Missing Home

It has been my 7th year away from my parents, my home back in Asia. I have to say, things aren’t easy when you are away from home. No matter how independent I can be, the fact that I am away from my parents, it makes me incomplete. hong-kong

The other day, my Mother texted me saying “I used our family photo taken during the cruise as my wallpaper and whenever I looked at it, I feel happy. [Following is translated] The biggest satisfaction being a mother is to bring happiness and joyfulness to my brother and I.” I am not sure how many people can relate to this, but I am sure that all parents in the world want the best for their child – my Mother certainly does. She has always worked the hardest to make sure we don’t have to worry about anything. No matter how much she thinks she doesn’t live up the “traditional” mother stereotype, she is the best.

I have always trying to be the perfect son for my parents, hoping that they don’t have to worry about me (at least) when I am away from home. At the moment, I just hope that I can continue what I am building abroad and, hopefully, one day, we can share the achievement. And lastly, be re-united in one city/country!


Quarter Century Mark

When I was young, birthday has always, ALWAYS, been a HUGE thing. I would hope that everyone knows it and I hope that everyone will remember it. Usually, on my previous birthdays, I would literally take a day off just to relax and “celebrate”. 

Upon my birthday last week, I realised I didn’t even know time flies so fast that it’s already my birthday! So it was too late to take any leave and a little too late to celebrate it like a youngster. 

All I hoped was that my closest and dearest friends would just leave a message to me, and that way, I can slowly filter who’s important in my life. 

I used to think sayings like “you don’t have time for everyone” is wrong. But now that I’m fully occupying myself with work and study, I do understand that it could happen. 

This year, as usual, I am very graceful for my family and closest friends to be around me. There’s nothing better than having these people in your life. I would say I have never cherish them enough. My dream would be able to celebrate my birthday with my family around. It’s always a pity that a family cannot stay together within the same city. And I guess this does makes me cherish them more than ever. 

Anyways, happy birthday to myself. It’s been a pleasure to be with you for the past 25 years. Let’s work hard together!

Meaning in Medicine

“While we have all the means, we have lost the meaning in Medicine.” One of the many medical professionals in Hong Kong.

While pursuing a PhD in Public Health, you often question the work of your own and of other professionals in the field.

The person who said this has noted the phenomenon that while the technological advancement has benefited many people in their practice, in being more efficient and ensured higher success rate in saving one’s life. But you also have people who are treating patients just like any other ‘cases’ out there. The level of human connection between our medical professionals and patients have decreased.

I think it’s good to always remind yourself the meaning of your job and what was the reason why you took this job or wanted to be in this job. 

My personal aim is to help those in need in means that I am capable of, which is my current job and my research phd. What’s yours ? 

New job – New beginning – New lens

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view […] until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” – Atticus Finch, a character from To Kill a Mockingbird.

To Kill a Mockingbird is certainly a classic and an important memory to my high school student life. This was part of my year 12 English prescribed texts. *Memories overloaded* It is a classic that I never fully understand until I started working.

As I was saying in the previous post, I started a new job! (Woohoo!) Due to the nature of my job, I cannot disclose what job it is exactly. But what I can talk about is my journey for rediscovering myself.

This world is full of judgments. There is no right or wrong answer into this. I believe that jumping into conclusion is a form of heuristics that we employ as humans. A heuristic is any approach to problem-solving, learning, or discovery that employs a practical method not guaranteed to be optimal or perfect, but sufficient for the immediate goals (Kahneman, Tversky, & Slovic, 1982). Technically, it allows us to saves us time and effort. Within the realm of my job, there are many situations where my judgment to whether this case needs to be appraised is needed. I have only begun this job for 2 weeks, but the number of times that I need to question my moral judgment is unlimited.

I wish to believe there is a little faith in humanity, and more importantly, people do take care of themselves and their family. But according to my seniors and supervisors, you have to be sceptical. As much as you want to trust people’s words, but you cannot always. This has gone against my values. But this is my job! So! Suck it up bro!

Anyways, to bring up this quote from To Kill a Mockingbird really is a reminder to myself that although I have to be sceptical of the cases in front of me, I would never fully understand ones’ point of view if I jump into conclusion. BUT HEY. Don’t take me wrong. I love my job. I am making differences to people’s life every day. But it’s good to always remind myself what are my values and I need to remain tough on it.


There is a special story about this silver duckie. The founder of this duckie, Mr Lam, gave me this duckie as a gift. He believes that “restless activity proves the man”. At the age of 92, he demonstrated this through his consistent effort. I carry this duckie with me all the time to remind myself to be patient and persist.

A little ConfuciOnism~

“己所不欲, 勿施於人”. = “what do you not want to be done to yourself, do not do to others.” – Confucius.


It has been 3 weeks since I last written… I have to admit that I am a bit lazy but that’s because I started a new job! This would be a topic for another day.

Today, I want to talk about this quote by Confucius. If I have to summarise what my parents have taught me in one quote. This is it.

As a child, you would never think about the consequences of what you do others. All you know is that “I like to do it this way. So what?” But as I grow older, I realise this wisdom has been guiding my life all the way. HOWEVER, there is a twist to it. I have to admit that I thought I truly understood this rule. But I haven’t been. I realise that there are often situations where I think what I do would benefit others or even both of us, so I expect others to do things the same way. It’s quite simple, isn’t it?! But this is not exactly living the ‘golden rule’. What happened is that in my moral realm, I might have determined what is the right thing to do. Therefore, I would not do that to others. However, if I expect others to do the same as me, then I am placing my expectations on others, and that might not be what others want to do.

Oh gosh. My brain nearly exploded. I thought I would just write about something that I am proud of, which is living to what my parents have taught me for years!

But another thing that I learnt from my parents is that: we all know that this world is imperfect, but it could be a little prettier if we all think about the consequences of our actions. I must admit, this was, and still remains, a tiring process. But if you practice it frequent enough, it becomes a habit. Yes, this goes back to my own expectations. But I will be sure not to pose my expectations on others. This is not beneficial to anyone.

OH WELL. At least I got this sorted out. And I will be sure to be reflexive on principles and values that I THOUGHT I have a good grasp of.


Loneliness? Solitude?

“Our language has wisely sensed the two sides of being alone. It has created the word loneliness to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word solitude to express the glory of being alone.” – Paul Tillich, Theologian.


Back in High school, I often say to others that “I hate being alone”/ “being alone is not my thing”/ “I need to talk to people!” To a certain extent, I find myself hungry for attention. I needed to know my value within my social environment. To be honest, I never really understood (nor did I ever wanted to understand) the joy of being alone. However, as I grow other, I find myself spending more time alone than ever.

There was a story back in mid-2015 when I still worked at a fabulous Mediterranean restaurant, my friend came to visit me while I am working once. He came in and dine alone after a long working day. I still remember I questioned “how do you even dine alone. I can’t do that unless it’s lunch time. Otherwise, I rather stay home and not be seen.” I even teased him for dining alone. But he told me how dining alone allows you to have personal time to slow down and think, to digest what has happened throughout the day. Although I laughed at him back then, I now understand what he meant.

As my PhD progresses, there are a lot of situations where I need to sit down and think without distractions. It’s only then I realise the importance of celebrating solitude. With constant social interaction, your brain does not slow down to think through issues happening around you, instead, you will be focusing on facilitating an interaction with a companion. Also, I start to realise that people don’t care about what I am doing/thinking when I am alone. It is okay to be alone. It does not mean that I am a loner. Choosing to be alone is different to feeling lonely. Nowadays, I am not afraid of dining alone outside (I still kind of do, but I have improved). I enjoy the time to think through issues around me. Most importantly, through being alone, I can be more ‘mindful’ and turn the focus to myself. I think I have been ignoring my own experience most of the time. It is now the time to switch the spotlight to myself, love myself more and celebrate the joy of solitude.

“Alone time is when I distance myself from the voices of the world so I can hear my own” – Oprah.

Living in Pessimism or Optimism?

“Life oscillates like a pendulum, back and forth between pain and boredom.” Arthur Schopenhauer, German Philosopher

As a millennial, one of the most annoying feelings I have every day is working as a casual staff while working on my self-funded PhD. I am constantly in fear that I would not be able to support my own living (I am barely now. I am eating into my savings every month…). The feeling that your qualifications and experience does not match the job market, the feeling that you can never have savings to purchase a house, the feeling that you can never be ‘successful’. These are all thoughts that haunt me every day. When I read Schopenhauer’s writing, it got me thinking – whether our lives actually just oscillates between pain and boredom. NO. I do not believe that’s the life I should be living through. I am pretty optimistic about my life (I guess)!

Through the journey of working, studying and job-hunting, I still find myself optimistic that, ONE DAY, I will be able to live a life I want to live, it’s just the matter of time. I have always been grateful that life gave me many choices and paths to choose. I would not believe that life has been giving me all these positives for nothing. Before I got anything satisfying, I should be patient and persistent.

The most important lesson from Schopenhauer is that life is harsh regardless of who you are, but it is your choice to live in a pessimistic or an optimistic life. I chose to be optimistic. How about you?IMG_2158.jpg