the hug

While on the way home…

Noticed 2 individuals along the walkway. One a blind singer, the other a tissue seller with really thin legs. Gave some coins to the singer, and went over to pass a dollar to the tissue seller.

The tissue seller looked happy but indicated that the tissue packet was worth 2 dollars.

And I thought 1 dollar was quite a pricey sum already.

So I asked, “Can I give you the dollar? I don’t want the tissue.”

The tissue seller shook his head. He indicated for me to take the tissue, and took the dollar. He then opened his arms as if asking for a hug, and said, “bao bao”.

I wasn’t sure what to do next, but I trusted my instincts that he meant well. So I went just that bit closer, and he leaned over to give me a hug. It was really a strong one near the neck, and I couldn’t help panicking for a bit.

Within a few moments, the hug was done. I was free to leave with the tissue packet. As I type this down, I wonder what it meant, and hope all the best for him.


Just being there for another person

Was talking to a lady friend today when I sensed in her an undercurrent of regret & helplessness, underneath her smiles & cheerful demeanor. I pointed this out to her & switched to listening. as in really listening. Not merely for the words, but really be with her no matter what she has to say. She must have sensed it for she started going off in tangents, saying things that must have made total sense to her but nothing logical to a random passer-by. After a couple of minutes, she thanked me for listening, even though I probably didn’t understand a word of it and I don’t. Active listening is a skill I learnt as a coach, which I don’t practice enough. Feeling thankful that it has helped in a conversation, where I didn’t even have to say a thing, except to wave her goodbye & wish her a great day :)


“I now see how gifts like courage, compassion, and connection only work when they are exercised. Every day.” ~ Brene Brown

Every moment we have is a precious gift

There’s a wake at a house very near to my place. Plucked up my courage again, went up to give my condolences to the family. Because I feel it is the right thing to do. But because I have never met them before,even as I stepped up, I didn’t know what to say really, and who to approach.

Somehow I got their attention. The mum appreciated it very much when I said I am a neighbour who lives just down the street. The family later shared with me how the father, who is really still quite young, had passed away suddenly & unexpectedly, and no one really accept that he is gone just like that.

As we talked for over an hour, I sensed that this is a family who care for one another, & the parents worked really hard for the family business. They realised that every moment is really precious, one really cannot foresee when the end will come, and there’s time for work, there’s also time to rest – ultimately, health is key. All the money in the world cannot bring a person back; it is better to live life happily, rest well & be with love ones.

All good reminders really. All of us may know & understand them, but how often do we actually do them? Don’t wait till it’s too late to do what you want to do, or say what you want to say. Because the present is a gift, and the future is never guaranteed.