He aha te mea nui? He tangata. He tangata. He tangata. (Maori)
What ranks as the highest in my appreciation for the world is people.
It is people that uphold my love of life itself.
Humans have created wondrous civilisations which leave behind monuments of deep, ancient cultures - full of beauty and wisdom that inspire awe;
Humans have also demonstrated an incomparable ability to pave a path of collateral damage, self-destruction, unsustainable lifestyle, bottomless gluttony, downright deceitfulness, heartless cruelty, lies and manipulation that turn into constant chaos.
Still, it is the people, it is the people, it is the people that make this human life worthwhile.
It is the people that eternalise the brevity of my mortality, stretch the memory of a moment to an infinite afterglow, awaken a pursuit of the greater and better good that I believe is in all of us.
This is a collection of friendly wisdom. I claim no truth. For I don't think I know better than anyone else. I’m no writer, so I collected stories gathered from a mere sample of the best people I know, who don’t mind sharing them. They appear in this book because they were willing to contribute, to share with you their feelings about life in this world. And I was lucky to have been able to get in touch with them, listen to them, be in awe by the person-hood they had each revealed.
The conversations for this project unravelled stories I would have never gotten to know, had there not been this setting that allowed me to hear them talk -- about what’s most personal to them, and what's closest to their hearts. I wish I could listen to all my friends share each of their visions and worldview.
Fact is, everyone has untold wisdom, and lots and lots of stories to tell.
Even the most foolish ones, even the most troubled.
I don’t possess smart sarcasm, nor the quality of cunning cynicism to undervalue any single soul.
For I find, even with the people I’ve gotten to dislike the most, disrespect and despise a lot - they are the very ones who have helped me grow, taught me the most, by hurting me unknowingly, or provoking therefore awakening an important part of myself. I would have liked to, talk to them, and thank them. For there is so much to learn through them.
My friends, on a positive and inspirational level, are all people who love loving people, are all trying to create the best for people, and continuously fight to build the world they have envisioned.
My friends, just like yours, have all lived through great ups and downs - such a short sentence, yet it comprises so much unseen tears, frustrations, heartaches, untold struggles.
They are such respectable beings. I honor each of them - for being the people they are today, for having fought hard as soldiers of life in the past, as they will continue to do in the future. I love them more, and feel honored by them - for having known them and being their friend - having been in the audience seat and hear them talk.
I know you too have many a friends whom you love, and respect, with all your heart. And I hope, in the years to come, you will get to know them more and better, and in so doing, appreciate them more and better.
There are many common threads I found in all of the talks I’ve shared with my friends.
People are all in need of help
(And I think, you should especially pay attentive care to those that are always trying to help others out);
The evermore battle for a real life - a life that is full of meaning, truth and health - against the one that is far worse off, faked or compelled;
Depression - a darkness that hides behind the widest and brightest smiles, either abused as an excuse for unhealthy choices, actions and lifestyle, or completely undetectable or unknown, even to family members, close friends or acquaintance;
Resistance - to an established system, or a system of thinking/living/being;
The ever-insatiable desire to travel. - And it is only natural.
For we naturally yearn to feel fully present as a small but important part of the bigger, wider universe; we are born to experience life in the truest realm of living - as a being in nature; we are alive in order for us to learn, and engage better with our fellow earthlings in this beautiful home called Earth;
And last but not least: the love of people: regardless of their identity or circumstances.
One important thing that everyone pointed out is the need for people to talk to each other.
The interface over internet technologies, & the ways of materialist lifestyle, altogether form barriers that shield us from gaining true human contact, and forming deep connections with each other. But we know that it is the physical interface with each other that paints our lives with palpable colors of happiness that can truly fulfill us deep down.
So please, talk to each other.
Even if some are not inclined to.
Talk to each other more -
on a personal level and as equals.
Learn from each other, and learn from anyone at all.
Continue savouring this world.
What a paradoxically perilous & wonderful place it is afterall.
For life is not about how much money you earn, generate, accumulate, save, brandish around, or, let’s put it plainly: hog.
It’s about by what proportions, with whom, and how you share, and define your wealth.
Care for one another.
Make a habit of expressing your love: in the best way you know how.
Do the things you must do today now.
Don’t delay what’s really important till tomorrow,
when it might turn into a regret for a long time to come.