Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Most Peaceful Place on Earth

If we are asked what is the most peaceful place on earth, each of us may come up with different answers. To some, it may be a quiet countryside, free from traffic noise and air pollution. To others it may be up in the Everest Mountain, where everything is white with snow and it is almost deadly quiet, etc.

For me, the most peaceful place must be at a funeral wake. Before you think I am being morbid, let me share my thoughts. Have you ever noticed that no one talks ill of the deceased in the coffin? He could be a rogue, a bad father and husband, etc. when he was alive, but all things came to a halt when the person died, and even the sharpest of tongues would become blunt and the hardest of hearts would become softened.

Once, when I heard that one of my staff was going to attend the funeral of a loan shark, I asked to go along with her. I had never met the loan shark or his family; I just wanted to have the experience of being at a funeral wake and to observe what was being done and said.

Strangely, all was quiet and peaceful. Some of the people who attended the wake looked rough and pugulistic; yet no one uttered a negative word about the man who had charged exorbitant interests for his illegal loans, etc. I overheard someone even praising the deceased loanshark as a "modern day Robin Hood".

"He was a good father who encouraged me to study hard so that I would not end up like him," said the eldest son.

"He was always there when we needed him. He look tough and rough, but beneath that villian's look and personality was a man who had a heart, soft like tofu," shared one of his friends.

"He once cancelled my loan of $2,000/-", said an elderly man, wiping away his tears.

I went back, thinking how wonderful if we all could just say good and uplifting things about one another. Please do not wait till I am six feet underground to give me bouquets, for I would not be able to hear you. A kind word when I am alive is worth heaps of wonderful stories about me when when I am gone. Please do not give me a truckload of flowers because I would not be able to see or smell their fragrance. A single stalk of rose or a bouquet of wild flowers plucked from the fields will give me greater joy.

Let us look for the plus points in one another, and edify one another, fully aware that we are homo sapiens who are imperfect and in need of encouragement. Let us overlook mistakes and carelessnes and not be like the two rich neighbours who are so busy quarrelling with each other that they forget to enjoy the beauty and comfort of their luxurious bungalows.

Let us all live our lives to the fullest, making full use of all our five senses for from dust we are created and to dust we will return.

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