Trouble in Hong Kong…

an outsider's perspective of hong kong

Archive for October 2011

it’s so hard to say goodbye

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have you ever had one of those days where you walked around with a sad thought lingering at the back of mind, mind far far away from the physical body and your heart so heavy and yet you somehow know you need to keep it all together?

i had one of those days last thursday. just before i left the house at 7.30, a breaking news flashed across bloomberg announcing the death of steve jobs. when he announced that he could no longer fulfill his duties as ceo, i guess i knew it was anytime soon that we’d be seeing that in the news. but still i was really sad.  till now, i cannot understand the wave of sadness that i felt because steve was not anyone i knew personally.

i felt so silly when i told my boss – steve jobs passed away and i was fighting to hold back my tears. i don’t know steve. i am just one of the many million of beneficiaries of his innovative products. i have a mortal fear of dentist and every time i went to the dentist, i made sure my ipod was powered up with the loudest possible songs. prior to my ipod era, the sound of the drills just drove me crazy.. so thank u steve for that.

there are days i get really bored with the world. i hate the fact that our civility has made us so void of humanity.. everybody tries to do the same thing without questioning the integrity of doing it.. but steve was different. steve jobs was a bright spot in the midst of all the blindness.

the apple store in hk has become somewhat tribute hall for steve. i stood there reading some of the many notes that were written for steve..

many people said – you are an inspiration.

i hope that many people can see that steve did not become an inspiration by trying to be somebody else. i am sure as hell as steve became who he was without asking – do you have a template or a case study to do this?

he was who was because he could not agree with the way things were done.  while many of us including myself find it hard to agree with how things are done but we don’t do anything to turn it around and present a different view to it. we just walk away, shrugging off the thought and accepting it.

steve – you make me want to fight harder for the things that i don’t agree with because if i walk away not doing anything or saying anything or presenting my view – i have failed to make an impact to the world.

for days now, we also have been anticipating farewell to my good friend ruby’s cat – bagel. it happened on the same day.

that anchor in my heart just became heavier. my godson jake had to learn to say goodbye to a friend that has been so much a part of his life..

goodbye bagel – hope towards the end, it wasn’t too hard. you were a good cat.



Written by smalltroubleinhk

October 8, 2011 at 8:28 am


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on an average working day in central at the corner of the street corner from my office on pedder steet, it is not uncommon to find someone holding out a charity box asking for donation. somedays it’s for old people, some days it’s for animals.. all types of causes under the sun.all very deserving causes for any form of help.

when i was five years old, my grandmother took me to the temple with her and there was a beggar outside asleep on the sheltered pavement. i asked my popo for a loan of a dollar as i quietly dropped the dollar into his bowl.

that act of giving made me feel warm and fuzzy and that i did something. it was the quickest adrenaline to make me feel good about myself.

a few days ago, i read this story about paris hilton visiting india. a beggar woman had knocked on the window of her car asking her for charity. she handed her a 100 USD. the beggar lady who had never seen money in USD approached her relative for help. seeing that and recognizing that it was in dollar denomination, the two ensued in a fight resulting the dollar to be torn in two. left aghast, the snazzy ms. hilton said – i could have given the poor lady more money in her currency.

when that song – we are the world came out in the mid 1980s. i thought it was the best thing in the world. collecting money from people who are able to give to those who are less fortunate.

after 20- 30 years of donating money. have we done a good thing or a bad thing?

there is a cleaner lady that sweeps the floor around my neighborhood. i befriended her and gave her household stuff such as old fans, free-tshirts that i didn’t need. after a while, i found her avoiding me. i was really hurt by her action and i asked her friend why she did that. she simply said – there is integrity still for being poor and less fortunate in your eyes. she doesn’t need your charity.

and she was right. by giving money to people whom we think are less fortunate – are we helping them or are we killing their instinct for survival?creating a false sense of dependency on charity. we can’t help someone because you feel sorry for them. this is not empowerment. you empower them by helping them to be self-sustaining and being able to fend for themselves.

that is why when someone hands over a donation box to me these days, i look away because i don’t want to contribute to this paralysis.

and that is the problem with the world. we are hand feeding everybody. people who could be something are not because they think why bother – the government can help, there are shelters for me to get free food. why bother.

i have had a mother who told me – i told my son to quit his job because his job is too demanding. why?  if only more mothers think – my child is like an unpolished diamond, he or she will become better after some good old polishing.maybe this will be a better world.

if only we stop thinking that the way to help someone is by giving them an easy way out. if only…


Written by smalltroubleinhk

October 8, 2011 at 7:13 am

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