Measure your life in love.

Photo: leasqueaky via Flickr.
Photo: leasqueaky via Flickr.

In the midst of work, I haven’t updated this space in awhile.

Some of you who frequent this space may know my previous post has gone viral. Seriously viral. To date, it has garnered nearly 150,000 views.

Thank you, all of you, for reading, leaving comments, sending me emails of encouragement. It has been nothing short of amazing reading emails from so many of you from near and far, sharing your thoughts and experiences – both good and bad. Thank you for sharing them with me. It has humbled me in so many ways and I am thankful.

Of late, I’ve received many comments saying the old lady (I’m told her name is Zheng Po Po) is constantly grumpy, and demands very high prices for her goods.

I agree.

$2 for a packet of tissue, or Nestum cereal, is ridiculously expensive.

Today, I am not writing to defend her high prices or devil-may-care attitude, which can admittedly be a turnoff. Of course it is a deterrence when you genuinely want to lend a helping hand but the recipient refuses to accept.

What happens, then? Do you refuse to help ever again? Turn a blind eye? I wouldn’t blame you.

After some thought, I can understand why so many of you are so frustrated. It’s difficult to help, even though you want to. And that is completely understandable.

I truly believe that we all need a sense of community. Perhaps this is why Zheng Po Po sits outdoors, rain or shine, peddling her goods – because staying alone at home at 83 is just a maddening prospect. Regardless of her chosen vocation, she gets to see what goes on outside of her world. She interacts with people from all walks of life, some stopping to say hi and others who cannot afford to help her when it comes to monetary contributions.

Perhaps there is a deeper need in all of us – to be cared for. To know that someone out there cares, no matter what. Even though you may be having a bad day. Even though you think you are fat, ugly, destructive, and unlovable.

Most of us have that privilege – to have friends, family, and loved ones who stand by us in our dark moments, a reminder that there is light in the dark. That hope is worth holding onto.

But, in this case, perhaps Zheng Po Po doesn’t have that privilege. From my conversation with her, she lives alone, with no family. She buckles down to make a living however she can – and I am not saying that is the best way, or that she has the best attitude.

When was the last time you responded in kindness, even when the world dealt you a bad hand of cards?

When was the last time you decided that reaching out in love was a better idea than turning a blind eye?

These are tough questions to ask, and even harder questions to answer.

I try to respond in kindness, but fail. When I should reach out in love, I decide to retreat and be selfish instead.

But I recognise that the world is a better place when there is a little positivity – in an encouraging note, a smile to a random stranger, a sincere “How are you”, and an unexpected hello.

I believe the goodness of God is reflected in the goodness of people, regardless of whether or not they believe in His existence.

I believe that Love can change the world, only if we let it.

Let’s try to measure our lives in love. Not cynicism, not hardness.

Let’s try to give in whatever way we can, regardless of how it is received. A smile, a hug, an unexpected conversation.

It’s okay to not live up to that ideal all the time. But take time to see how you can add joy to someone’s life.

You just may find joy of your own. (:

Feel free to share your stories with me, too. x

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