To Live Is Supreme: Resonance with Yu Juan’s Story

Last week’s story on Yu Juan set off quite a buzz among my readers.

A reader with the name Tiger from Singapore compared Yu’s story to the Chinese movie 活着 To Live. 巩俐 Gong Li played the leading role in it. I suppose if your woman was as cute as Gong you would want to live a long time too.

Another reader Simon from Toronto, Canada, sent me a YouTube on Randy Pausch. He was the Carnegie Mellon professor who gave the famous last lecture shortly before his death. Pausch was a self-promoter to the end, but this salesman loved it.

活著都是特別日子The most interesting thing came an hour BEFORE I sent out my story to the readers. An old friend Chris from Hong Kong e-mailed me a video titled 活著就是特別的日子 A Living Day Is A Special Day. Watch the clip when you have time. It’s 1,000 times more entertaining than my stories. The video is in Chinese with beautiful pictures. Even if you don’t read Chinese, you will enjoy the imagery and its subliminal message.

I have something to confess here. I try to sound upbeat, logical, happy, silly and even intelligent sometimes in my writing every week, week after week. That’s make-believe. I am not always that up and happy. Being always happy is not possible unless you are on drugs. But I do want to feel happy most of the time. So I wrote about Yu Juan to remind myself how happiness was done.

I have my fair share of mundane problems. Do you think I worry about money? All the time. Nervous about my kids’ future? Every day. Death? I am scared to … death. My health? Where do I begin? Marital relationship? Let’s not even go there unless you are a shrink and you want to charge me by the hour. My problems go on and on …

I hope you see what I am driving at here. We all have problems, lots of problems. That’s a given ingredient of life. But are they worse than the fatal diseases that Yu Juan and Randy Pausch contracted? Probably not; I pray not. Few people are as strong as Yu and Pausch. But we may want to think about how they embraced life whenever we are so stressed out that we can’t take it anymore.

So you are depressed in your retirement because you are bored out of your wits? Worse yet, you are down because your Facebook stock took a dive of 20% on the first day of the IPO? Sure, these things hurt. But think about Yu and Pausche. Think about Gong — that should give you a cheer or two.

Before you so easily immerse yourself in melancholy, there must be something left in life that’s enjoyable. Here are some suggestions. Give someone a hug. Sing karaoke like you are in a shower. Go shopping for that Louis Vuitton that you always wanted but felt guilty buying. Not interested? How about moving to an exotic place like Tibet to teach children English and accounting so that they will grow up multi-lingual and shrewd and make lots of money for themselves and their children? That’s worth something, isn’t it?

For me, I look forward to writing another gossip story. If it forces a chuckle out of a reader, I’ll be happy. If it bothers her enough to write me, that’s bonus. Life can be fun. Happy living!

P.S. A word of thanks: This week’s article was written with lots of technical help from my good friends Anthony Kwan and Chris Ng.

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