Start by doing the hardest thing……

01 March 2020.

It was just a matter of a wink of an eye and it is now first day of March 2020.

Year 2020 didn’t really start off quite well for the world, as we witnessed China slumped into what I call a disease centre.

I feel for the Chinese, for I am a person who loves China’s sceneries, Chinese language (both spoken and written) and I have quite a few Chinese friends in China.

To the Chinese in China, the Chinese New Year mood was dampened by the outbreak of COVID-19. And to the rest of Asian countries, paranoia from the SARS outbreak 17 or 18 years ago filled the hearts of the citizens.

I sincerely pray for all COVID-19 patients to be well and that this virus will soon come under containment.

I have been chasing after Spider-Man movies in the past 1 week, starting from Amazing Spider-Man 1 and 2, followed by Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 1, 2 and 3.

In the movies, just like others, there were a few quotes which I like very much such as “with great power comes great responsibility”, something that I must agree but don’t get to witness it in reality, as least not in my immediate surroundings in the corporate world.

What really struck me this time was a quote that I didn’t notice in the past. It was Aunt May telling a guilt-ridden Peter in Spider-Man 3 to “Start by doing the hardest thing, forgive yourself.”

How many of us have ever thought of that before? I have read that many times in self motivation books, spiritual books and even Buddhism. It has never occurred to us that forgiving ourselves is the basic thing that we must do whenever we have done wrong or we feel we have done wrong.

Often, we carry the words “I forgive so and so… ” in our mouths, but do we really forgive?

Friday, I was clearing my leave that was carried forward from last year, but I didn’t really had a great day. I was kind of pissed by my manager who kept popping messages onto my phone and asked me questions, and continued to ask despite me turning on my notebook and sent him all the details.

I ended up in the swimming pool later that evening to work on my frozen shoulder which has come back after 2 years. I took the opportunity to cool myself down with the sound of the water and a short meditation by the pool.

During the swim, I chanted the Heart Sutra and attempted to let go and forgive him for disregarding the fact that I was on leave. It worked a while and then it came back, and I concluded that I never did forgive him. I had my own biased opinions of him.

One of the best definition that I have ever heard about forgive is: Forgiving a person is to accept what has happened and let go, but it doesn’t mean that the person who has brought us pain or hurt was right or we should allow it to happen again or we are weaklings

The above quote was part of a “self-love” motivation speech and I love it very much.

Taking about back to the basics, I have picked up my pencils again to start sketching. There are 3 things that I really feel proud of myself in my life — writing (mostly in Chinese), photography and drawing. Out of these 3 activities, writing was the only one that I have always loved to do but never happened till 2010 when things happened in my life.

Photography and drawing were not something that I thought I could do, but these few years, I have picked up these 2 hobbies and gone from knowing nothing to knowing at least something.

It was a drawing day for me these 2 days. I sketched Mantis (a character in Guardians of the Galaxy) yesterday which looked horrible and I decided to give another try this morning by sketching my own portrait, followed by drawing Spider-Man on my iPad Pro.

The result weren’t good as well and this triggered me to ponder very carefully whether I do know the basics or not. And so I turned to YouTube tutorials on sketching again and decided to go back to the basics.

Well, isn’t back to the basics also one of the hardest thing to do when one has acquired some knowledge in a field of interest?

Yes, so I decided to go back to basic and started to learn to sketch a realistic lips.

I used to think of a topic to write, but now I am also back to basic, writing as part of journaling, penning whatever that happens in my daily life or thoughts that just come into my mind.


Francis Lim

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