of food: that is, why we must eat certain types of food, and how they may benefit our health.


One of the differences between the Chinese and the Western approach to diet is that the former does not focus on what and what not to eat, while the latter emphasizes the nutritional values of food. In Chinese medicine, food is medicine, and the focus is on the properties of food, rather than the nutritional values of food. The Chinese believe that all types of food have their own respective values, only to a greater or lesser degree.


In Chinese medicine, internal balance and harmony are essential to health and wellness of an individual. To attain that harmonious balance between opposing and yet interrelated principles that govern the well-being of the body, mind, and spirit of an individual, we must understand the properties of food, and how these properties may affect the internal balance, which holds the key to health and wellness..


In Chinese medicine, the human body is classified according to the body's thermal nature. When food is digested, it creates energetic properties that affect the body's temperature. Accordingly, there are two body types: the cold and the hot, represented by the yin and the yang, respectively. A human body that is hot has the characteristics of  a red complexion, dry skin, an outgoing personality, and logical thinking, while a cold body has the opposite characteristics of a pale complexion, moist skin, a quiet demeanor, and intuitive mentality.


It must be stressed that the yin and the yang do not represent sexual gender; rather, they represent different and varying aspects within an individual. Also, an individual does not possess all the aspects and characteristics of one body type; instead, an individual has a combination of the two body types, with one type being more predominant than the other type. Hence, balance is essential for health and wellness, and such balance can be achieved by eating foods, which have the properties of cold, hot, or neutral. This explains why we must understand the properties of foods, rather than their nutritional values.


Cooling foods include the following:
  • asparagus, bok choi, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, corn, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, spinach, tomato, zucchini
  • barley, mung bean, soybean, wheat
  • clam, seaweed, spirulina
  • apple, banana, citrus fruits, pear, pineapple, watermelon
  • dandelion, peppermint, tumeric
Warming foods include the following:
  • carrot, leek, onion, watercress
  • pumpkin seed, sesame, sunflower seed, walnut
  • apricot, berries, cherries, mango, peach
  • basil, bay leaf, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, mustard, oregano, pepper, star anise
Neutral foods include the following:
  • beet, Brussels sprout, parsnip, squash, sweet potato, yam
  • almond, peanut, pine nut, raisin
  • brown rice, corn, kidney bean, snow pea
  • date, fig, grape, papaya, plum
  • parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme
The above are just some of the examples of food with properties that may affect the thermal nature of the body, and thus the internal balance and harmony conducive to health and wellness. With thousands of years of observation and improvement, Chinese medicine is different from conventional Western medicine in its approach to diet. For more information, visit my website: Chinese Natural HealingLearn how to cook real and healthy Chinese cooking with 500+ recipes from a chef with 40 years of experience. Eat healthy the Chinese way! Click here for more information.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau




Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Dangers of Drugs


The Dangers of Drugs

                
Millions of people are suffering needlessly as a direct consequence of the unconscionable zeal of the pharmaceutical industry to rake up billions of dollars of profit aided and abetted by scientists and researchers who have been paid handsomely, even to the extent of falsifying tests and research results in some cases.

Not too long ago, three of the top executives of Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty to criminal charges of misleading the public on the risk of addiction and abuse associated with the painkiller drug OxyContin. That was only another of the many scandals of pharmaceutical companies doctoring research findings of the safety of drugs and masking their undesirable side effects.

For decades, unreliable drug tests have abounded in the medical and pharmaceutical research community, not only in the United States but also in other parts of the world.

It is not uncommon for pharmaceutical companies to “influence” researchers through coercion, incentive, and even threat, to produce the desired results in clinical trials. Fabricating data, such as in the case of OxyContin, is no surprise to the pharmaceutical industry.

Clinical trials, usually involving a small number of people, may not truly reflect the outcome of those who will ultimately be using those drugs after their approval by FDA.
In addition, drugs tested on some animal models may be biased and even irrelevant on humans. An artificially induced disease in non-human animal models may yield results incompatible to a spontaneous, naturally occurring human disease. In short, there is no absolute safety or reliability of many pharmaceutical drugs that are readily available to the public.

The pharmaceutical companies and the FDA have convinced not only the medical establishment but also the gullible public that costly drugs are the only answers to all their health problems, despite their dubious track records and often-deadly side effects.

The use, misuse, and abuse of drugs account for 250,000 to 500,000 deaths each year in the United States. And do you still believe that pharmaceutical drugs provide all the possible answers to your health problems? Dr. O. W. Holmes, Professor of Medicine, Harvard University, had this to say regarding pharmaceuticals putting you in harm’s way: “If all the medicine in the world were thrown into the sea, it would be bad for the fish and good for humanity.” Dr. Holmes’ statement speaks volumes of the potential harm in using pharmaceuticals.

When you give your body a drug that replaces a substance your body is capable of making itself, your body then becomes weaker, not stronger, and begins not only to manufacture less of that substance, but also to become more dependent on the outside source, which is usually the drug you have been taking.

Unfortunately, no drug can give you insight into the circumstance that created your problems. At best, it can only temporarily reduce the symptoms or physical pain created by your medical condition. A drug “cures” your symptoms at the expense of creating more potential symptoms further down the road. For a while, you may be symptom-free, but soon enough new symptoms may emerge, requiring yet a more potent drug to deal with them, and thus forming a vicious cycle of taking more toxic pharmaceutical drugs.


Remember, there is no miracle cure, only natural self-healing, which is holistic health of the body, the mind, and the soul.

According to Dr. John Tilden, author of Toxemia, the first and only cause of disease is toxemia, which is the accumulation of toxic wastes over a long period of time. In other words, toxicity retained and stored in our bodies is the common denominator for the causes of all human diseases, including autoimmune diseases.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau




Monday, November 26, 2018

Avoiding Sudden Death


Avoiding Sudden Death

Nowadays, it is possible to prevent sudden death due to cardiac arrest.

Cardiac arrest is the sudden loss of cardiac function, which may result in sudden death. Like an electrical pump, your heart generates electricity in its upper chamber, sending signals through pathways in your heart to make all the muscle cells contract at once in order to produce your heartbeat. Through this intricate process, blood is pumped through your heart valves into all your body organs so that they, too, can do their work properly. Any malfunctioning, however, may lead to cardiac arrest, causing sudden death when the heart stops beating.

A person whose heart has stopped will lose consciousness and stop normal breathing, and the pulse and blood pressure will be absent. Sometimes there are no warning signs prior to cardiac arrest, but in other cases people can experience dizziness or fainting spells. Sudden loss of consciousness or death often occurs during cardiac arrest.

The good news is that if you can prevent cardiac arrest, you can prevent sudden death resulting from it. With the advancement of medical science, it is not difficult to identify the causes of heart disease and the development of its related health problems. Prevention of heart disease is always better than the cure. Prevention of heart attacks is avoiding sudden death due to cardiac arrest. However, the cooperation of the patient is critical to the prevention of symptomatic coronary artery heart disease. That is to say, the patient also plays a pivotal part in preventing cardiac arrest, and hence the possibility of sudden death.

What the patient can do is to modify his or her risk pattern through lifestyle changes. True enough, the patient cannot change the genetic factor, the age factor, and the gender factor, but the patient can change the lifestyle, in particular, the eating habits, to reduce the onset of symptom-free silent myocardial ischemia as well as symptomatic coronary artery disease.

The Standard American Diet (SAD) has notably contributed to one of the most overfed and undernourished populations in the world. More than 60 million Americans are overweight. Worse, obesity is accompanied by poor nutrition. With the exception of those few individuals suffering from metabolic abnormalities, such as under-active thyroid, obesity is just inexcusable overindulgence of foods loaded with fat and cholesterol. Changing dietary habits is the solution to problems related to cardiac arrest, including the potential of sudden death. Dietary therapy may seem to be a simple solution, yet it is a difficult one to implement. The patient needs to be empowered with knowledge of cardiac arrest and its relationship to diet.

It is almost impossible to initiate any meaningful dietary change if the patient does not see the need to do so. In brief, watch your body weight. Read food labels and consume foods low in calories. Use behavior modification through mind power to create a "thin mind." Reduce your dietary cholesterol intake to less than 300 mg per day. Avoid foods rich in cholesterol, including meats, egg yolks, dairy products, and organ meats, such as liver. Eat oat bran to facilitate the removal of cholesterol. Avoid saturated fats, which should be less than 10 percent of the total calories consumed. Even polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, such as soft margarine, vegetable oils, should be reduced to a minimum. The total consumption of fat should be less than 30 percent of the total calories.

Dietary therapy, which is the mainstay of treatment of heart disease, is always preferred to drug therapy, which is never a long-term solution to health problems. Only when dietary controls prove ineffective, then drug therapy should be used. In addition to dietary therapy, exercise therapy also plays a pivotal part in preventing sudden death due to cardiac arrest. Despite the controversy over the benefits of exercising, repeated scientific studies have proved a definitive statistical link between a sedentary lifestyle and heart attacks.

What you eat and how you live your life may impact the development of cardiac arrest, which is often the cause of sudden death.

Given the potential of sudden death, why should you focus your mind on depressive thoughts about the past or worries about the future? Instead, focus your mind on what you can do now to avoid any sudden death that may happen to you if you don’t take care of your health.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Is Longevity A Blessing?

Is Longevity A Blessing?

Longevity may not be a blessing. There are many who have a long life, but they are unhappy. Loneliness is one of the main problems of those who have longevity: their close friends and loved ones may have passed on, leaving them feel stranded and left alone in this world.

Therefore, it is important to know how to live your life, if you just don’t die! You must know how to live your golden years, just like Santa Claus. Furthermore, you need to understand the happiness wisdom.


This 252-page book is about the wisdom in living in the golden years. This is a comprehensive book on the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of successful aging. The book covers frailties and challenges encountered by many seniors in their golden years, such as vision loss, falling, memory impediment, breathing problems, health and money issues, among others. It shows you the wisdom to overcome or cope with them. In addition, it opens the doorway to making new waves to live a meaningful and purposeful life in your golden years. The wisdom is in using Santa Claus as your role model to believe in yourself, to think and act like Santa Claus in your senior years.

To download your copy from Amazon, click here.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Monday, November 19, 2018

Use Exercises to Heal


Healing Exercises

Use exercise to heal, because it has to do with the mind, the body, and the spirit. Natural healing is holistic healing, which is healing of the body, the mind, and the spirit. In order to heal, the mind must have the intent to heal, and the body must be ready for healing; during the healing process, the spirit must be energized to overcome any setback or obstacle that may interrupt with the healing process. Exercise can heal the body, the mind, and the spirit.

For exercise to be effective, it must be a regular routine that shows discipline; just like the mind that must be disciplined and focused in the pursuit of natural healing. With the right exercise mindset, you can use exercise to heal not just the body, but also the mind and the spirit. Exercise can be instrumental in healing virtually any disease.

Exercise increases the heart function by stimulating blood circulation to optimize blood pressure, and to enhance lung efficiency by increasing the input of oxygen to the lungs. Regular exercise promotes both heart and lung health.

Exercise boosts the immune system. Aerobic exercise may have significant and particular benefits for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes by increasing insulin sensitivity, lowering blood pressure, improving cholesterol levels, and reducing body fat. For those people with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease, exercise may improve mobility and reverse muscle atrophy by reducing spasticity in neurological disorders.

A number of scientific studies indicated that regular exercise reduces the risk of colon cancer, prostate cancer, and even breast cancer. Use exercise to heal cancer.

Exercise increases the supply of oxygen to the brain, and thus enhancing brain function, making the brain younger for longer. It can even create "high" through the release of endorphins, which are euphoric substances in the brain. Regular exercise is good for overall mental health.

Regular strenuous exercise relieves any built-up tension, and thus is effective for stress control and stress management. Stress is one of the main underlying causes of disease. Use exercise to heal distress.

Low-impact aerobic exercise, such as jumping rope or a bouncer, significantly improves the body's circulation to benefit detoxification, which holds the key to holistic healing. The body must be ready for healing, and the removal of toxins provides the optimum environment. Exercise detoxifies both the body and the mind through increased blood circulation and movement of lymphatic fluids. Use exercise to heal through detoxification.

Yoga is an excellent example to illustrate how you can use exercise to heal. Yoga is more than an exercise: it is a science that has been practiced for thousands of years, based on ancient theories, observations, and principles about the connection between the body and the mind. The intrinsic healing benefits of yoga have been proven by modern medicine.

Yoga not only provides the body with the most practical approach to attaining a high level of physical fitness, but also stabilizes emotions and elevates mental attitudes. In other words, yoga unites the mind, the body, and the spirit in holistic health. Essentially, it is a holistic approach to wellness and natural healing. Through acute awareness of the body's posture, alignment, and patterns of movement, as well as the focus on natural breathing, yoga is therapeutic in that it helps the body find true harmony, thereby healing the body, the mind, and the spirit.

Also, use Taoist exercise to overcome insomnia or get natural sleep, perform this simple Chinese Taoist exercise:

Lie on your back. Bend both knees.

Use both hands to pull your knees towards your chest, and breathe naturally.

Hold for one to two minutes, and relax.

Straighten your legs, putting your arms and hands at your sides. Relax for one to two minutes.

Take a deep breath, and stretch both arms upwards above your head.
Then, slowly bring your hands down while you breathe out.

Massage your body from your chest to your abdomen for a few minutes.

Bring both hands at your sides, and relax.
Repeat as necessary until you feel drowsy and fall asleep.

This exercise is good not just for insomnia, but also for your lower back pain, if it is performed on a hard surface.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau


Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Happiness Recipe?


The Happiness Recipe

Is there a happiness recipe for humans? The five major happiness ingredients are: loveforgivenessgratitudecompassion, and letting go.

Self-Intuitive Questions

Can you love someone you don’t like or who doesn’t like you, someone who doesn’t share your views—even though they are not bad or evil individuals? 

Can you forgive someone who has hurt you, physically or emotionally?

Can you express your gratitude by not complaining this and that, by not comparing yourself with others concerning your lack or abundance?

Can you show compassion to those who are less fortunate than yourself with a charitable mindset and a generous heart?

Can you let go of anger, regret, vengeance, or your material possessions that define who you think you are?

Happiness is about doing—doing things to yourself as well as to others, based on the five major ingredients.

In addition to choosing the ingredients, you should know the methods of applying those ingredients to your recipe. There are basically only two: human wisdom, and spiritual wisdom.

Human wisdom shows you how to think: who you really are, not who you wish you were; how and why your perceptions may change the realities that ultimately affect your life choices and decisions, making you happy or unhappy. Happiness is no more and no less than perceptions by the human mind. Human wisdom is right thinking, leading to right doing to create the happy life experiences.

Spiritual wisdom provides strength and guidance for right thinking by the human mind. Spiritual wisdom may not only transform but also enlighten you to become a better and happier individual.

Bottom line: even with profound human wisdom and with the help of spiritual wisdom, no individual can be completely good and happy, because humans are imperfect. So, there is no perfect recipe for human happiness.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Sunday, November 11, 2018

No Comparison, No Depression


Depression is a mind disorder, which affects brain chemicals, which distort how the mind thinks. Therefore, it is important to understand what causes the disorder in the first place. Taking anti-depressants   may control the symptoms, but without addressing its cause.

Human thoughts are generated by the human mind through its perceptions. Oftentimes we compare ourselves with others, or simply with our own past, and thus subconsciously create our own negative thoughts that depress us.

There was an ancient Chinese fable of a stone cutter who worked so hard at cutting stones that he often felt stressed and depressed.

One day, while standing behind a huge stone where he was cutting his stones, he looked up at the sky, and saw the beautiful sun. Then, he wished he were the sun that could give warmth and sunshine to everyone on earth. A fairy came to him and granted him his wish, so he became the sun.

For a while, he was happy and contented. Then, one day, a big cloud came over, blocked out everything from his view, and he could not see what was below. He became distressed and unhappy, and wished he were the cloud, instead of the sun. Again, the fairy came to his rescue, and granted him his wish. He became the cloud, and began drifting and floating happily and peacefully in the sky.

After a while, a strong wind came and scattered the cloud in different directions. Now, he wished he were the strong wind that could blow away anything and everything that stood in his way. Again, the fairy made his wish come true: he became the strong wind, blowing here and there. For a while, he was happy and contented.Then, one day, he found out that he could not blow away the big stone behind which he used to cut stones. Worse, he was stuck there, going nowhere. Now, finally, he began to realize that was where he belonged. He made his one last wish to become the stonecutter that he used to be. The fairy granted him his last wish, and now he was contented to be the stonecutter again.

The moral of the fable: any comparison and contrast between self and others—or even between the current self and the self in the past—is often a stumbling block to self-contentment, the lack of which will direct one's thoughts inward and generate depression. Indeed, if you are discontent with what you have or what you are, while matching an area of your own deficiency with that of someone else’s obvious strength, you are in fact preparing the groundwork for your own depression. It is just that simple!

Stephen Lau
Copyright©by Stephen Lau

Friday, November 2, 2018

My Book Just Published




This newly published book is about the miracle of living.

“Anything” may be “everything” to you, but not to others, and vice-versa. That may explain the some of the difficulties in human relationships. Life is difficult because it is all about you, and not about others. Let go of “anything is everything” to you if you focus more on others as well.

“Everything is nothing” is a universal truth: nothing lasts, no matter how we wish they were permanent. Many of us are reluctant to accept this universal truth of the impermanence of all things in this world.



“Nothing is everything” is enlightenment of the human mind, which is profound understanding of the ultimate truths of self, of others, and of the world around.

This 100-page book explains with many real-life examples to illustrate the perceptions of “anything is everything”, “everything is nothing”, and “nothing is everything”—based on the ancient Chinese wisdom and the Biblical wisdom.

Get the wisdom to live your life as if everything is a miracle.

Click here to get your paperback copy.

Click here to get your digital copy.


Here is the outline of the book:


INTRODUCTION

ONE: ANYTHING IS EVERYTHING

The Meanings and the Interpretations
A Frog in a Well
Human Wisdom and Spiritual Wisdom
Oneness with All Life
Love and Forgiveness
Gratitude and Generosity
Sympathy and Empathy
Compassion and Loving Kindness

TWO: EVERYTHING IS NOTHING

Understanding Is Everything
The Mind and the Ego
Attachments and Illusions
Control and Power
Detachment and Letting Go
Impermanence and Emptiness

THREE: NOTHING IS EVERYTHING

The Paradox
The Way
The Miracle
The Enlightenment

APPENDIX A: TAO TE CHING
APPENDIX B: MINDFULNESS
APPENDIX C: MEDITATION
APPENDIX D: WORDS OF WISDOM
APPENDIX E: ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Monday, October 29, 2018

The Paradox of Belief to Overcome Unbelief


According to St. Augustine, the Bishop of Hippo (354-430 A.D.), in life there are certain things we do not believe unless we understand them, and there are other things that we do not understand unless we believe them. To St. Augustine, faith is not opposed to understanding, nor is it independent of understanding. His famous “faith seeking understanding” is an act of believing first, without which unbelief closes the door to further understanding. That is the paradox of “belief to overcome unbelief.”

St. Anselm of Canterbury, a well-known Christian philosopher and theologian of the eleventh century, echoed St. Augustine’s statement in his famous motto “I do not seek to understand in order that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand.”

“By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” (Hebrews 11: 3)

Accordingly, to begin the spiritual journey of seeking God’s wisdom, we must, first and foremost, have faith seeking knowledge to understand God, which is to believe in order to close the door of unbelief.

According to Lao Tzu, the author of TAO TE CHING, the ancient Chinese classic on human wisdom,  the mysteries of the universe are indefinable and inexpressible. The human mind is meant to see only the manifestations of the things created, but not the mysteries of God’s creations.

“As one, it is unbroken thread with neither a beginning nor an end.
It returns to nothingness: invisible, inaudible, and intangible.
It is the indefinable, the intangible, and the unimaginable.
Stand before it, and there is no beginning.
Follow it, and there is no end.
Only by its grace can we discover how things have been and will be.
This is the essence of the Creator: invisible, inaudible, and intangible.”
(Chapter 14, Tao Te Ching)

To Lao Tzu, seeing is not believing, but believing is the beginning of seeing.

“The more we look, the less we see.
The more we hear, the less we listen.
The more we crave, the crazier we become.”
(Chapter 12, Tao Te Ching)

“When a wise man hears of the Creator,
he immediately begins to do some soul-searching.
When an average man hears of the Creator,
he half believes him, and half doubts him.
When a foolish man hears of the Creator,
he laughs out loud.
If he did not laugh,
there would be no Creator.”
(Chapter 41, Tao Te Ching)

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Recipe for the Art of Living Well



I want to share with you my recipe for the art of living well.

I understand that life must have a purpose, or, more specifically, an external as well as an internal purpose.

External Purpose

I realize that in life setting a purpose is important, but not so important that it drives you crazy in pursuing it or giving it up altogether. As a matter of fact, there is an external purpose that only sets me a direction for the destination of my life. In that direction, there are many different signposts guiding me along the way. Arriving at one signpost simply means that I have accomplished one task; missing that signpost means that I am still on the right path but simply taking maybe a detour or just longer time because of misdirection or getting lost on the way.

Internal Purpose

My internal purpose is more important: it has nothing to do with arriving at my destination, but to do with the quality of my consciousness—what I am doing along the way.

That Jesus said: “gain the world and lose your soul” probably said everything there is to say about the internal purpose of life for an individual.

External purpose can never give lasting fulfillment in life due to its transience and impermanence, but internal purpose, because of its unique quality of being in the present moment, may give us inner joy and a sense of fulfillment. That is how I feel about my internal life purpose.

No matter what you do in your life, just do your very best and do it well, no matter how insignificant they may be.

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.’” Martin Luther King Jr.                                    

I always tell myself to try doing everything as if God had called upon me at that particular moment to do it. Of course, admittedly, it is not always that easy, given that the mind may be troubled by the ego-self, by invasive and unwanted thoughts from the past or by projections of those thoughts into the future. But having the mindset with the right intention is already a first step or breakthrough for me.

I understand that I have three options in whatever I have been called to do: do it; not to do it; and do it while enjoying the present moment of doing. I just do what I have to do, whether I like it or not, just as Michelangelo painted—who, believing that his talent was in sculpture and not in painting, was at first unwilling to do the fresco, which turned out to be one of his greatest masterpieces.

All these years, I have been doing what I may not like to do, but I have learned to like what I have to do. As of today, I am in contentment, and my life goes on, continuing doing what I like to do, or what I have to do.

Sometimes I would ask that question: “What about tomorrow?”

Well, I cannot speak for tomorrow. Tomorrow hasn’t come yet. After all, tomorrow is another day, just as Scarlet O’Hara said in Gone with the Wind. 

The “Death” Ingredient

However I look at my lifespan, I am now closer to the end rather than the beginning. That is to say, the thought of death has become more and more real with each day passing. I have come to believe that most elderly people have similar experience.

If I could ask but one question about the future, it would be: “How am I going to die?” and not “When am I going to die?”

I wouldn’t want to know about the when. To me, time is not a big factor. My desire to know the “how” is just out of plain curiosity. Anyway, they are just hypothetical questions without any answer.

In life, we all ask many different questions, some of which are practical, some hypothetical, and some without an answer. To many, living is a search for an answer to many of the unanswerable questions in life.

So, stop looking for an answer to every question asked, but continue to ask, and just live if there were no tomorrow.

 Stephen Lau
Copyright©2018 by Stephen Lau