Monthly Archives: March 2014

Looking for….

One of the cool things about the internet:  When you’re bored, and run out of productive stuff to do–the mind wanders. So you start thinking of things, places, people, events…. Like many people, I will Google old friends and family members. Not in a weird, stalky, rapist kinda way. Just a “I wonder what so-n-so is up to” type of way.

The great thing about Facebook is that you can find damn near anyone, but you also find a whole bunch of people whom you don’t know but they share your old friend’s name. No one wants to come across as creepy, so I tend not to add folks or message them to ask “Hey is this Jeffery Tsai, the kid who use to attend Taipei Elementary in the 70s in Taiwan?” And stuff.

So occasionally I find them. Old classmates, second girlfriend, one of my favorite school teachers (right before he died). And then I have sort of “found” them, but can’t break through some website, or comment buried under 900 comments that my old buddy wrote in 2003.  People have found me this way. I once reunited with an old flame from HIGH school when she ran into a good friend of mine in DC and got the correct spelling of my name and then searched me and found my business’s website. That shit was hot.

That’s one of the cool things about having a strong web presence; old friends will pop up, and I am easy to find. However, when I am trying to find someone, it’s not always easy. See I lived in other countries, some of these friends don’t speak English, are not on the American web (yes, search engines pick up sites by country, region and language) so that makes it difficult. I once sat in the infirmary in Texas next to my old next door neighbor (we were around 8 or 9 years old when we did) when I lived in Taiwan and that quickly we lost contact. I’ve looked for her a few times without success…

Well I decided to dedicate an article to my old friends. Within a few days, this article will come up on the search engines and just in case my friends or someone close to them does a web search of their names–this article will come up. If I am right, I should be getting in touch with some old childhood and college friends before we know it. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  • Gwynn Barrigher (Clinton, MD)
  • David McGowan (Taiwan)
  • Hans and Eddie (Taiwan)
  • Melissa and Tammy/Tammie Gibson (Taiwan)
  • Richard Kozicki/Kazicki (Taiwan/Australia)
  • “Cabbage Patch”/Elizabeth Yao/Liz Yao (Baltimore, MD)
  • Philip Knight (Buffalo, New York)
  • Calvin with the one eye (lol) member of Phi Beta Sigma
  • Stephanie and David Dea (Washington DC)
  • Michael and Leah (Taiwan)
  • Jeffery Tsai (Taiwan)
  • Jep Tucker (Taiwan/Thailand)

 

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Invictus, Lesson in Life

I’m going to be selfish today. The Quran 29:2… “Do the people think they will say “I believe” and they will not be tried?”

God tells us that he will no put more on the soul than it can bear.

If you want to make glass stronger, you heat it up to the point that it is about to melt and then pressure it while it cools.

For my martial arts students, I make them stronger by training them until their muscles give out. The will go home night after night, exhausted and in pain. But over time, a sculptured, rock solid body is the result of all that punishment.

When you were a baby, your parents probably punished you or popped you to teach you obedience.

We could go on for days. The people of Mindanao, Philippines, have the same culture, religion and language they had for centuries. It is in spite of the many dominating cultures who invaded the Philippines and colonized it in recent years–from the Spanish in the 1800s, to America, to Japan. They also happen to have the strongest martial arts. This indomitable spirit is the result of a millennium of fighting off invaders. Toughness is rarely something we are born with. It is the result of a tempering from being attacked and standing strong. We all pray for resilience, but we often do not understand that the problems we endure gives us that resilience.

The prophet Ayyub (Job, for my Jewish and Christian readers) was known for his unshakable faith and obedience to God, even after being attacked with affliction and misfortune. When you pray for strength, pray for the strength of Ayyub–that you do not allow set backs to cause you to backslide or join the non-believers. There is always a reward at the end of struggle. If you know this, your struggle will be much easier to take. Don’t complain or whine, just pray for guidance and strength–and then get to work.

We all have our issues. Things don’t go our way. We get disappointed. We get let down. We don’t get what we want. We lose who and what we love. We bust our behinds for something, and sometimes it doesn’t work in our favor. We pray for God to give us something or to do something for us, and He answers “No” or “Wait”. It happens; just keep at it.

Muslims have a dua (supplication) we say when we encounter someone who is struggling:  May Allah make it easy for you. Pray for other people, and He will protect you as well. The more you invoke this dua, the more He will have your back. Stay positive while you endure, and may His will be done.

By the way, you all… I didn’t write this article for you–I wrote it for me. (That’s why I said I was going to be selfish today)  I am picking myself up today, I thought I would let you hear me talk to myself. Maybe someone will hear what I need to hear.

I read this poem years ago, and it had stuck with me all this time, because I could hear William Ernest Henley talking to me as I recall its lines–and it describes many people that I love and admire. It originally had no title, but was given the title “Invictus” (latin for unconquered) when it was included in an anthology. Enjoy! And thank you for visiting my blog.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

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Filed under Inspiration, Poetry