Monday, June 29, 2009

Quote from Calvin Coolidge

Nothing in this world can
take the place of persistence.

Talent will not; nothing is more common
than unsuccessful people with talent.

Genius will not; unrewarded genius
is almost a proverb.

Education will not;
the world is full of educated derelicts.

Persistence and determination
alone are omnipotent.

- Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

If he can do this... What is impossible?

Wow.... I am totally blown of by this video... It really reminds me of human's potential. Nothing is impossible in this world. It inspires me to live like him. Fearless.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Video on how to reduce your carbon footprints

Came across a wonderful home-based website which is dedicated to help Singapore in reducing her carbon emission. While surfing through the site, I came across this helpful video.

So please enjoy . Hope you find it helpful.

Necker Cube

The Necker Cube. Something which I learned in my Ethics class. Are you able to see two different views of the cube? This is a simple illustration of how we can perceive the same thing differently. It is an important lesson as what we perceived as right may not be right to other people. It is just like making another person agreeing to your view of the cube when obviously he can only see the other side of the view.

Therefore for a quality conversation to happen, we need to understand our view on the cube and also their view of it. This is because they are right too! Each of us is right in our model of the world. Convincing does not work. Understanding does.

Since then, I have been trying to apply the lesson to my life and it worked wonderfully. Every time when I am triggered to judge whether a person is right or wrong, I become aware that it is my perspective. How about theirs? Why do they feel that way? It had successfully reduced unnecessary arguments and prevented misunderstandings.

Try it out and see if it works for you. If it doesn't, you can always dump it. If it does, you be going for a new ride in life. Till next time

Thursday, June 25, 2009

30 little things we can do to help Earth today

Why help Earth? Err.... Because we are living in it. Because our children are also living in it. Because our future generations are going to live in it. No Earth = No humans. While Mother Earth has always been unconditionally giving us, we did little to give back. Capitalism has always been about take, take, take, take and more taking. Ever wonder why that we are called consumers? It is because we are literally consuming Earth away. It is time that we try to give back and by just doing a little on our part.

I have created a list 30 things below. Yeah I know, it looks overwhelming. However, we do not need to do all of them. Just doing one item will have a profound effect on the well-being of Earth. It is the accumulative factor. Imagine if just one person recycles one plastic bottle per day. Given just 1% of the world population (total 6.7 billion people) does such thing. We would have recycled 24.455 billions of plastics bottle per year. That is a pretty nice figure if you ask me. So come on ^_^. Let's do something for Mother Earth. If we don’t do something ourselves, who will?

Here the list goes.
1)Switch off the lights when not used. Why you need them on anyway..

2)Drink treated used water (such as Newater). The taste is purely conceived by imagination ^o^

3)Use cloth bags rather than paper or plastic bags. Plastic takes more than 400 years to decompose.. How much waste do we want to leave for our future generations?

4)Turn off the running water when you are doing other activities. Why let it run when not using??

5)Use cups when brushing your teeth. You be amazed by how much water you can save..

6)Pickup plastic bottles, papers and metals into the recycle bins when you see them. When your hands get dirty, it can be washed. But if those things get dumped.. Earth suffers.

7)Use less paper.. Try to go paperless. 28 hectares of trees are being cut down every minute just for our need of papers.

8)Turn off your computer when not using. Are there so many things you need to download? Are they even legal?

9)Eat less meat or become a vegetarian. Meat eating is detrimental to our planet. By eating meat, we are basically eating our planet away.

10)Recycle your papers. Use both sides of it.

11)Use recycled papers. The papers may feel thin but why do you need them to be so thick for? Is it more important than our planet?

12)Set up recycle bins in your home and your office.

13)Convince your boss to go paperless. Be creative! Use your charm~ *wink

14)Stop buying newspapers. Today's newspapers today are filled with mostly negative things which isn’t healthy for our well-being anyway. If you really have to... Go to the library...

15)Use power efficient/saving appliances. They cost less actually in long run. Think about the bills you are going to save and the things you are doing for Earth.

16)Share with your friends and families on helping our planet

17)Donate or volunteer to organizations that are trying to help Earth

18)Recycle your electronics. They can be recycled. China is earning tons from it.

19)Eat organic food. Organic farming doesn't use pesticide or fertilizers which also means no pollution to the land or water around. I know… they are more expensive but much healthier and yummy too.

20)Use public transport. Less emission of gases.

21)Change the belief that we are better than nature. The fact is, we can’t survive without nature.

22)Give or sell away your old books. Save trees~

23)Reuse the water when you wash your clothes. Fill it up in pails to flush the toilets or to wash clothes next time.

24)Buy a bigger washing machine to reduce the frequency of washing. It saves electricity, saves water and also saves your time and energy.

25)Raise your awareness on what is happening to Earth. Read up or subscribe to newsletters such as VSS (Vegetarian Society Singapore) and goVeg.

26)Do not litter in nature as they crop up the whole Eco-system. For example, animals are dying due to suffocation from plastic bags.

27)Cook at home as it reduces the use plastic bags, plastics utensils and Styrofoam boxes. If you don't or unable to cook, at least eat out rather than packing it home.

28)Short showers... you be just as clean even after 5 minutes of showering..

29)Use the fans instead of air-conditioners. It is a paradox. Usage of air-conditioners increases global warming and global warming makes people become more dependent on air-conditioners. It is a vicious cycle. Why continue it?

30)Lastly, send this article to everyone you know ^_^.

So what can you do today? Ohh come on, I sure you can do something. ^o^
Until next time, live consciously.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Update - 30 days trial of waking up at 4.30am

Today is the 5th day of my trial. Currently, I am still sticking well to it ^_^. Most of the nights I will sleep around 10pm except for last Sunday which I slept at 12.30am. However, I was still able to wake up at 4.30am due to the tactics I shared the other time.

So far, I loved the idea of waking up at 4.30am as the air is cooler and it is quieter. I am able to have more time too! More reading, more writing, more web surfing, more time to do the things I wanted. What else can I ask for ^_^.

Health wise, I am visiting the toilet more often than before. As compared to the past, now I am going to the toilet at least 2 times daily. It feels great to be able to remove impurities from my body more frequently now.

Its been fun ^_^

Quote from comic - Eye Shield 21


No matter how ordinary a male animal is,
He has a right which no one can deny it of.
That is..
The rights to challenge the leader of the pack.
Will you use this rights?
Or will you forsake it?
You will have to make the choice.

Challenge yourself. Challenge the best in the field. We all have the rights to do it.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

More treats for animal lovers (Pipi)

Isn't he cute? Can you feel the love he is exhibiting? Here is a plead to my readers. Only get a pet if you are sure that you have time for them. They need love, care and attention just as any humans need. They will not be able to survive if one day you feel that you have no time for it and decided to abandon it. It feels exactly the same as parents abandoning their child. They will be heartbroken and die sadly knowing that their owners do not want them. Please love your pets as they loved you deeply too.

How I became a Vegetarian (Shorter Version)

There are still some friends of mine who wondered why I became a vegetarian. I guess the last post of my explanation was just to long to induce interest -_-. This is the short version which I posted to Vegetarian Society (Singapore). VSS is a website which provides huge amount of supports to vegetarians or vegetarians wannabe. They provide locations of local vegetarian food stalls, recipes, nutrition advices and almost everything related to vegetarianism.

Anyway, here's my story

I have been a vegetarian since 5/01/09. My shift towards vegetarianism started when I read 'Food for Thought', by Singapore’s own Adam Moledina, about the horrendous treatment of the non-human animals whom we eat. I learned more and found that livestock’s food is not regulated, including the amount of chemical pesticides and fertilizers used in growing their food. I saw how our fellow animals are treated as profit making machines, how they are mutilated and confined with almost no space to move and how some go insane due to the unnatural and cruel conditions. This got me wondering how we are able to inflict so much pain on other species just for our personal gain.

I also learned more about the many ways that meat production wastes food and other resources and how this damages our planet. For instance, many hectares of forests are cut down to provide space for animal herding, and animal faeces pollute seas and rivers. The seas also suffer as marine species are decimated by overfishing. Our Earth is dying at our hands.

Frankly speaking, I knew these reasons for sometime before I eventually switched to vegetarian. Why did I take so long to switch? No matter how compelling the reasons were, I had been brought up thinking of other animals as food rather than as fellow beings who can feel pain and love and can even think. Refraining from meat also seemed too limiting and too difficult a lifestyle to follow, especially when everyone around me was a non-vegetarian. Despite these obstacles, on that fateful day last January, I decided to do a 30-day vegetarian trial.

When the 30 days ended in February, I decided to keep going, and I am still happily a vegetarian. It has not been as hard as I thought it would be, and I can see all the benefits that it has brought to my life. For instance, my family members are now taking more vegetables. I also feel a self-esteem boost knowing that I am doing something good for the Earth and the other animals every time I choose not to eat meat. Currently, I’m moving toward a vegan diet.

I Love Vegetarianism!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Life After Death

What is your thought on Life After Death? Some believe that we either go into Heaven or Hell depending on the sins we do. Some believe that we will reincarnate till we experience all sort of life. Some believe we will born into animals, trees or men depending on our karma. Some say there is no life after death. We just vanish out of existence after we die.

Heaven and Hell
What do you think? I personally had been through several different belief transition myself. When I was a child, I grew up believing everything my parents told me. The belief which they taught me was that we go to hell after we die. There are several levels of it depending on the sins which I have committed. The deeper the sins, the deeper the level. In there, we will experience the same torture over and over again till we are cleansed and then we ascend a level till we are eventually cleanse of everything and become living things again.

I was living in constant fear in those years. In fear of spiritual beings, wondering when will I offend them. In fear of gods' wrath (there are so many of them), constantly avoid doing things that may make them unhappy. In fear of not listening to parents, since they seemed to know all the rules and one of the rules is to listen to your parents' command. I am also in constant feeling of guilt and fear if I did anything wrong according to the commandments.

Don't get me wrong. They are wonderful parents who I am grateful to be born into as their child. They taught all they knew which they had learn from their parents whom most probably learn the same thing from their own parents..

As I grew up, through the exposure of with other religions, I started to find the belief absurd as it seems that every religion has a different version of hell. Many of them claimed that they are the only truth and if you believe in another you are condoned to hell. It makes me wonder that what kind of hell do I have to serve eventually if I switched to another religion. Which one has the power to decide? How is it decided on which version of hell that I will serve? Chronological? The one that I make the most sins? The religion which I hold on my deathbed or each of them will have a piece of me to torture with.

Even their versions of heaven varies. Some are on clouds, some do not. Some have a bureaucracy up there, whereas some have a omni-being with children. It is just too complicated. I also started to question if there is God, why do he/she demands our love and compliance if he/she is so omnipotent. Why do disasters happened? Why do good people die and bad one lives on? Do they enjoy watching this?

Leaving all those beliefs behind, I became a atheist. Strangely, it became more powering. I am no longer trapped by rules that makes no senses at all. Life became a relief. Contrary to beliefs, I do not need commandments to be a good person. As I know that when we pick up one end of the stick, the other end get picked up too. That is natural law – consequences.

I also started to adopt the model that when people die, they go to a 3rd dimension. The only reason why we can't see them is because of the different frequency which we are using. Like a radio, we can only pickup a channel at the correct frequency. That is why animals and some people are able to see spirits. In that world, we just live like what we are doing now.

This model worked for me for a while until I wonder whether if I still exist in any form in that world. Do I continue doing what I am doing now? What about the physically possession I have now? Do I have to gather them again over there? What about my friends and family? Do they automatically appear in front of me when I die or do they have to travel to find me? I realized that this model was built upon the my atheist model in which things stay the same even after death. Atheism can't explains the miracles which happens in real life and also lacked the peace and love where some spiritual people naturally exhibit.

Becoming Light
Eventually, I adopted the idea of going back to the source after we die. Becoming what we are formed in the first place – Light. We become the wonderful light and experience immense love again in the kingdom of heaven regardless of what we have done in our life. As God created us to experience life. Life is just an expression of experiences.

However, this again does not explains fully what is my purpose of being here. Why am I born into this being called Andrewson and not any others? Why in this particular identity? It does not explains also why do we have cases of phenomenon where we have strong negative forces (ghosts) lurking around. If we are go back to become light, why they stayed? What makes them stay?

Soul purpose
Other ideas such as Soul Purpose comes along. It attempted to explain the reason why we are born to a particular family is to fulfill our soul purpose. This is good too, however being a left brained person, it does not give me clear steps on how to discover my soul purpose.

What if I am unable to define it or mistaken it? Do I have to review my life sadly when I die because I did not attain my soul purpose? Do I have to redo it all over again until I fulfill it? Is all soul purposes predetermined? Why can't I determine my own one? It just seems to lack freedom if everything is predestined and seems too risky.

Finally, from an Ah Ha experience yesterday, I realized my answer. I was jogging and listening to Steve Pavlina's pod cast on Life, The Universe and Everything. From the pod cast, Steve got me to ponder on what are the things that we can bring with us when we die. We are definitely not going to be able to bring any physical acquisition we have. Such as money, house, clothes, businesses, titles...... Come to think about it, ain't it sad if we spend all our life trying to own these things and ultimately let go of all when we die. Don't get me wrong, its nice to have or acquire them while you are alive. But using all of the my life to acquire them doesn't seem so right now since we will lose them anyway.

So what can we bring over? The only possible one is consciousness. The level of consciousness which we are experiencing at the time we die. Everything is perceived in our level of consciousness. Our eyes get the information.. But it is our consciousness that tell us we see that thing. Everything and anything exist is subjected to our consciousness. Currently, I am unable to prove that anything exists without my consciousness. Please let me know if you do as I will be glad to find out.

With the physical form gone, we are left with nothing but our consciousness. Imagine such a life. It will be exciting! We can go to any place we want just at a blink of thought, we can travel through time, materialize any thoughts and all the possibilities!!! However, this comes with a catch too. In our consciousness, we bring along with us our limiting beliefs and fears. How can this be? Limiting beliefs are much more powerful than we thought them to be. In our real life, how many of us had not been doing what we really wanted just because of some limiting beliefs. We may say that well..... it will be different if we know everything is possible... But the fact is, in reality, everything is already possible. If we believe wholeheartedly that we are made in the image of the Creator/God, we are able to create anything we want in life! Let me share with you my personal experience I had with limiting beliefs even though I know everything is possible.

A week ago, I had my first lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming is about having a dream where you are conscious enough to know that it is a dream. Once you are conscious, you can do anything you want in it. Even though I knew that it was a dream and anything is possible, I did not fly but floated because I did not believe I can. At one point, I even self sabotaged and lost my consciousness in the dream due to my doubts in my creativity to make the dream more fun. How sad and disappointing is that. When I imagine my Life After Death to that way.... I can't help feeling constraint and sad for my soul when I supposed to be creative.

That is the reason why we have souls that are trapped in their own hell due to their level of consciousness. That is why we have negative energies lurking in ghost houses unable to let go of their beliefs that they have to be trapped there forever.

Looking at it, the only asset which we will ever and only own is our consciousness. Everything else faces extinction. Therefore, the best thing we can do for ourselves and others is to raise the level of consciousness we are having. Overcoming the fears and fully experience life in whatever way we will like to experience is the best way to live. It is too sad to deny our own wants and needs just because of our limiting beliefs. We are created here as human beings to experience and to raise our level of consciousness. The level of consciousness will be the level of experience we going to have in our life after death.

It is my purpose in life now to overcome my fears that are unnecessary. It is my purpose now to raise my level of consciousness and the experience everything that life has in place for me. It is also my purpose now to serve others in raising their level of consciousness and their ability to enjoy life. Tiny steps at a time can make a big difference in life. Join me on the journey to a Life of Courage. From what I see, there seems no better ways to live one. Come on, lets have fun with life ^o^

30 days trial of Waking up at 4.30am

Today I had began a 30 days trial of waking up at 4.30am instead of my usual 5.30am.
Why? Wanted to have more time to do my stuff even though I already have the whole day since I am not working lol. It just don't seems to be enough.

In addition, some health experts say that 4plus am is the time which our body does its cleansing. Seems kind of true as personally I went to the toilet 2 times in total in the morning. One immediately after I woke up. In the past, I usually had only once in the morning.

The last reason was to experience the life which Steve Pavlina, Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer and Eckhart Tolle have. They all wake up at such hours. There must be a reason for it. ^_^

Good luck to me.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

100 things to do before you die

Came across this when I was reading Good Paper. It is a fun exercise which makes you think about what you really want to do so you won't be regretting badly at your deathbed. Ohh come on... All of us will die anyway....Since we are all dying might as well have fun during our time here.

So enjoy the game ^_^
Tips for playing the game: It is easier when you do it with the mindset "What will you do if you know nothing will fail".

Here are my personal 30 just not to bore you to death and give you an idea.
1) Bungee Jump
2) Visit the seven wonders
3) Plant a forest
4) Run a full marathon
5) Write & Publish a book
6) Impact a million people's life positively
7) Black belt in Akido
8) Write my own songs
9) Sponsor a kid in 3rd world country
10) Do public speaking
11) Able to speak and write 5 languages
12) Have a house by the sea
13) Become a Millionaire
14) Trek Africa's nature reserve
15) Participate in disaster relief
16) Be a guest in Wwoofer program
17) Skydiving
18) Travel around Europe for 6 months
19) Win a dance competition
20) Write my own vegan cookbook
21) Become psychic
22) Do rock climbing
23) Meet Steve and Erin Pavlina
24) Build a blog that has million readership monthly
25) Swim with dolphins
26) See a wild whale
27) Fly a plane
28) Become raw foodist
29) Find a cure for color blind
30) Trek deep caves


Humans are creatures of habits. Everything we do are an offset of our habits. How we think, what we choose to do first, how we react, are terrifyingly identical day to day. Do you frequently push important tasks such as assignments until the last minute? Do you choose to have fun first before doing anything else? Do you sleep late at night everyday and having difficulties waking up the next morning?

Habits are what distinct a successful person and a mediocre. Successful person always have time to complete what seemingly impossible tasks. They always seems so full of energy to jump on the next tasks. Why so? Because they have effective habits.

I have a huge dosage of ineffective habits myself. Like sitting on assignments till deadline and frantically struggled through the last two days to complete it which caused lots of unnecessary stress on myself and people around me. Like playing games or do any other things first rather than hitting on what is needed to be done. Like spending hours and hours of my life on games and porn. Like lazing in my comfort zone... Hmm tons of them.

I had learn about that to replace the old habits, we have to induce new ones. I had learn about the science behind it and the benefits from it. Then.... Nothing happened for months! There is no motivation to do such changes. Why no motivation? Lack of clarity of what I want, lack of reason to really do it... Looking back now, I realized why many people can't seem to change their old destructive habits. Its not because they are lazy or lack of willpower (maybe some are :oP). They just don't know how to or they lacked the means to.

Fast forward to now. Personally I have adopted the following set of new habits. Wake up at 5.30am, exercise everyday (swimming on odd and jogging on even days), looking for ways to contribute everyday, collecting trash papers to recycle, picking up used plastics bottles to recycle when i see them, writing journal, writing dream journal, 25 minutes of vision training daily, meditation for 15 mins every night, reciting of affirmations twice a day. Then I have removed the following old ones. Playing of computer games, surfing of porn, masturbation, sleeping more than 8 hours, sleeping late.

Whew.... It is an amazing experience. The new habits automatically replaces the old ones as they filled in the time I emptied from old ineffective habits. By waking up at 5.30am, I feel that I have a head start in the day earlier and is able to get much more things accomplished than I originally would. I am able to channel the time and energy I originally spent in games and porn to write articles, making self improvement, readings and thinking of ways to contribute to the society.

Here's how I did it.
1) Have a strong WHY that I want a new habit. This is crucial as it is what which sustains us. When we lack a big enough why, we fail. Simple as that. No need to beat yourself over it if you can't follow through a habit.

2) Made a decision to do it. I have to decide a date to start. If I didn't, i would have kept procrastinating and maybe other days I will do it. It is most effective if I do it immediately. That will get my engine and motion into action.

3) Do a 30 day trial. It is important to be consistent during these 30 days. One must do the intended habit consecutively for these 30 days without fail. It is a easier process too as it is only 30 days. If I find it too difficult to keep it up after this 30 days, I can give it up and still feel I have accomplished something ^_^. In this 30 days you will find creative ways to fit in this habit and experience the changes needed in your lifestyle for this habit to happen. So to me 30 days is just nice.

4) Keep to one habit at a time. Give ourselves a sack. Many failed due to trying to accomplish too many at one go. Over-burn in the process. Imagine if you adopt just one new habit every month. you get 12 new ones in a year! That is a impressive life changing experience if you ask me.

5) Give myself a pat every time when I keep to my habit. Thank myself. It is sad that many time we forgot to thank ourselves. Your soul is crying for it! So say thank you to yourself for being so disciplined! Thank you to yourself for being so wonderful! Trust me. It works. If it don't, it feels good. ^0^

So have fun with creating new habits. You will see amazing changes in your life. When you find that you feel uncomfortable not doing it, you have gained yourself a new habit. Are you ready for a wild of a ride? I hope you do. Good luck ^o^

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Invitation - Oriah Mountain Dreamer

I want to share this beautiful article which I get from Good Paper. Good Paper is a bi-monthly, bi-lingual newspaper devoted to only the positve side of news. The founder Ling Seow has a personal vision to bring good news. News that will inspire, motivate and encourage.


The Invitation

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon...
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life's betrayals
or have become shriveled and closed
from fear of further pain

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers
and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn't interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the center of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moment

Law of Attraction - Revisited

It is hard for some people to see that everything that came to their life were attracted by their thoughts. Thoughts are creative energy. When enough is concentrated, it will manifest into being. That is the reason why most thoughts don't manifest immediately. They need time to conceptualize. It is also Universe/God's way of seeing whether that we really want that thought. As a matter of fact, we are blessed that we can't manifest everything immediately... Imagine a world where people just manifesting everything they want. Looking at the level of our consciousness now the sequence of events are likely to happen. First it will be chaos as people are creating anything they want. Then humanity will be destroyed as some tried to overpower the other and created a massive weapon that ultimately destroys Earth. In the past, I had secretly intended many times for bad things to happen to some people which I am glad it didn't.

Recently in my life, I can see duration of the time I set my intention to the manifestation shorten. Many times, when I set an intention for a clarification or an idea, it will be in some article or mp3 which I listen to. If I want thinking of ways to contribute, channels will appear in my email or other aspects of my life. Let me share with you one particular event that happened about 1 week ago.

I am currently into vision training therefore I had set an intention to get hold of as many information I can on them. One day, I was walking home from grocery shopping when I came across a stack of papers lying all around the lane. In the past, I would have just ignored it. But this time, I bent down to collect them as I intended to put them into the recycle bin. I recognized it to be some sort of lecture notes and out of curiosity I wanted to find out what it was. It turned out to be lecture notes about light and the one facing me was on the topic of Optical. What is the odds of this happening???

So have fun with Law of Attraction. It is fun and entertaining if you use it positively. And it definitely exists. Good luck ^_^

Monday, June 15, 2009

How to travel around the world cheaply

I will like to share on this amazing opportunity to travel cheaply and learn new things along the way.

The magic is WWOOF - World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. Wwoof is world wide network which farmers come together to share the message of sustainable farming. They offer lodging, meals, farming advices and experience life of locals. In return, we as Wwoofers will provide manual labor to help them out in their farming activities which usually lasts 6 hours a day. In short, all you have to pay for is your air tickets and miscellaneous expenditure such as souvenirs. Note: There is a subscription fee to become Wwoofers though.

I first learn about this from Niki and I wonder how amazing it is. It has hosts in almost all the continents in the world. Imagine traveling around the work without paying for your accommodation and meals while learning valuable skills along the way. It is ridiculously cool! LOL!

In our trip to Japan this October, we are trying to link up to at least 2 Wwoofer hosts to get back to the nature and learn more about organic farming. Not to mention the free lodgings and meals... heehee....

Hope this information is helpful to you who loves traveling.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Love Which Transcend Species (Pipi)

Last Valentine, a new member had joined our home. Tan Pipi, a Shih Tzu. His has an uncanny ability to cure anyone (especially ladies) of dog phobia once they come in contact with him. My explanation for this phenomenon is that it may be linked to his birth date.... A Casanova reborn? Neither does he scratch or bite furniture. Amazingly he will stay on the sofa automatically when we are mopping the floor and will stay up the whole day to wait for my Dad to come home when he goes out... LOL enough of singing praises about our dog, what I will like to share here is a story with Pipi which shows me what unconditional love is.

I was down with fever on the 12 June 09. As such, to recuperate, I had to keep resting. When I came home in the morning, it was as if that Pipi can sense that I was unwell. He kept following me around, waving his tail and looking at me. After my drink, I went to rest. I realized that he kept coming into my room and stayed around. That had never happened before especially when my Dad was around. He would stay close to my Dad, wanting him to play. At first, I thought this may be a coincidence. Eventually I drifted off to sleep.

I was awaken by something pushing my fingers and I realized that it was Pipi again. When I walked to grab my drink, I found out that my Dad had went out since noon. I was shocked with Pipi's action as it had been a routine that every time my Dad went out, he would be staying close to the door awaiting for him to come back. But this time, he chose to stay in the room with me for the whole day. Every time, when I woke up, he was beside me. I had no doubt that he was trying to take care of me. It was as if he was saying, 'Don't worry, I will take care of you. I will be here till you get better ^_^'. It lasted throughout the day until I became better eventually and he went back to his routines of playing, waiting for my dad, eating...

Pipi's action has really touched me and gained me new perspective on animals. Who says that animals can't think or express love. Who says that they react to external stimulus only. Pipi has shown me love which transcend species. He has shown me that he can make decision and he had made one to stay with me.

P.S. Show your Love when you have the opportunity. It does make a difference. Just as Pipi did. Beware if you don't.... As Tan Pipi is watching........ *Woof!

Story of 'Old Man'

On the 5th June, I attended the Green Generation Concert where they had Dr. Jane Goodall as the keynote speaker. Dr Jane Goodall is a renowned primatologist who spent 45 years studying chimpanzees and founded Jane Goodall Institute which focuses on making positive change for communities, animals and the environment. In her speech, she shared with us on a touching story regarding a chimpanzee named 'Old Man'.

Old Man was not really old; he just looked old. The cause may be due to his earlier life. When he was two years old, his mother was killed and he was captured by poachers. He was then shipped to North America where he spent the next 10 years of his life in a biomedical research lab as a test subject. When he was 12 years old, he was retired to a zoo which is on a man-made island in Florida. He was placed there with another 3 females who had also been abused by humans.

A young man named Marc Cusano was employed by the zoo. One of his jobs was to look after these chimps, and he was told, "Don't go near them. They hate people. They'll kill you." For a while, Marc would throw the food up onto the banks from the shores.

But as he watched them, he became more and more fascinated. He saw how the group would hug and kiss each other. He saw how gentle and loving Old Man was with his little infant. Marc thought, "How can I look after these wonderful animals if I don't have some kind of good relationship with them? " So he began going closer and closer. Finally one day, Old Man took some food from Marc's hand.

As time went by, Marc gained confidence and stepped onto the shore of the island. One day he actually groomed Old Man and eventually was able to play with him. The females were more standoffish, but they made no fuss when Marc walked onto the island.

Things went well for about a year after his first contact with Old Man. However, one day, Marc slipped, fell on his face, and startled the infant. The infant screamed, and the infant's mother raced to defend her child. She leapt onto Marc and bit deeply into his neck. The other two females also jumped on him, in support of their friend. One bit his wrist, one bit his leg. Then Marc saw Old Man thundering towards him with great ferocity. Marc thought that he was going to die this time. Old Man must have misunderstood that he wanted to hurt his child too.

Instead, Old Man physically pulled each of those females off Marc. While Marc painfully dragged himself to the boat for safety, Old Man kept the screaming, keeping the highly aroused females at bay. After he came out of the hospital, he told me that: "You know, Jane, there's absolutely no question that Old Man saved my life."

This story makes me teared and wondered... If a chimpanzee which has been abused by us for 10 years can reach out across the species barrier to help a human friend in time of need, then surely we humans with our deeper capacity for understanding and compassion can do better. Surely, we can reach out to help chimpanzees and other creatures with whom we share the planet in their desperate time of need. Surely, we can forgive and help our fellow humans when they are in trouble. Surely, we can make this world a better place.