A Falling Leaf Returns To Its Roots (落叶归根)

As a result of societal unrest and prolonged famine, Mr Liew Fei Ru (刘辉如, 广东省, 梅州人), my grandfather left his beloved family and home in Gongzhou (公州) village in Dapu (大埔), Meizhou (梅州), Guangdong (广東) in 1903.

He took a long drive to the port in Guangdong and set sail to seek for a better life in Malaysia.

In his heart of heart, he wanted to find the “pot of gold” that the human traffickers promised him.

“Someday,” he promised his family, “I’ll be back to give all of you a better life.”

After that day, my grandfather never made it back to his village. He never saw his family and other loved ones again.

My grandfather died a tragic death.

As a physician, he was once called upon to provide medical treatment to guerillas in the tropical jungle of Malaysia. These soldiers were fighting the Japanese who were occupying Southeast Asia at that point.

My grandfather was betrayed by one of his men and he died in an ambush. His dream was buried with him.

About 89 years later, my family and I decided to go on an expedition to visit my ancestral home and village.

I wanted to find out more about my grandfather and discover his home and his past life. I hoped to have a better understanding of our ethnic group.

The Chinese has a saying that a falling leaf will return to its roots (落叶归根).

In essence, it means that we have attachments in our life, especially to our home and our family.

After being away for a long time, we long for our family and want to return back to them.

That’s how I felt when I went to see my grandfather’s house and visit our ancestral village.

My grandfather’s old house was still standing but it was abandoned and left to derelict and ruin.

As I walked from room to room, I could feel the presence of my grandfather. I could feel what he had to go through to bid farewell to his loved ones.

I felt like I was eavesdropping on different conversations that happened more than eighty years ago.

Tears were flowing down my grandfather’s cheek as he assured his wife and his family that he would be back. “Wait for me.”

There was a room with two candles and a table facing a window. I stood at the doorway staring at the scene for a long time.

In my mind, I could see my learned grandfather writing farewell letters to his former classmates and friends.

“We would meet again and share many more stories and laughters.

“Soon.”

The window looked out to a hill that my cousin told me belonged to my grandfather’s family.

Our ancestors were buried in that hill, some of which tombstones oversaw the house and the village. It was like my ancestors had never left and were watching over their home and descendants.

For the next two days, my family and I walked around the hill and the village.

Although we do not believe in ancestral worship, we paid our respect to those who came before us.

Without our ancestors’ sacrifices and contribution, where would we be? Could we have what we are enjoying today?

My family and I visited the school, the town, the sights around the village.

We tasted Hakka food and spoke with the people who lived and worked in the village.

As I reflected on the trip, I can’t help being inspired by my grandfather and various experiences.

I was reminded that what matters in life may not be made of matters. What counts may be not be counted.

This is a paradox of life.

As you travel on the journey of life, you seek all manners of wealth and riches. In the final hours, they matter little to you.

You pursue personal achievement and success but you cannot carry them beyond your grave. Who you are and what you have accomplished cannot extend another minute of your life.

What you strive and fight for will not matter. Vengeance, hatred, and resentment will become meaningless in the grand scheme of life.

Failure and success will not be important anymore. I’m All your dreams and aspirations will disappear.

Everything that you have acquired will be passed on to some other people. Whatever you carry with you will be buried or cremated together with your body.

The things which you hold dear will eventually be buried by the sands of time.

What really counts in your life is not just your capability but also your character. It’s not just about your tenacity but also about your integrity. .

It’s not just about the image you portray but also about what others perceive of you. It’s not just about recognition you seek but the respect you earn from others.

It’s not just about what you have done but also what became of you and the others after you have done it. It’s not about the quantity of your possession but the quality of your contribution.

It’s not just about the position you hold but also your compassion for people. It’s not about having more power but whether you care for the people around you.

It’s not just about what you have but also what you gave. It’s not what you have achieved but what others have received from you

It’s not about prestige but the privilege to serve a wider community. It’s not about the pleasure of life but the treasure that will outlast a lifetime.

It’s not about what you will miss in life but whether people will miss you when you are gone. It’s not about just about making a living but about living a life that makes a positive difference.

It’s not about the kind of world you are living in but whether you will leave the world a better place than when you first came to it.

It’s not about what you know but how you use what you know to turn the world around you into a better home.

That’s the kind of roots you want the leaves to return to for generations to come.

This leaf is returning back to its roots…

Go4It!

I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg

Visit my Inspiration blog at https://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/

Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net

Let’s connect on instagram.com/patrickliewsg
– via @patrickliewsg

https: //twitter.com/patrickliew77
– via @patrickliew77

My LinkedIn
http://www.linkedin.com/in/liewpatrick

Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

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About Patrick Liew
About Patrick Liew Patrick Liew MBA, MSc, BSc is the Managing Partner of Global Enterprise Exchange Pte. Ltd.. He is also the founder and director of Success Resources, arguably the world’s largest personal development seminar organiser and a major shareholder of a company, which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. He was previously the Executive Chairman and CEO of HSR Global Ltd., a publicly listed company on SGX-ST. Previously, he was the regional director of the Gartner Group, providing strategic advisory and planning services to governments, banks and MNCs. He was also the regional head of sales and marketing operation for Dow Jones Telerate. Patrick graduated with a BSc in Estate Management from Heriot Watt University, an MSc with emphasis in global business and marketing from The City University Of New York, and an MBA from Henley Business School / Brunel University. He has also earned more than nine other professional qualifications. Patrick is arguably the first person to develop a multimedia e-learning programme on entrepreneurship. He authored a Chinese book on business systems and was also the co-author of a Times Bookshop best-selling book. Patrick has conducted both ‘brick and mortar’ and online lessons for participants from more than 60 countries. He has also conducted keynote presentations in many international conferences, including being the first Singaporean to teach at the National Association of Realtors. Through his team at Success Resources, Patrick has organised educational conferences for prominent leaders such as President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Tony Blair, Michael Porter, Richard Branson, Robert Kiyosaki, Donald Trump, and many other prominent leaders. Patrick provides leadership and advisory services to many professional and charity organisations. He is actively involved in supporting humanitarian, philanthropic and charity causes. He has organised three fund-raising events and in the process, help to set three national records in the Singapore Books Of Records. Patrick won the Entrepreneur Of the Year Award For Social Contribution, the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Award, and six other business awards. Patrick believes the best way to live your life is to live your life for others. The more you reach out to bless other lives, the richer and better your life will become. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A Personal Note to my Friends The articles that I post online; or what I term as Love Notes, are written with the purpose of inspiring readers to live at a higher plane in life. They are also meant to motivate those who are struggling in life and help them find handlers to overcome their conflicts and challenges. It is my ardent hope that we will form networks and alliances of like-minded people who will put to right many of the wrongs in our midst. Together, we will leverage on each other's resources and create a synergistic impact in making our world a better home. These articles are written as part of regular reflection about the vicissitudes of life. They are at best work in progress and at worst, grumblings, grouses, and gripings of a finite old man. I have deliberately decided NOT to delete many of the articles and pointers that I may not agree with or are outrightly wrong. This is to keep a record of how my personal ideas, beliefs, and values have evolved over time. In addition, I hope to encourage readers by letting them know that I also make mistakes and am struggling with many of the complexity and complication in life. As long as we hang on to hope and work on finding a solution, there will be light at the end of whatever tunnel we are in. I do not pretend to know everything or for that matter, anything of substance. In fact, the more I study, learn, and think about the vast wisdom and knowledge out there, the more I realised how little I know about life and the ways of life. Hence, I have always ended my article by asking readers to continue to teach me. For I, too, am a sojourner in the exploration of truth and the adventure of finding meaning, purpose, and significance for my existence. I am proud of and make no apology for being a Christian, albeit not the most exemplary one. I believe our Creator can lead and guide us to be the best that we can ever be. I bear full responsibility for the shortcoming and error in my life, including my words. The fault is entirely mine and not due to anyone else. Readers have and can exercise the power of choice. They can discard what will not work for them and adopt those that can propel them further and faster in the pursuit of better performance, outcomes, and fulfillment. If I have disappointed or hurt you in any way, form, or manner, I would like to apologise to you. Please do not hold them against me or whoever or whatever is related to me. There are much to pray about, learn, and do. And I'll work on them with a sense of urgency. I hold on to the belief that 'Anything worth doing is worth doing with passion and excellence'. I'll endeavour to live by it. Life is short. There's no dress rehearsal and neither can we turn back the clock to change the drama of life. Therefore, by the grace and power of our Creator, let's live a full life and live it to the fullest. May God bless you abundantly on the journey of life. Your online servant, Patrick Liew I hope this message will find a place in your heart. By the way, I have also recorded other reflections. Please 'Like' me on https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg Visit my Inspiration blog at https://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/ For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/ Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net Please read my reflection and continue to teach me. Life is FUNtastic!

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