Friday, March 26, 2010

Giving and Receiving : Circle of Kindness

The Circle of Giving and Receiving

Anonymous giving and acts of kindness can lead the giver to a very lonely place in the universe. Like the Lone Ranger or some other disguised hero, we do kind things all the time and so often the people on the receiving end don’t see it or don’t recognize it.

Living a life of altruism, in its most ideal form, means setting the ego aside and not doing what we do for credit. Usually, I have no problem with this at all. But there are those days, perhaps when I’m feeling a little weak or drained, where I find myself feeling lonely with it all, feeling like I’m giving, giving, giving, to a world that is in super receiving mode and asleep to what’s being done for them. I get a little discouraged.

Even idealized heroes had their inner circle of friends who knew who they really were and what their life was all about. The Lone Ranger had Tonto. Batman had Robin and his butler, Alfred. You get the picture. Being truly altruistic means we do what we do without expectation for credit or recognition. Otherwise, it’s not truly altruistic. But at some point, we have to be good receivers to continue to be effective givers.

I remember shortly after my first child was born that my wife and I reached a point where we were really struggling to make ends meet. We both had jobs but the pay was very meager. We were both doing work that we loved doing and we were really caught up in the magic of being new parents. But a financial reality burst our bubble one day.We had nothing left in savings, and bills that were due, some overdue, could not be met.

We talked with other people about our dire circumstances. We got a lot of sympathy but we were still feeling a lot of stress and not coming up with any solutions. And then it happened. I opened the front door one morning and found a plain white envelope tucked inside the screen door. Inside the envelope was $100 dollars. I felt this tremendous sense of energy swell up within me, surrounding me like a great, warm comforter. Some kind soul anonymously gave what felt like an awful lot of money to me then. They obviously didn’t want credit for their generosity and to this day I’ve never known for certain who it was.

In those days, that $100 would have just about paid for a month’s rent. And even though it wasn’t enough to make good on all of our bills, receiving the money gave us such a sense of relief and humbleness to be blessed by some great kindness of a friend who wanted no credit from us whatsoever. We made it through that dark time, not so much from the money we’d been given, but by realizing how powerful an act of anonymous generosity can be.

I’ve paid that act of kindness forward over and over many times. And even being the veteran giver that I consider myself to be, my mind still swings like a pendulum between the extremes of totally selfless giving and the need to receive something in return occasionally. Despite the back and forth energy of the momentum that is created, my sense is that I am ever moving forward through a world that often feels thankless and uncaring. I am constantly aware that there have probably been countless occasions when I have been the receiver of many acts of kindness from others who may have been aware of what they were doing even though I was asleep to their gift.

I am committed to being more awake to what’s going on around me and to showing my gratitude whenever possible for any act of kindness given, even if it’s as small a thing as someone holding open a door for me. Living a life of kindness is like breathing: for every breath out, there has to be a breath back in. That isn’t about ego. It’s about staying alive and being fully human. Now, let’s get back to it. Hi, ho, Silver, away!

Author : Unknown
Retrieved from http://inspiringmessages.blogspot.com/2009/03/giving-and-receiving-circle-of-kindness.html

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=380210339274

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Memberi di Saat Paceklik? Susaahh!

Jadi orang miskin emang gak enak. Jangankan miskin materi. Miskin hati aja nggak enak banget. Miskin jiwa, miskin spirit, miskin semangat. Hasilnya? Dahsyat! Menjalani hari tanpa rasa semangat. Rutinitas.

I admit, belakangan ini situasi ini cukup melingkupi hari-hari gue. Tidak sedih. Tidak negative. Hanya 0. Flat. Datar. No spirit. Alasannya? Simpel sih. Belakangan ini rasanya “tiba-tiba” segala aspek kehidupan menjadi mengkhawatirkan. Mulai dari love life (ini always bukan? *lebay*), relationship (ada sorg teman yg memutuskan utk memutuskan tali pertemanan dengan gue), work life (ada masalah dgn salah satu instansi tempat gue mengajar), financial life (itung-itungan rencana gue ke depan ternyata butuh budget besar, and where am I now??), dan terutama health life (saat ini ada sebuah kondisi yang sangat mengkhawatirkan gue). Lengkap!

“Christine ‘Obi’ Tobing found it’s hard to stand in front of so many people time after time, giving my heart, mind, and all capability to teach. It’s so hard filling their “cup” while mine is actually “empty”. Whishing for a sincere heart to be able to give more of me.” Itu adalah status FB gue minggu lalu. Gue tulis karena waktu itu gue telah menjalani minggu yang cukup sulit. Gue harus terus mengajar pagi, sore, malam, weekdays, even weekends. Bertemu dengan banyak sekali orang. Saat itu gue pun harus diakui bahwa cukup sulit menjadi seorang guru. Kita dituntut untuk terus “memberi”. Bukan hanya bertanggung jawab atas pengetahuan yang kita berikan, tapi juga semangat, motivasi, serta perhatian penuh untuk mau membenarkan apa kita temukan masih salah. Terlebih lagi, bahkan kita pun harus membuat mereka enjoy dengan situasi itu! Gue rasa kita semua setuju kalau gue bilang dibutuhkan hati yang besar untuk melakukan semua itu. (Actually bisa aja sih. Tapi gue pribadi sangat kagum ketika melihat pengajar2 yang sungguh2 melakukan itu dari hatinya. Admire them so much!)

Ketika ada yang bertanya, “Obi, how could you fill the people’s cup, when u feel so empty inside?” Ternyata dia butuh saran krn ternyata dia pun mengalami hal yang sama. It took me some while buat mikir jawabannya. Coz actually I didn’t do it on a conscious purpose. Sebelum memulai rasanya gue mau teriakk, “Oh Good, help me! I can’t do it!!! I have nothing to give. :(“ Tapi kenapa gue memutuskan utk tetap mengajar di masa-masa “paceklik” itu? Well, sebagian aktifitas mengajar gue memang adalah kerja prof. So, kita tau lahh konsekuensinya kalo gue nggak ngajar. Tapi selain itu, gue sadar sekali bahwa mereka mengharapkan “sesuatu” dari gue. Kemajuan mereka banyak sekali dipengaruhi oleh gue. Belon lagi kalo mengingat pengorbanan mereka untuk datang latihan. Bikin kita nggak boleh egois. It’s not all about us (teachers). Akhirnya, hal-hal itulah yang tetap membuat gue menginjakkan kaki di tempat mengajar, baik itu yang memang pekerjaan maupun yang berupa pelayanan (agama).

But surprisingly, it ended this way : they’re the ones who fill my cup! The joy of teaching. Ngeliat mereka “dapet” sesuatu cukup bikin kita bahagia. Ntah itu berupa kemajuan secara teknik bernyanyi, pendalaman materi, atau bahkan hanya sekedar rasa sukacita ketika mengikuti latihan. Kaki yang berat ketika melangkah masuk berubah menjadi langkah ringan ketika meninggalkan tempat-tempat itu. Belum lagi ketika terungkap kalimat-kalimat rasa syukur karena memiliki gue sebagai pelatih dalam doa-doa penutup latihan. Huff, what could be more beautiful than that?

Ketika gue menjawab pertanyaan teman gue itu, suddenly gue merasa diingatkan dengan hukum “memberi”. Ternyata memang semuanya harus kita yang mulai. Memberi dulu dehh, nanti juga semuanya akan dilimpahkan sama kita. (Thanks again, Ran, for asking.)

Hari Minggu yang lalu (14/3/2010) ntah kenapa kaki gue melangkah lagi ke gereja sore. Padahal gue udah gereja pagi. Mungin karena gue ngerasa kurang puas dengan kotbah ibadah pagi itu kali yaa. Kok gue berasanya kurang “dapet” sesuatu. Tapi tetep ajaa, hampir nggak pernah gue bergereja dua kali kalo bukan karena memang ada jadwal pelayanan. Hohoo, finally I knew why. Ternyata salah satu point yang diangkat oleh amang pendeta itu adlh tentang “memberi”. What a co-incidence! God’s-incidence! Di situ dia ngingetin lagi bahwa jangan menunggu untuk memberi. Memberi tidak hanya ketika kita dalam kondisi berkecukupan. Melayani tidak hanya ketika kita sedang bahagia. Memberilah tanpa rasa pamrih. Jangan hanya berharap diberi, tapi mulailah memberi. Jangan berharap dimengerti jika kita tidak mau mengerti orang lain. Jangan berharap dihargai ketika kita pun tidak menghargai orang lain.

I was totally speeches. I cried. Yes, I cried so hard. I realized sometimes it’s soo hard to do it. But I just whisphered softly, “Yes God, give me a sincere heart to give more of me…”

(Was published in Facebook Notes section on Saturday, March 20, 2010 at 3:37pm)
http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=378395049274

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Scorpion Moment

There was this Hindu who saw a scorpion floundering around in the water. He decided to save it by stretching out his finger, but the scorpion stung him. The man still tried to get the scorpion out of the water, but the scorpion stung him again.

A man nearby told him to stop saving the scorpion that kept stinging him.

But the Hindu said: "It is the nature of the scorpion to sting. It is my nature to love. Why should I give up my nature to love just because it is the nature of the scorpion to sting?"

Don't give up loving
Don't give up your goodness
Even if people around you sting

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=371937734274

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Girl...

When a Girl is quiet ... millions of things are running in her mind.
When a Girl is not arguing ... she is thinking deeply.
When a Girl looks at u with eyes full of questions ... she is wondering how long you will be around.
When a Girl answers ' I'm fine ' after a few seconds ... she is not atallfine.
When a Girl stares at you ... she is wondering why you are lying.
When a Girl lays on your chest ... she is wishing for you to be hers forever.
When a Girl wants to see you everyday... she wants to be pampered.
When a Girl says ' I love you ' ... she means it.
When a Girl says ' I miss you ' ... no one in this world can miss you more than that.

Life only comes around once make sure u spend it with the right person....
Find a Guy...
who calls you beautiful instead of hot,
who calls you back when you hang up on him,
who will stay awake just to watch you sleep.

Wait for the guy who ...kisses your forehead.
Who wants to show you off to the world when you are in your sweats.
Who holds your hand in front of his friends.
Who is constantly reminding youof how much he cares about you and how lucky he is to have you.
Who turnsto his friends and says, ' That's her!!'

Sunday, March 07, 2010

I'm Sorry, Can't Resist It. Love You So Much!

No one has ever touched my heart like you do.
No such happiness as the one I feel when I’m with you.
You filled my cold heart with indescribable warmth.
You brought joy in a single glimpse.

No words needed.
I just sat there with you.
With my eyes closed.
Letting you in, so deeply.

No more tears.
No more loneliness.
No more hatred.
No more despair.

You’re such an extacy.
I couldn’t stop smiling.
Our breath became one.
I lost my consciousness.

History revealed.
I’ve been kept it for so long.
Desire no longer can be hide.

No matter what people would say.
No matter how hard it would be for me.
I can’t help it.
I’m in love.
I’m totally hooked.

I’ve decided.
I’ll bring the best of me.
I’ll make myself ready for you.
Give me a year.
Then I’ll be your bride.

I’m gonna learn.
To make a good music.
For people to enjoy.
And fall in love with you like what I feel right now.

Yeah, I’m gonna be the singing pianist.
Wait for me….my lovely Jazz Music
We’re gonna be such a perfect couple!
Can’t wait ‘till I’m declared as The Jazz-Singing-Pianist.

Yeah, tonight I’m falling in love again with the marvelous thing called “Jazz”

(Experienced in the BlackCat Jazz Super Club, 6 March 2010, 10pm – 1am, performance by Abe Simpson and friends. Thanks for inviting me tonight, Mas. Forgot to say that just did.)

Friday, March 05, 2010

Pria Pecicilan...

"OBI, 29 thn
Gak suka cowok pecicilan"

Gitu bacaan profil gue di layar TV Take Me Out. Gw jg bingung, knp mesti term itu yg dipilih sm org Fremantel buat dijadiin tambahan identitas gw.

Once somebody asked me, knp gw gak suka dgn pria pecicilan. Saat itu gw cm menjawab seadanya, bhw gw prefer pria yg sedikit bicara, tp sekalinya bicara meaningful bgt.

Tp skrg ini gw kyknya punya penjelasan lebih deh. Mau tau knp? *Mauuu!* Baiklah. Gw sndr gak tau apa sbnrnya definisi dr pecicilan. Tp kurang lebih, kecenderungan2 di bawah inilah yg gw hindari:
1. Org yg byk bicara blon tentu "isi"nya jg berkualitas. Mending yg sedikit ngomong, tp "berisi". Krn mnrt gw gak semua hal harus diekspresikan keluar. Ada hal2 yg sebaiknya disimpen baik2 dulu, baru kalo saatnya tepat, dikeluarkan. Krn kl terlalu diobral di awal, smntr kenyataan nantinya gak bgitu, yg ada ntar cuma "omong doang" doong. :(
2. Pecicilan biasanya byk gerakan. Gerakan2 itu ditujukan utk menarik perhatian org. Tipe org yg senang menjadi pusat perhatian cenderung kurang peka sm orang lain. Self-centered. Everything is about him.
3. Mnrt gw org yg byk bergerak punya spontanitas yg cukup tinggi. Mereka cepat tanggap thd sesuatu. Sounds good. Tp kl gak hati2, cenderung gegabah dlm merespon sesuatu. Terlalu emosional. Respon sekecil apapun seharusnya melewati proses berpikir, shg gak cuma "meledak" begitu aja. Pria yg spt ini biasanya lebih wise ketika menghadapi suatu masalah. Lebih tenang, gak maen lgsg bertindak dan berkata2 atas dorongan emosi sesaat.

So, actually I don't mind with cowok pecicilan, as long as mereka gak punya 3 kecenderungan di atas. Tp apakah mungkin? Kenyataannya, yg gak pecicilan aja byk jg yg punya kecenderungan2 itu.

Ayoo, teman2, pd inget gaakk selama ini pria2 macem apa yg selalu bikin gw pengen telanjaang? Bukan pria2 ganteng. Bukan pria2 kaya. Tp pria2 wise, pria2 smart, pria2 yg di tengah2 permasalahan, ketika org2 dipenuhi emosi negatif, datang dengan kepala dingin dan aura positif, kemudian memberi solusi yg cerdas. Auuwwww!

Kalo dipikir2, mungkin itu sebabnya gw selalu jatuh hati sama pria2 yg lebih tua kali yaa? Kematangan emosional yg kyk gitu(terutama no 3) jarang ada di pria2 seumur gw, apalagi yg lbh muda.

Sjk SMA aja gw gak prnh tertarik sm tmn seusia. Yg ada ada gw malah sibuk mengagumi pria yg umurnya 7-8 thn di atas gw! Akhirnya sampe skrg, yg deket sm gw biasanya minimal 5 thn lbh tua dr gw. Huhh, masi ada gak sehh, laki2 yg kyk gitu yg blon "taken"? Pria2 matang sungguh membuat hormon2ku yg sudah mulai desperate ini bergejolak. :p

(Was published in Facebook Notes section on Friday, March 5, 2010 at 11:06am)
http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=344411644274

Monday, March 01, 2010

May You All Have a Wonderful Journey in Life……..No Matter How Hard It Is

It’s a beautiful morning. I woke up at 3 am to do some work. It’s kinda achievement for me, an absolutely-not-a-morning-person type. But I close my eyes, and imagining what’s going on out there, outside my house, outside my area, outside my city, outside my country. So many people have started their days much earlier than this.

Few days I ago, I got a chance to talk with one of the office-boy at school. He’s the youngest OB there. He’s born in 1989. He’s quite good-looking, have to admit. I’m quite shocked. I have no idea that he’s that young. Gue ngebandingin dia dengan murid2 (atau mantan murid) gue yg lain yang seusianya. Apa yg sedang mereka lakukan? Apa yg sedang dia lakukan? Di kala teman-teman seusianya sedang sibuk menempa ilmu, ia sedang sibuk bertahan hidup. Ketika teman-teman seusianya sedang mempelajari ilmu pengetahuan yg lebih tinggi untuk bekal hidupnya di masa yg akan datang, he doesn’t even know what the word “privacy” means. Dibandingkan OB2 lainnya, ternyata rumahnya paling jauh. Dia harus brangkat jam 4 pagi, jalan kaki, kemudian menghabiskan waktu setengah jam naik motor untuk ke stasiun, naek kereta, dan kemudian menuju sekolah dari stasiun, dan tiba sekitar pukul 6.30. Utk bisa sampai lebih cepat, dia harus bangun jam 3. WTF?!? (Gue bahkan seringkali baru tidur jam segitu!) Pulangnya pun demikian. Dia biasa baru meninggalkan sekolah jam 6. Turun kereta biasa jam 8 lewat, dan total2 sampai rumah jam 9. Oh no, what kind of life he has?

I still close my eyes. Mungkin di luar sana ada yang sedang menangis saat ini. Mungkin hatinya sedang luka. Mungkin hidupnya terlalu berat. Aku kenal seseorang anak yang di usianya yg dini sedang menderita penyakit kanker stadium 3. Instead of membantu menguatkan mental si anak, si ibu malah menyukuri keadaan anaknya tersebut, dan bahkan malah memaki2 ayahnya (suaminya) di depan anak dan dokter. Dia menyalahkan suaminya atas segala keadaan buruk ini, krn dia yakin suaminya punya cewek simpenan di luar sana. Jd seperti menyukuri kalo anaknya mati muda. (OMG, akankah gue bertahan kalo berada dlm posisi dia?) Ada yg sedang sakit, tetapi terhambat dengan biaya pengobatan yg terlalu mahal, pdhl dibutuhkan perawatan untuk membuatnya sembuh. Ada juga seorang orang muda yang kesulitan menjalani hari karena orang tuanya sedang dalam proses berpisah, dan memperebutkan hak untuk mengasuh dirinya, sehingga seringkali dia tidak bisa menduga di manakah dia akan tidur malam ini, di rumah ayahnya, ataukah di rumah ibunya. Mungkin juga sebagian kita sedang merasa kesepian. Ada yang hatinya sangat merindukan pasangan hidup. Mungkin sebagian dari kita ada yg sedang merasakan kebencian. Kepada siapapun yang menyakiti kita. Sahabat yang mengecewakan, teman yang menyakitkan hati, suami yang turns out to be not-the-man-of-my dream, pasangan yang kurang dapat mengerti kita , tuntutan orang tua yang seringkali berkedok “we want you to be the best” but in fact they’re the one who made us feel “never perfect” and finally ended by hating ourselves (watch the movie “Penelope”). Mungkin sebaliknya, di luar sana juga ada orang tua yang selalu dikecewakan anaknya. Mungkin karena penolakan mereka, mungkin karena perilaku mereka, mungkin juga karena ketidaksempurnaan yang mereka miliki, baik fisik maupun mental. I’ve met so many type of parents. Ada yang sangat tegar dan cerdas, walaupun anaknya tidak sempurna, walaupun anaknya ada yg cacat fisik, ada yang perkembangan mentalnya terhambat, ada yang kecerdasannya kurang. They have to face the fact, and live with it. Di luar sana juga aku tahu seorang anak yang tanpa disadari hatinya sedang terluka. Can you ever imagined, seorang anak menyaksikan ayahnya membunuh ibunya di depan matanya sendiri? It hurts me so much knowing it. Di luar sana aku juga ada seorang orang muda yang harus bolak-balik ke psycholog karena stress mendalam yang dimilikinya. Terkadang dia terlihat normal, tapi saat-saat tertentu ia bisa berteriak-teriak hingga pingsan, dan bahkan tidak sadarkan diri walaupun secara fisik dia tidak pingsan. What made her? Parents (I know them so well). One of them is absolutely not we want our parents to be. Absolutely abnormal. Aku yakin nggak ada satupun dari kita yang 100% waras, tetapi kadar ketidakwarasannya ibunya sangatlah tinggi. Tapi, terima atau tidak, kenyataannya, dari beliaulah dia dilahirkan. Nothing can change that.

Let’s take a deep breath.
And see ourselves.
What kind of life we have?
How hard is it?
How happy is it?

Friends, life might be hard in some ways. Hidup kita punya masalahnya masing2. Semua kondisi di atas yang gue sebutkan adalah real. I know all of them. Sebagian dari kita sudah hampir gagal. I know some people yang sudah melakukan langkah real untuk bunuh diri (ntah memang berniat bunuh diri, atau memang somewhere deep inside their heart, mereka hanya butuh diperhatikan), ada sebagian yang melarikan diri ke hal-hal destruktif lainnya, ada yang akhirnya sudah gak bisa mengendalikan emosinya, seperti kerabat yang sudah menjadi pasien rutin psikolog di atas. It's so sad seeing some of us are failing. :(

Friends, how hard it is, let’s keep our sanity. We need it to get out of here. Don’t let our problems take it. Do whatever might help us. Find a way! Cry if you want to! Shout in crazy-like way if you want to! Have fun like there’re no other day to do it! Laugh and enjoy every fun moment with all our heart! But remember, keep the sanity!!! And never hurt ourselves!!! Dear, I’ve always said that there’re no such thing called “perfect life”. We have our own un-perfectness in life. Bisa besar, bisa kecil, tapi ketika kita di dalamnya, semua memang terasa berat. Let's do something about it!

It’s a brand new day. Let’s heal our heart, think, and do something good for our lives. May you have a good day, my friends. May you have a wonderful journey in life... *hug*

(Was posted in Facebook Notes section on Monday, March 1, 2010 at 3:54am)
www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=335099239274
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