The Impermanence of Life

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Life is strange. So many uncertainties yet one definite truth about life is that it all ends at one point in time. How it ends, how it stops, how we spend our last breath is one we do not know. When reading the many articles and literature on happiness (humans seem to be obsessed with finding happiness), one advice that often comes up is to think about life and death.

This week I’ve had many reminders. Many opportunities to think about life and death.

First, having dogs that are innately hunters, I am constantly reminded about the circle of life.
My happy dogs like to bring me gifts from their day’s play. Sometimes it’s a dried up dead lizard or snake. Sometimes its animals which I’d rather not see and have to ask Alex to dispose of. This week, I found a poor bird whose life has left its winged body on my porch. It was such a pretty little bird who had a ‘bad’ day. For dogs, hunting is everyday life and play. They hunt, they kill, then they lick me happily on the face and take a nap. I love them dearly.

My second reminder was on how weak physically humans are. I caught the flu. A vicious flu that showed its full strength just as I had to travel for work. I have had my annual flu vaccination and been exercising regularly. I believed I was in pretty good health, but yet it still took a great many days to overcome this vicious virus. I am still not completely well. I survived meetings through aids of medication and vitamins then spent nights trying to sleep amidst the fever and congestion. Once I got home, the adrenaline that kept me in working state vanished and I was left feeling frail and weakened. Muscle strength vanished and appetites disappeared. Thumping headaches followed. It’s been a long time since I felt so weak and such an invalid. Life is indeed fragile. Although a flu is nothing compared to other illnesses, it’s enough to remind me.

My last reminders were news of a dear friend’s family loss. The next day it was followed by the lost of a dear colleague’s family loss. Just a day apart, they have had family members who suddenly parted. One morning, you wake up to what will be another day, like every other day, but by evening it is not so. So quick and fleeting is life. So final.

So impermanent is life like everything else. Let’s remember to enjoy and be grateful for our lives. Let’s live in the present. Let’s not worry so much about the future, we forget to live in present.

Let’s do something to help our world. As Benjamin Franklin once said we should constantly remind ourselves and ask ourselves is “What good may I do in the world?”

I’m searching for a cause I would like to devote my energy to helping make a difference in this world. There are so many I can’t quite decide. What are some causes that drive your passion? Please share. 🙂

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Help Help and Help Flood Victims

Parts of Bangkok has been flooded for over three weeks. If you’re lucky, and in the minority then you are still dry.  This, however, depends largely on the power of the pumps.  Yes, inner Bangkok is dry for the moment because the water pumps are working full time to keep the water level at bay.  Lets hope the pumps do not break down.  Anyways, I’ve been asked by some readers as to where they can volunteer their help and their time to doing something for the flood victims?  A lot of you may already be helping, but here is a short compilation for those who have just arrived in town or just want to help.

1. Thai Red Cross: http://www.redcross.or.th/  Here you can donate your money, goods, time and even your blood to help flood victims.  You can even donate online.  It’s located on Henri Dunant Road not too far from Siam and I think the nearest MRT (underground station) is Lumpini. (Please check)  They are open from early morning until late at night.  You can even help with field work if you want to witness the flood first hand.
2. Central Retail:  In front of Central World (CTW) on the Rajdamri side you can volunteer to help pack food for flood victims.  I read that it is open every Monday, from noon to 18.00hours, but I have also seen them packing on weekends so you could go and see if you are passing by the area.

3. Wat Pathum: Located between Siam Paragon and Central World, I saw the temple also has a small relief area helping prepare and distribute food to flood victims. Just stop by and help
4.  Chulalongkorn University:  Help at the main Sala is always needed to help pack relief packages for flood victims.  Other departments are also helping, so you could just stop by anyone that suits your taste.

5. Adhoc Kitchenhttps://www.facebook.com/#!/adhockitchen  This one is great, because it was started by a group of friends who really want to have an impact on helping the flood victims.  Everything is done with the heart and you can be assured the money and food go directly to flood victims. In operation everyday, except Fridays at Bandara Suites.  Check on their FB page for more details.

6.   UniDog Thailandhttps://www.facebook.com/unidog  Help dogs that have been left behind at home by their home owners. This non-profit organization helps provide dogs with food and even find homes for them.  If you are an animal lover then this join this community.  You can email them at unidogthailand@gmail.com  for more details.

7. You can go front line.  I am haven’t yet been to the front line, but I am quite sure that if you went to where there is water, there are bound to be people helping.  So just bring along your boots, your energy, along with your heart.   A helping hand is always much appreciated.

8. Evacuation Centres:  There are several evacuation centers now in Bangkok and they all need help distributing goods, taking care of people or even providing support for families with children.

You can also follow news and flood reports in English at this FB page: https://www.facebook.com/thfloodengver  They will occasionally post where help is needed. You can also ask them for more details.
If you want to listen to news coverage:  Professor Seri gives a synopsis every evening on TV channelThai BPS.  They post the clips online so you can follow the updates:  https://www.facebook.com/thfloodengver

Have a good weekend everyone!  Take care and stay safe! Oh, if you know of other places where one can go help, please share. Thank you.