The Secret to Great Relationships begin with the letter ‘R’

I was watching a video titled “boy slaps his brother with the ipad” that has been showing up in various Facebook posts lately, and couldn’t help thinking of you boys.

While I think it’s perfectly normal for brothers to occasionally get onto each others’s nerves (mum and dad do the same too), the behaviors exhibited by the brothers in the video isn’t OK.  I’m thankful that this hasn’t happened at our home, although it reminds me of the frequent ‘mutual irritation’ that occurs between the two of you.

I want you to know that there is one fundamental ingredient that when missing in a relationship, will most definitely spell T-R-O-U-B-L-E.  This applies to all kinds of relationships, be it between siblings, parents and children, couples, friends, neighbours, or colleagues.

What is this secret ingredient that is vital to having great relationships?

Just remember the first letter in ‘relationship’ … ‘R’ for R-E-S-P-E-C-T.  Put in another way, without mutual respect, relationship won’t work.  To respect another is to honor his or her dignity and choices.  And when you genuinely respect a person, you will also avoid behaving in disrespectful manners such as criticizing, blaming, complaining, irritating, making fun of, shaming, threatening, and inflicting physical, psychological, or emotional harm.  Are you guilty of any of the above? Simply STOP doing it, BE respectful, and experience the magic that such simple changes can bring to your relationships, especially with people who matter to you.

Love,

Your Respectful Dad

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Let there be PEACE on earth.

It’s Day One of a brand new year – a rare occasion in which the 1st of January falls on a Sunday.  This year, New Year’s Day takes on a new meaning for me too, as I learnt from today’s mass that the 1st of January is also the day Christians celebrate the naming of Jesus.

I left the service with two things. The first, is the significance of living up to one’s name.  As you grow up, do remember the meaning of your Chinese name, and periodically review if you are living in a manner that is consistent with the name that your mother and I have thoughtfully chosen for you.

The second, is the powerful lyrics of the final hymn that we sang today, which begins with … “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.”  Enjoy this beautiful version and may the voice of this little girl inspire you to BE the beginning of Peace on earth!

Love,

Your Peaceful Dad

Life isn’t a race.

With less than an hour to 2012 … and the final countdown about to begin, I feel a little anxious about 2011 coming to a close.  The clock is ticking. The heart is beating faster. One final post for the year. What do I have say to you boys?

Families that play together stay together!

Having just spent a wonderful holiday with the family over the last few days, what came to mind is this … Son, I want you to know that life is not a race.  You don’t get extra credit or ‘karma points’ getting from ‘here’ to ‘there’ in the shortest possible time.

Life is a journey to be enjoyed, experienced, and fully lived. So, take time to smell the roses, land a helping hand, smile to your neighbours, do what you love, love what you do, take the road less travelled, do some silly stuffs, have some fun, and above all, enjoy the present moment, especially moments that you share with your loved ones.

Someday, when you have a family of your own, be sure to make time to play with them. Think of the countless moments of fun that we had shared, and remember that “Families that play together stay together.”

Love,

Your Playful Dad

Blood is thicker than water.

Waterfall in Batu Pahat

As I watched the two of you having fun together over the last two days … trekking to the waterfalls in Batu Pahat, swimming and Sumo wrestling at Port Dickson, it made me think of my relationship with my own brother.

Uncle Kelly (a.k.a. Big Big uncle) and I are nine years apart, and we grew up in two drastically different worlds. He spends most of his life in our hometown, while I have been away for more than half my life, only to return as an occasional visitor.  We are like two distinct species of fish – freshwater vs. saltwater.  But no matter how different we are, once in a while, when we meet again, I could still sense the special bond between us.

Such occasional experiences had me convinced that blood is indeed thicker than water. I hope that someday, you will understand what this old saying means, especially when you grow apart from one another.  And I have faith that the good times you have spent playing and fighting with each other during your younger years will forge the bond that will hold your brotherly ties for good.

Grand Lexis - Port Dickson

Promise me that you will love and care for one another, no matter what, OK?

Love,

Your Brotherly Dad

The Sumo Brothers