Above All, Have Faith

The past few weeks were rather busy for me since I was roped into planning our women entrepreneurs’ group luncheon to celebrate our 6 years!

When Jo and I had this idea in June 2006, we never envisioned it to grow to more than 50 members plus a database of 200 or so non-members (those who do not yet qualify to join us).

Anyway, that is over and done with – our anniversary celebration last Saturday was a tiring effort on all fronts.

You know it’s never fun to be on the organizing committee. I only managed to eat a bowl of piping hot crab noodles before being called to do 101 things. Griping aside, I must admit I am kinda proud that the little group of five ladies we started has turned into something to be reckoned with in Penang.

While it was a success with a full turnout of ladies in their glittering best on a rainy Saturday, I felt that we could have done much more as a team.

Teamwork is always crucial in any event planning. I felt disappointed at some people’s attitudes.  You know how right it is that you only see the person’s true colours when that person is under stress or tight deadlines.

I came away contemplative.

I came away looking at some people with new eyes.

Some shone under pressure. They were brilliant in planning and execution. Some stepped up, right from the start.

Yet there were also some who brought their worry into the group.

They didn’t want to participate.

I told Pauline, let them be. We’d just have to do without them then. (I must tell you then of my cabbages and brocolli* theory. More of this later.)

And above all, have faith.

Because she was worried sick about ticket sales. As the organizing chairlady, she was in charge of paying full fees for the hotel ballroom even if we failed to sell our tickets.

In looking back, I realized I learnt this “having faith” idea from my Christian friends. I have so many of them that I’ve lost count. My best friend is a Catholic, did I tell you that? So I grew up hearing about her church activities and more.

A few of my good friends in Penang are Catholics. Many more are from various churches in and around Penang.

Faith was a word I have heard many times.

Until you experience it, it remains just that. A word.

Faith is about doing your best, your utmost, and then letting it go into the hands of someone, something that is far bigger and more powerful than ourselves. You can call it God. I call it the Cosmic Universe. I call it the Unknown Presence sometimes.

Faith is about helping ourselves so that someone else may help us. It could be indirect help. Or divine help.

When we hit our break-even ticket sale mark, Pauline was the first to let us know. And I was truly happy for her.

For in helping her sell tickets (and get sponsors and lucky draw contributors), we have all learnt something precious. That each of us has the ability to do more than we think we can.

We can challenge ourselves and we can make things happen. That’s what makes us all walk a little straighter. That’s what makes us more confident, more aware of the wondrous things we could do, if we put our minds to it.

For the naysayers who stood silent, who bit their lips, who worried instead of getting down to work, they may not have learnt anything.

And that’s really a pity.

Because the way I see it, an event like this (or any other event for that matter) is just a vehicle to test us all. Could we put ourselves away and do something for the greater good?

Far too many people can be negative. Being negative won’t help things run along.

Taking action and trying your best can.

When Kim jokingly said that from now onwards we’d all have withdrawal symptoms, I’d raised my eyebrows. No way. I had put aside a bunch of business stuff to do when I was roped into the planning committee.

Now I had to get back into putting my own stuff in order. Pending projects (eerrrkkk), clients I needed to meet for discussions and generally, my own self-development (you know, reading and learning).

I have faith.

And I hope, whatever you are going through right now, that you have faith too.

Things will get better!

P/S: *Oh yes, my cabbages and broccoli theory which Nic had laughed about just the other day. When I was 19, I had my teenage heart broken when the boy whom I liked turned out to be such a jerk – he had no guts to break up with me face to face; he did it on the phone! Worse, he had called my best friend, yes, that Catholic girl, and told her he was going to break up with me (she had introduced him to me).

Luckily my best friend called another best friend and they drove to my house at midnight, hoping to break the news gently to me before that boy called. Unfortunately, they were too late. So they lounged around my porch while I was on the phone, being “broken up” with! They were sweet.

He was a bum and a spineless worm (and thank god I didn’t marry him). Anyway, I told them later that it was a cabbages and broccoli thing.  My theory was if someone preferred cabbages, so be it. (Ahem, I was the broccoli in the analogy.) In my mind, if you preferred one thing over another, so be it. Just don’t regret eating cabbages all your life. I was going to be so damn “broccoli” that he would regret it for the rest of his life that he didn’t desire me.

Yes, I was a bit mad like that in my youth.

I have lived using this philosophy since then. I would never go begging someone to be my friend/lover/client; in fact, I’d make myself so attractive/smart/irresistible that those who’d scoffed would regret it sooner or later. That was the ultimate revenge.

It took a break-up for me to create my philosophy but it helped soothe a broken heart (which actually was healed when I met husband-to-be during  my first semester in USM!). So there. Strange but true.

Cabbages and broccoli. Tell me if you think I’m mad.

0 replies
  1. pelf
    pelf says:

    Since the first day I stepped into the world of turtle research AND CONSERVATION, I found myself thrown into life-long-committee of fund-raising. I have organized and implemented many fund-raising activities for our turtle work, but the one thing that I have not yet dared venture into, is organizing a gala dinner (because I sort of know what’s involved, LOL).

    So yeah, I take my hat off to you and your team for successfully pulling off anniversary event, and cheers to many more wonderful years in the future! <3

    Reply
    • Maya
      Maya says:

      Hi Pelf – Organizing a gala dinner or lunch is something we can do once in a blue moon! ;-) Too much and it saps all your energy especially all that running around. Perhaps I am an optimistic person. I can see the good that has come out of this event. Perhaps I have to be optimistic or else I’ll go screaming at some people. LOL. Hey, fundraising is still a lot of work too. I can see that you’re deeply involved in saving turtles and that is amazing. People don’t think about animals much these days except if they have pets and even so, it’s all about their pets (a.k.a “kids”). Your work and your beliefs will help generations of turtles live long and free.

      Reply
  2. petite nyonya
    petite nyonya says:

    haha, nice post! as long as that cabbage & broccoli thing works for you, that’s all that matters. i got my heart broken at 19 too. but it’s the best heartbreak that happened to me. coz then i met my BFF and married him! wooohhhoooo!

    faith…hmmm…yes, it remains a word for as long as what you hope for hasn’t been achieved. to counter any potential disappointments in FAITH, yes letting go is its best remedy.

    Reply
    • Maya
      Maya says:

      Hi Petite Nyonya: Haha, yes, my silly analogies about life and living. Me too. I guess if I didn’t have my heart broken, I wouldn’t have even considered Nic when I met him during my first semester on campus. How things turn out in retrospect!

      Reply

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