Rank & File Women Power

I can’t help but to highlight 3 admirable women whom I encountered; 2 of them as their customers, and 1 of them as my admirer  in my daily life. They drew a parallel as women who make the best of their lives in doing what they truly believe in.

Ah Pang

Ah Pang is just an ordinary waitress in an ordinary restaurant in KL town. Anyone would have passed her off as just another of the thousands of waiters and waitresses. However, she caught my eyes. Her swift action, alertness and energy got me to observe her. She’s 60 but her demeanour belies her ripened age. Those who are half of her age couldn’t move around like she does.  Another ‘strange’ thing I noticed about her is her occasional practice of kung fu in one corner when the crowd is light. She doesn’t wile away her time but uses this free time to keep fit and healthy even for a few seconds.

The lesson I learn from her is no matter who you are; even a low paying waitress is no deterrent to living purposefully.

Maniwati is the owner of a very unlikely business – kacang putih! She has the most thriving kacang putih buManisiness out of the other 5 in Kampung Kacang Putih in Ipoh.  She sells some of the best kacang putih around. You will surely meet her when you get into her shop. She is part of the welcoming entrance – a nice, warmth and friendly face who is very generous at heart as well. (You can help yourself to the free samples even though you may not show any sign of buying).  The environment in the store truly reflects her personality. 

No wonder, after 4 generations of selling this stuff, they are still around, and stronger and bigger than they were before.

The lesson I learned from her is it always pay to be friendly and humble; wearing a smile always should be part of my wardrobe.

Ho Ching, wife of Lee Hsien Long, the Prime Minister of Singapore, could easily be mistakenly taken as an ordinary housewife although she is one of the most powerful women in Singapore. Despite her power, intelligence and position, she is supremely ordinary and humble. I can’t helped but snapped a shot of her in the newspaper the other day when she was attending a very high level function with world leaders. She truly believed in herself so much that she was simply extraordinary by being very ordinary – dressed in an attire that reminded me of my mum in her younger days holding a simple purse that one can easily purchase at any shopping outlet.

The lesson I learnt from her is ‘who cares’; you live for yourself and no one else as long as you don’t cheat, insult or do harm to anyone.

Look around you, and spot someone you can admire and learn from. It’s better than any university can teach you!

The Greatest Show of Love and Sacrifice

Laura 1

I feel so touched meeting up with Laura Tan after some 6 years.  We had so much to catch up when she stayed at my place, narrating about her life on what she was actually doing.  It was tales of a different kind.  She was not holidaying in some exotic parts of the world, nor was she in some high paying jobs that required her to work with no opportunities to meet up with old friends like us.

The ‘occupation’ she had been doing for the last 6 years was devoting herself full-time to single-handedly care and attend to every need – from kitchen to toilets –  of her ageing parents.  Although she is still young with more than 2 decades of hospitality experience at a very senior level, she chose the route of being a unpaid caretaker in the house, instead of working and getting paid handsomely in some corporate organisation.

Laura and Mum

She has now finally completed this mission of hers as the last part of her responsibility ended after her dad’s passing on to meet his wife (Laura’s mum) in heaven who went there 2 years ago.

To me, this is the highest order of love that one rarely gets to hear these days.  More so, when it’s a professional who is still in her active working years who took up this responsibility which is often regarded as unproductive, boring, taxing and very heavy.  In fact, such onerous tasks are often relegated to nurses or actual care givers for a fee. However, Laura certainly demonstrates this ‘live’ by action, and not just word

This is indeed a love that is hard to describe especially when we hear of children who send their ageing parents to old folk’s home instead of allowing them to stay with them.  What is even disheartening is that these children, aside from paying the monthly charges, seldom or never visit their parents after that.

Laura’s family values of love to her parents is something that I can emulate although my parents have already passed on.  She has taught me something that is not taken from the pages of a novel, but from actual real-life experiences.

We need to teach our children so that they embrace such values when it is time for them to care for us when we can no longer move around much.

Thanks, Laura, for showing this greatest love. I’m sure your parents are sending their blessings of success and happiness to you as you get onto the mainstream of life again.  May God bless you always!