Reside a life that issues

Live a life that matters

Picture, taken in 1979, of (from left) Ong Hap Leong, Rosalind Ong, Sir Malcolm MacDonald, Iris Ong-Andersson, Henry Ong and Grandpa Ong.

EVERYONE has to go away one thing behind after they die, my grandfather used to say.

These phrases had been written by the well-known author Ray Bradbury precisely 60 years in the past right now in 1953 when he wrote Fahrenheit 451 his basic dystopian gloomy future work on censorship.

Immediately his message has turn out to be extra related than ever.

He then went on to say: It would not matter what you do, he mentioned, so long as you modify one thing from the best way it was earlier than you touched it to one thing that is such as you after you’re taking your arms away.

A baby or a e-book or an image or a home or a wall constructed or a pair of footwear made. Or a planted backyard. One thing your hand has one way or the other touched in order that your soul has someplace to go if you die, and when folks take a look at that tree or that flower you planted, you might be there.

The distinction between the person who simply mows lawns and an actual gardener is within the contact, he mentioned. The lawnmower would possibly as effectively not have been there in any respect; the gardener shall be there for all times.

I bear in mind my grandfather, Ong Kwan Hin, for a lot of issues.

He had been a really imposing determine, rather more than my father truly. He was a stern and upright particular person, and was effectively dressed with impeccable manners.

As children rising up, we might all skilled a sure concern and apprehension of doing something to attract his ire or dissatisfaction. He was fairly regimental in his every day routine and had mounted hours and issues to do through the day from his every day taxi experience, from Hiap Guan Hin Taxi Co from Ewe Hai Road, from house to his workplace at No 59 Essential Bazaar in Kuching, the place carried out its actions together with Sarawak Buddhist Affiliation, Kuching Hokkien Affiliation and China Chamber of Commerce and, on the identical time, carried out insurance coverage company actions for Lloyds of London and Nice Jap Lifetime of Singapore.

In his spare time, he tended his secure of horses whereas he was the president of the Sarawak Turf Membership.

He additionally presided over the Hun Nam Siang Tng Benevolent Society and plenty of Buddhist/Taoist temples.

The photograph, taken within the Nineteen Eighties, reveals the lounge upstairs in grandfather Ong’s home at no. 14 of Jalan Ong Kwan Hin which has since been demolished.

At house, he surveyed his four-acre orchard consisting of fruit timber, a poultry farm, fish ponds, orchid backyard, and a farm the place 5 of his kids and their households resided. He cherished to entertain and, on events equivalent to birthdays and spiritual holidays, invited the Governor’s household and distinguished buddies and his entourage to the heads of the then Colonial Civil Service and area people leaders to giant pleasant events, which lasted for days .

Throughout such features, no expense could be spared to make sure an countless stream of scrumptious meals from roasted piglets on shark fins (lengthy earlier than the times after they had been politically incorrect) to unique dishes, satay and barbecued meats, seafood and fruit unique.

Alcoholic drinks, together with champagne, flowed from open bars staffed by jockeys and grooms from the Sarawak Turf Membership.

Such events nearly all the time ended with exuberant fireworks and bangers with dancing to stay music effectively previous midnight. As the closest neighbor would solely be members of the Sarawak Membership simply uphill about 150 meters away, or my great-uncle Ong Hap Leong (aka Glad) down the highway, the noise and normal clamor wouldn’t disturb different folks of curiosity .

Grandpa Ong was a quite gloomy and critical man. Regardless of his love of events, horses, good meals and the finer issues in life, I did not know him for being a great vivant.

He was a non-smoker, only a social drinker; he did not guess on horses; neither was he a ladykiller nor had he taken half in energetic politics.

Nevertheless, he was effectively educated and stored abreast of the world and present affairs and will sit all day and night time studying, listening and later watching the information.

He was a person of mounted routines, a creature of behavior, and he solely did sure issues at sure instances of the day, week, month, or season. Like clockwork, Grandpa Ong dressed effectively and went to his workplace at a sure time, got here house at a sure time after which learn his newspapers, listened to the information, ate his meals and went to mattress at set instances .

He acquired visits by appointment solely and most well-liked to not be disturbed if he might keep away from it.

It surprises me a bit that in my creeping outdated age I even right now start to look favorably upon his habits.

I consider that Grandpa Ong (1896-1982) who had lived a full and lengthy life till 86, made his humble contribution to our group at giant in numerous small methods simply by diligently performing his many routine duties, whereas at head of the varied societies and benevolent organizations and teams that had been underneath their purview.

A typical social gathering scene in an Ong residence on the Ong Property, Jalan Rock in Kuching within the late Fifties.

Immediately, to remind younger folks and new generations of what grandfather Ong had carried out, all that is still is what has been written about it in books, newspapers, reportages and the few light black and white pictures nonetheless hanging on the partitions of those organizations (if they’d not been disassembled or had by no means been changed after shifting or restructuring).

Solely his standing as a Chinese language Kapitán and a avenue named after him survive to this present day.

Immediately, in a really completely different world than it was earlier than the age of tv, earlier than mass communication and earlier than the Web, and particularly earlier than social media and the age of digital units, we’re all concerned in a speedy motion ( blink and you will miss it!) period of disposable, quick-change know-how, split-second consideration and momentary curiosity in any object or subject.

Take for instance simply among the current speedy replacements of some applied sciences and innovations, it took a number of many years for the shellac document to get replaced by vinyl; then a couple of many years much less earlier than vinyl was changed by CD, and now on-line streaming is the dominant power, however what subsequent?

One can solely surprise.

Irrespective of how shortly or how efficient or dominant a know-how, technique, system, or lifestyle turns into, we stay as human right now as we now have been because the daybreak of time.

All of us nonetheless have the identical hopes and desires, the identical needs, and all of us search the identical successes, fulfillments, the eager for love and the seek for private success and recognition.

All of us wish to stay a life that issues, irrespective of how deeply hidden or hidden our want to not stand out or be ostentatious or be involved. On the finish of all of it, we wish to have the ability to go to our grave with one courageous thought in thoughts, that we did our greatest.

Largely, we’re not too involved with how, or if we wish, to be remembered for something, though it will assist if you happen to had been fortunate sufficient to have somebody who would go on to stay and proceed your title after you.

All the time select to heal and never damage, to forgive to not despise, to persevere not to surrender, to smile to not frown and to like to not hate. On the finish of life, what actually issues shouldn’t be what we purchased, however what we constructed; not what we received, however what we shared; not our competence however our character; and never our success however our which means.

Reside a life that issues, stay a life that cares.

Would not it’s good if somebody whose path has crossed with yours throughout your life had a smile or a sigh on their breath as and after they considered you after you walked away about one thing you mentioned in passing; a considerate little factor you probably did; or just a bit reminder of a time spent collectively?

That, my buddies, could be a ok reminiscence for many of us. In any case, so long as there is a reminiscence of you left, you’d by no means actually go away, would you?

Take care, God bless and for these celebrating, a cheerful Easter Sunday to you all tomorrow!