November 23, 2015

I am not a 老竇 …

In Cantonese, the slang (pronounced ‘low tau’) simply means father … for the Chinese, it is very common when someone becomes a father … friends will congratulate him and say that he has become a .

But nowadays many write it as 老豆 (meaning old bean) but pronounced the same … not sure when and why the word got changed … but it should be written as , so I will use from here onwards.

What many people don’t know is … why use the slang to refer someone as a father. You see, when the Chinese call someone , meaning ‘Old Dou’ … it actually refers to a wise man in ancient times. 

Now, I am a father of two … when I became a father, all my friends congratulated me for becoming a but that is not the way I see it. Yes, I am a father but I cannot say that I am a .


OK, let me explain … in the Chinese Three Character Classic, the 三字经 (Sānzìjīng) … there is a verse that goes like this : 


(Dòu yànshān, yǒu yì fāng. Jiào wǔzǐ, míng jù yang)

Sourced from Internet
The meaning of this verse is … Dou of Swallow Mountain has the right methods. He raised five sons, each of whom gained widespread reputation for their outstanding achievements.

Dou of Swallow Mountain (竇燕山) is actually Dou YuJun (禹鈞) who lived in a place called Swallow Mountain in ancient times … when people refer to someone as a or ‘Old Dou’ … it is to pay respect to Dou YuJun (禹鈞) for his wisdom in raising five children, each whom attained outstanding achievements of their own.

So, yes I am a father but at this moment I cannot be referred to as a because I cannot compare myself with Dou YuJun (禹鈞). I have not done what he did … I have yet to raise my kids to be outstanding individuals.

My kids are young and they still have plenty to learn … they still have a long way to go before they are able to face the world and make it on their own. Whether or not they are able to achieve success in the things they do, nobody knows for now.

That’s why I cannot accept the respect to be a because I cannot be placed on the same standing with Dou YuJun (禹鈞) … at least not yet.

October 21, 2015

Kerja sampai masuk lubang!

On a recent trekking trip with my neighbor … actually it was the first trip with him though I lived opposite him for many years, we had a good conversation during the hike up a small hill … we talked about our lives, families, friends, work, hobbies, etc.

I knew he had a heart bypass operation some years ago and we talked about it and he told me that he had just changed job because his previous work environment was quite stressful and I asked him why not retire since he is already 58 years old. Then he said … “Saya kerja sampai masuk lubang!”. For those who don’t read Bahasa Malaysia, loosely translated it means … “work until I get into the hole!” or in proper words … “work until the day I die!”

You see, my neighbor has a large extended family … with 8 children and the youngest kid is just 4 years old, he will still have to work for quite a number of years to take care of the financial needs of his family. Unless his fortune changes, I can understand why he said that he has to work until the day he dies.

I retired early and I always have this idea that people should retire early if they can. Then the common questions people will ask are … when should I actually retire? How much I should have? With all the time in the world, what should I do? And plenty of other related questions.

The answers to these questions are very subjective … different people have different views on the subject of retirement or early retirement.  So, I can’t say when, I can’t say how much you should have and I definitely can’t tell you what you should do, if and when you retire. There are no right or wrong answers … just difference of opinions.

But what I can say is … if you think that you have to have millions so that you can retire and continue to live in luxury … then keep working until you get your millions. And by the time you get your millions … I hope you have enough time to spend them all.

If you worry that you may need hundreds of thousands stashed away just in case of medical emergencies in your later years … then keep working until you have saved the money and very likely by that time, you WILL need it.

If you want more than what you need … you will have to keep working and keep chasing … as the chase for more is a race, a perpetual race that takes you round and round until the day you cannot race anymore.

If you want to save money and accumulate wealth for your children … then keep working … work and make sure you have saved and accumulated enough for your children so that they don’t have to struggle to make a living for themselves.

If you are worried that you have absolutely nothing to do as if you are waiting to die when you retire … then keep working until you are physically unable to work anymore and when you finally retire you really don’t need to do anything.

Last but not least … if you don’t know when to stop chasing dreams and start to appreciate memories … then keep working and chase after more dreams until you lose the memories of who you really are, where you come from and those who really cared about you.

You see, there is always enough for one’s need but there is never enough for one’s greed. The sad fact is … some people continue to work not because they don’t have enough … they just want more.

Well, like I said earlier … there is no right or wrong here, just difference of opinions … so if people want to ‘kerja sampai masuk lubang” … I am sure they have their very own reasons to do that.

September 25, 2015

The Ockham's Razor

The Ockham’s Razor (as stated on Wikipedia) … is a problem solving principle devised by a man called William Ockham, who was an English Franciscan friar, a scholastic philosopher and theologian in the early 14th century.

In simple words, the principle is that … when you have two competing theories that make exactly the same predictions, the simpler one is the better. The idea is to “shave off” the unnecessary elements, hence the word “razor”.

(Sourced from internet)
Let me illustrate this principle by giving you an example that happened in a recent event here not too long ago … during the recent rally against corruption, people were spreading via social media a photo of (the very famous Hong Kong superstar) Andy Lau wearing the yellow t-shirt with the event's logo standing among the crowd of protesters in the streets of KL.

I received this same photo from a few Whatsapp groups and what I cannot believe is that the people who sent me this photo actually believed that Andy Lau came to support the rally.

Look, let me explain this … two theories can happen here :-

First … the photo is a FAKE. Simple, someone doctored it to make it looks like Andy Lau is wearing the yellow t-shirt standing among the rally crowd in KL.

Second … someone actually invited Andy Lau to come to KL to support the rally. And for that to happen, one very influential person must first contact Andy Lau's management company and explain to them the details about the rally against corruption in Malaysia. Then the management company will have to look into Andy Lau’s super busy schedule to see if he is available on that particular day. Assuming that he was available, then the company will have to ask Andy Lau if he would like to show his support for the rally which probably has absolutely nothing to do with him … it won’t bring him any good but on the contrary, it may have very damaging effects on him in Malaysia. Then the Hong Kong superstar would have to seek legal advice from his lawyers on the risks and consequences on his status and not to mention the possible ban (on all things related to him by the Malaysian government) that he may be subjected to for attending the rally and showing his support against corruption by the government leaders and maybe even jailed for wearing something declared illegal. And assuming that the Hong Kong superstar is agreeable to all the hassles, all the risks and consequences that he may faced and he actually did come to KL and attended the rally … how come there was absolutely no report of this in any of the major newspapers or major news websites on the internet???

Hey! Excuse me! Dey! Think lah … the above two scenarios … which one is more believable??? This is very simple … this is where Ockham’s Razor is to be applied … when you have two competing theories that make exactly the same predictions, the simpler one is the better and most likely to be true.

(Sourced from internet)
And there was even a photo of Obama smiling and holding the yellow t-shirt … I am not going to waste time trying to explain again.

We all received many UNVERIFIED, UNTRUE and UNSUBSTANTIATED photos, videos, news and other stories that are being shared over the internet. With the convenience of smart devices and social media platforms, many people are too eager and too fast to simply post, send and share without thinking.

Sad as it is, there are too many who don’t (or for some reasons known only to them, refuse to) use common sense and simple logic in their thinking process ... just believing whatever they read or heard … sharing and spreading rumors without understanding the adverse consequences.

Please THINK and THINK AGAIN before you hit the button to post, send or share something with your friends and social groups … ask yourself … is it TRUE? Is it VERIFIED? Is it CONFIRMED? Is it POSSIBLE? Is it BIASED? Is it FAIR? There must be a filtering process where you need to apply a bit of common sense and simple logic to differentiate between those that carry a bit of truth, possibility or likelihood from those that are just nothing but a whole lot of rubbish.

August 20, 2015

I did not say “I love you”

Call me old fashioned or whatever ... you see, I don’t quite like to say the three magic words ... not even to those close to me. It is not that I have not said it before but I am not like those embracing the open gesture of expressing their love candidly and frequently. In short, I don’t like to say “I love you” as much as people want me to. I am not used to it. Somehow I feel kind of awkward saying it ... I don’t know why.

So, people have never heard me say the magic words but I have said what I needed to say in many other words. And before I go further ... let me say that I am writing this with thoughts of my kids.

Look, every morning I get up before the kids and then I would wake them up. I don’t know what to say to get them out of the bed agreeably, so I just say ... “Good morning darling, time to get up ya” or “Good morning son, it is 8 o’ clock already”. I must admit that maybe it is not in those exact words every morning but it is always in the same tone and manner. Why? Because it is definitely better than waking up to that irritating alarm clock (or phone)...  which is exactly how I am waking up to.

And then I will send them to school ... during the short drive we always make conversation and on the journey we joked, argued, debated and sometimes even disagreed. When we reached school, just before they got out of the car, I said to them ... “Bye and be careful ya”. In the whole course, there were no magic words spoken but we talked ... a fair bit actually.

School days are long days ... quite often the kids have to stay back (after school) for other assignments ... so, most of the days they will come home quite exhausted. Seeing them bushed, I don’t have any good words of comfort to offer except to ask them  ... “Have you eaten?” or “Are you still hungry?”... always eager to whip up something for them. Many times they were just too tired to eat, then I will say ... “Go take a rest” ... well, no need to say more, that was all they needed for the rest of the day.

Exams are challenging for my kids ... well, they are not the studious type ... at times it takes a toll on them. I don’t know what to say to make it easier for them, so I will tell them ... “Just try your best” and I really mean it. That is all they need to do ... regardless of the outcome.

We eat most meals at home but we do go out on weekends ... looking for good food places. The kids want to know where to go and what to eat but instead I asked them ... “What do you like to eat?” So, more often than not we will end up having “sweet and sour pork” (daughter’s favourite) or “salted fish with pork belly” (son’s favourite) among other dishes. That is absolutely OK for me ... no need for words to express the delight of them enjoying their favourite dishes and going for extra helping.

Teenagers being teenagers, sometimes they stay up late going online covertly ... I am sure parents with kids like mine knows what I am talking about. Of course I know about it ... maybe I should shut down the WIFI but then that is forcing. Though I can stop them by authority but sometimes I just cut them some slack but not without sending an online message with words of caution ... “Try to sleep early ya” ... just telling them I am aware and hoping that they will knock out soon knowing that I won’t sleep before them.

I tell my kids to be prudent on their spending but (being carefree teenagers) at times they will over indulged on their whims and fancies ... depleting their allowances before the next is due. I can understand and allows it (if it is not getting out of hand). Then I would just hand them another 50 and tell them ... “Don’t simply spend ya” ... simple words that make them smile with appreciation and relieve.

The kids grow up too fast, too soon ... seems like time has come to let go the leash and get used to not having them around so often. “Have fun and enjoy yourself” ... I tell them every time they go out on their own ... trusting them and letting them learn to handle things on themselves.

Apart from what I have mentioned above ... there were many other instances and situations where I did not use the words that express openly and candidly but I definitely tried to offer other words earnestly and wholeheartedly.

So, to my children ... I did not say “I love you” but what I have said, I said it with all sincerity to express love, care, encouragement, attention and affection. I will continue to say it the same way ... with simple words, with true words, with sincere words ... in my very own way.

July 22, 2015

Loyalty is admirable ...

Just heard another loyalty story … a 59 year old man who was fired by his company … a company he helped build from scratch, a place he considered as his second home, an organization he spent 29 years in, giving his complete loyalty for his boss whom he thought was a loyal friend. At the end of the day, he was asked to leave with absolutely nothing.

Now to be fair … I am sure the company has valid reasons to ask him to leave … I am not going to delve into that. What I want to talk about here is loyalty.

Time and time again I hear people who pledge their complete loyalty to their work, their companies and their bosses … at the end of the day, they were either ignored, overlooked, disregarded and some were even betrayed.

For me, an old school type person ... loyalty is something I hold tight and proud … I can say I am a loyal person. But for all those like me, the sad truth is … loyalty is always placed in a very precarious spot … it hangs dangerously between honor and exploit … and sadly, it is much easier being exploited than to be honored.

I am a loyal person … loyal to many and as much as I still want to believe that loyalty will somewhat create a bond to hold people together … but over time, I realize that it is those that I have been loyal to that are now shunning away.

Though at times I still want to place a bit of faith in loyalty but it has proven many times that loyalty is always never honored with the same. Well, let’s be fair ... maybe the problem is with me, maybe I am not loyal enough.

I still believe in loyalty … in fact, I am a sucker for it. I am sure there are people like me (though not many) who still hold loyalty close to their hearts, who still honor the values of devotion, faithfulness and reliability.

I think loyalty is admirable … but only to followers. To leaders, loyalty is a weakness. The fact is … in the real world, most people don't want to be like me … I am a follower.

June 24, 2015

Of superstitions, customs, rituals, doctrines and be totally free

Please read with an open mind … this article touches on subjects that may be sensitive for some people. You don’t have to agree … if people want to live their lives different from what I may have suggested … it is absolutely OK with me. I understand and respect their choices.

Here it goes …

We live our daily lives with all sorts of restrictions. While some are natural and necessary parts of our lives, some are just fallacies … like superstitions. Yes, many still willingly let superstitions and silly beliefs dictate their livelihood. I have seen someone who refuses to get out of the house because he believed that he must not make a left turn on the road that particular day to avoid the unfortunate … strange but people believe it.

And then there are customs and rituals … many are compelled to these practices handed down by tradition. I think the Chinese have more than others and the Chinese here observe twice as much customs and rituals than those practiced in China today. Whether in birth, matrimony or death … people remain oblivious and continue to submit diligently to these outdated thoughts. While many customs are simple enough to perform, some rituals are quite a hassle.

I was put through a few absurd rituals when my father passed away … one of them was to ‘tearfully’ (if not genuine, at least pretend to be) call out really loud to him when his coffin was being carried away to be cremated. Strange … “what is it for? I asked”. They told me it was to display filial piety. What? I was really puzzled … what filial piety can I show to my dead father while he is about to be cremated? Whatever I need to show (filial or what not), I have already shown while he was still alive.

Come to think about it … maybe some of the customs and rituals suggested by the bereavement trade are just to increase the earnings of the business. Yes, I am going to get whacked by people from Nirvana and the likes.

I am sure there are other practices in different religions but I don’t really know what customs and rituals they adopt. I am not a religious person, I will not delve into others' faiths and beliefs.

So when a group asked me to join them and told me that by embracing their teachings and their revered rituals, they can (in their exact words) … “enlighten me and set me totally free from the world’s problems” ... I politely decline their offer. I told them I am also trying to be totally free … from strange superstitions, obsolete customs, absurd rituals and outdated doctrines.

May 20, 2015

Going out is good but coming home is better

People have goals, targets and objectives … they set out to get their goals, they work hard to make sure that they achieve what they set out to do. Some made it fast, some took a longer time ... others who failed will keep trying.

For those who achieved their goals … they get to show their achievements and enjoy the success. They have reached where they wanted to be, what they have struggled so hard for … they will get the financial rewards for their success and they will get due recognitions.

Many believe that with success, recognition and financial rewards, they will become a better person.

Errrr … I will debate that.

You see, many people are not aware that in the process of getting to where they want to be, they changed … slowly and maybe unknowingly … due to the long exposure in the unforgiving competitive environment, the never ending aggressive rat race they are running in and the nasty dog-eat-dog business they faced every day. Some lost their good ethics and became rude, callous, brutal, nasty, mean and vindictive. Others lost their true values … they mastered betrayal, infidelity, treachery, deceit and dishonesty.

They don’t realize it … it is the people close to them that will see and feel the changes. More often than not, it is their loved ones who will have to tolerate or maybe even suffer due to this.

So, when you have achieved success, recognition and financial rewards, ask yourself … are you a better person? Maybe you have become a better provider but what I really mean is … are you a better son or daughter to your parents? Are you a better husband or wife to your spouse? Are you a better father or mother to your children?

And do you still have the same good ethics? Do you still hold the same true values?

Yes, by all means go out in search of your goals but it is important to remember that by the end of the day, it is not what you get … it is what you have become. That is my point.

Look, going out is good but coming home is better. Sadly, too many people go out in search of success, recognitions and financial rewards but forget to return to where they were. They forget to come home to where they are needed most, to where they are most appreciated and to where they can really be themselves.

It may sound strange but really, the fact is … we leave home to look for things we want, only to find them when we come home.

April 22, 2015


Recently in a casual chat with fellow players after our weekly badminton games, someone asked me … “Shiek, why you stopped working so early lah, now you have nothing to do … how do you past time ah?” From the tone and manner, I guess he thinks that my life is pretty boring and very mundane day in day out. Anyway, I played along his notion and said to him … “Ya lor, Mondays to Fridays, I do nothing … Saturday and Sundays, I rest”.

But really, it is not like that.

I don’t know why many assumed that people like me, who have stopped working permanently have NOTHING to do … like we are all sitting at home rotting away, slowly dying uselessly.

Look, there are many people like me who left the working world early because we have had enough of the rat race. We stopped before we start to trade away our mental and physical health in the relentless chase for career, success and recognition … we quitted chasing for more than what we needed.

We don’t work ... so, on one hand we don’t get the frustration of long traffic jams every morning, we don’t have to agonize over ridiculous deadlines every day, we don’t have to stay back for tedious assignments every so often, we don’t have to backstab anyone in ‘blame storming’ meetings every week, we don't have to type long reports every month, we don’t have to worry about budgets, profits and loss every quarter and we don’t have to get caught in scheming office politics with everyone.

But on the other hand, we also don’t get to enjoy the perks … we don’t get paid to sit in a nice office, we don’t get to hang out in stylish cafes to see and to be seen during breaks, we don’t get treated to fancy restaurants every other day, we don’t get to go entertain and be entertained in posh clubs every now and then, we don’t get to be invited to glamorous social gatherings every week, we don’t get to fly business class to meetings every month and we don’t get to go on grand incentive trips every year.

BUT … that doesn’t mean that we have NOTHING to do.

There is a lot to do … depending on your mental and physical well being … some can be as exciting as hiking the Himalayans, while others are more adventurous like backpacking to see the world or maybe just trek some smaller local mountains and jungles.

At other times maybe one can engage in those less physical endeavors. How about traveling to see places? How about enrolling in home-stay programs to learn different cultures and experience diverse traditions?

Maybe get involved in social and community projects … one can keep themselves active and occupied by helping out in the many soup kitchens and charity homes in their areas or make visitations to orphanages and old folks’ homes.

And keep on learning … spend time on self improvement activities. Read, study and write subjects of interest, try 'self-taught' social dances, exercise routines or even music … maybe learn handyman or arts and crafts skills. And after that, teach what you have learned to others who are interested.

Last but not least, one important thing that people (who did not give much thought to in their pursuit of success and recognition) can do when they decide to quit the working world … put more time and effort on building strong values among family, relatives and friends … spend quality time with wife and children, provide care for aged parents, create activities together with loved ones and invite or visit relatives and friends to build close relationships and meaningful friendships. 

Yes, for those like me ... there is plenty to do and plenty of time to do it. Not just a list of physical and adventurous challenges that are fun and exciting but also a variety of things that can improve ourselves morally, add depth to our knowledge, builds closeness with those around us and in the meantime, maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.

Let me make a point here … for people like me … it is not that we don’t have things to do, we just don’t have work to do.

March 27, 2015

I can’t do what I love … so, I love what I do

I want to do what I love. But the problem is ... to do what I love, most of the times it is very costly, sometimes it is too difficult and at times, people think I am a bit bizarre … so, I won’t be able to really do what I love.

Well, if I can’t do what I love … maybe, I can love what I do.  Huh??? Errrrrr ... what’s the difference ah?

I put it this way … say you want to travel and see the whole world, then “see the whole world” is what you love. If you “do what you love” … that means, you go “see the whole world”. But then what is “love what you do”? In this case, it is travel … you love travel, not necessary to go “see the whole world” but just travel to anywhere you are able to.

Got it?

OK, back to my story … as I said earlier, I want to do what I love but I can’t. Here is a costly example … like many, I want to travel to see the whole world too but it is very costly … I just cannot afford it. So, to do what I love will not happen but I can still love what I do … I can still travel, maybe on budgeted travels as and when I have a bit extra to spare.

I love the beautiful Himalayas … I want to trek the snow capped mountains that I love but I can’t … it is next to impossible for people of my physical standing. So I can’t trek at where I would love to but I still love what I do … trekking the various mountains and jungles where I can experience the nature and bask in the charm of the natural world.

I am not an artist … but that was what I love (to be). So I did not make it as an artist but I like artistic and creative works. That's why I create various arts and crafts ... from recycled wood and other materials. Though I am unable to create great masterpieces but I love what I do … I love the idea of creating new things through recycling and helping to keep the environment clean.

Here is a crazy one … I love aliens. YES! REALLY! You know, the little grey beings with cone heads and bulgy eyes … I love them and I believe they exist. One of the things in my bizarre list of “do what you love” is to go shake the hands of an alien. Now that is quite far-fetched and I don’t think an alien can be found … at least not anytime now.

So I can’t do what I love (shake hands with an alien) but I love what I am doing about aliens … I read a lot about them, I watch documentaries and I am always looking for new clues, facts and findings by the various experts in the world in search of aliens. Eh … who knows, maybe one day the scientists and expert aliens hunters will find a few … alive and well too. THEN, I can do the one bizarre thing I love … go shake hands with the little grey fellow. 

March 02, 2015


We all like things to go our way. But the fact is, things don’t always go our way and when that happens, many are unable to accept it … it turns into anger and frustration. Now, if we can accept that things don’t always go our way and we can live with that … then it becomes tolerance … it shows patience and open-mindedness.

Losing … a lot of people hate to lose … to them it is a failure that beckons resentment and revenge. But if people can accept losing, then it is not a failure … it becomes an experience, a learning of a valuable lesson.

Everyone owns things but no one can own everything … there will be things that others have that some may not be able to get, whether it is material or not. Accept that … if people cannot accept that others have something more than them, it will become jealousy that can sow greed. On the other hand, if people can accept it … it will turn into an admiration that can be a source of inspiration.

Then there is fear … fear of the uncertain. It could be an unforeseen tragedy, an unfortunate accident or an unexpected threatening illness … and when the uncertain happens, fear will not make things any better … instead, fear brings panic and confusion. If people can accept that there will be plenty of uncertainties in life ... then, when faced with any uncertainty, they can accept it as a challenge … it will only make them stronger.

And the fear of death ... that is why many will try all sorts of ways to stay alive for as long as possible. Maybe they are afraid of losing everything they have or maybe they fear the uncertainty after death.

I don’t fear death … I accept it but hey, don’t get me wrong … it is not that I am looking forward to die soon. My point is … as a person who is not into any faith and beliefs, I have absolutely no clue on what will happen after death but I can accept the uncertainty. I take it as if I am going to trek a mountain full of uncertainties … the slippery slopes, the tricky rock cliffs, the unpredictable weather and the strange shrieks and sounds of wild dense jungle … I don’t see fear, I see adventure.

January 27, 2015

I will be SKI-ing

We all love our children … very much of course and we express our love for our kids in many ways. One very common way that many parents show their love for their kids is by accumulating for their kids ... they have their reasons for doing so.

Seriously, many parents will use a very large portion (or in some cases, most) of the income they earned for the purpose of building and accumulating for what I called the Kid’s Inheritance.

And there are those who will slogged and worked their asses off not because they have not saved and accumulated enough for themselves to see them through their later years … they slogged, they worked way over their retirement age because they are always worried that they may not have accumulated enough for their children. So they keep working to build the Kid’s Inheritance … some even worked until they cannot worked anymore.

For me, as a parent, I think what is important for my kids is that I provide for them, and provide the best that I can afford until the day they are to face the world themselves because I love my kids and also because it is my responsibility to ensure that they grow up with whatever needed to be a good person. Of course I will accumulate too ... but it is for me and my wife, NOT for my kids. Maybe if there is anything left when we both called it a day … then that is what my kids will get from what I have accumulated.

My point is … provide for the kids, provide the best that you can afford and provide according to whatever they need while they are growing up so that when they are old enough to face the world, they will have a strong foundation to fend for themselves and face the world with confidence. There is NO NEED to leave an inheritance.

I am sure there are many parents who will disagree with me … those who willing to slog, work, save and accumulate to keep building their Kid’s Inheritance … maybe because they love their kids a lot more than I do.

Hey, I am not against what these parents do with what they have accumulated … I just beg to differ. For now, I am providing for my kids until they are ready to face the world by themselves. After that, I will spend what I have slogged, saved and accumulated … you know what I will be doing?

I will be SKI-ing … Spending (the) Kid’s Inheritance !

December 30, 2014

Leave the world a better place than I found it

Many people make resolutions every new year … that is a good practice for people to make a change or pledge to do something better for themselves that may also be better for the world that we live in.

Like many, I too want to things to be better but I am not really making a new year's resolution ... I change as and when needed. So when I came across some shared beliefs from a contest that was conducted by the co-authors of the book Atheist Heart and Humanist Mind, I found many good points that are according to what I believe that will make things better ... at least for me.

Now, to those who have different beliefs, please read with an open mind and let me share with you an excerpt from what I read about the book … “atheism NEED NOT BE reactionary (against religion and God), but rather that it can offer a clear set of constructive principles to live by, which establish atheism as a positive worldview”. And it is based on this notion that I hope will make things better in the coming years.

So here it goes (full credits to those who participated in the contest and shared their thoughts) … to make a difference for a better 2015 and beyond, I will be open-minded and accept ideas and beliefs based on new facts, new proofs and new evidence … understanding what that is very likely to be true and not to believe what I wish is true.

People should think … I want to be in the same direction with those who think and think alike as I believe that those who refuse to think will simply accept misinterpretation that favors the deceivers.

There is no one right way to live … so, I will strive to understand and accept how people live their lives and exert control over whatever they do as long as they take consequences and responsibilities of their actions.

Like my peers, I will reason and question because I know the world will only progress by reasoning and questioning based on science not based on the old dogma of just obey and accept. The fact is … scientific methods are the most reliable way of understanding our natural world, so I will put my confidence in science and scientific methodologies in making progress for humankind on this planet and towards the vast universe in the future.

Last but not least, we have the responsibility to consider others, those in the future generations, for in time to come we will have to leave and I hope with the difference made, I can leave this world a better place than I found it.