I have mixed feelings about Valentine’s Day. On one hand I applaud anything that celebrates love, on the other I feel bad for those who don’t happen to be in a love relationship on Valentines day.
I’m thinking of a friend that sent a humorous (but not really funny) plea for a valentines card and another who posted a (again not so funny) video of a guy putting alcohol in a trolley with the caption, “what I’ll be doing for Valentine’s”. For the bereaved or those trying to overcome a broken relationship, or even just the “less desirable” Valentine’s day can be painful. The greedy marketeers don’t help either.
Would I like to abandon it? No, but adapt it maybe. I’m remembering folks who celebrate it well. My Chinese son in law that would always order two lots of roses one for my daughter and one for me, my grandson who asked his mum if he could send granny flowers too, or a pastor heading up a youth camp who bought a rose for every woman on staff married or not.
I’ve always felt there were two kinds of “love” the kind that looks inward and becomes obsessive, jealous, restrictive, (not really love) and the good kind that begins in two hearts and overflows its bounty on others. When Valentines Day celebrates the second it can be a wonderful time. After all there are so many ways love is found and expressed not only being “in love”.
Do I have a valentine? Sure do!
He paints the sky in the glorious colours of sunrise to greet my day, He creates the flowers poking their tiny heads through the winter earth. I am blessed by such love. Happy Valentine’s Day!
If you don’t enjoy getting up and working and finishing your work and sitting down to a meal with family or friends, then the chances are that you’re not going to be very happy. If someone bases his happiness or unhappiness on major events like a great new job, huge amounts of money, a flawlessly happy marriage or a trip to Paris, that person isn’t going to be happy much of the time. If, on the other hand, happiness depends on a good breakfast, flowers in the yard, a drink or a nap, then we are more likely to live with quite a bit of happiness.
(“Stolen” from my friend’s face book page – a long term UK Chinese resident)
Six facts about the Year of Monkey (Xinhua) in the Chinese culture. February 8, 2016.
The Chinese zodiac comprises 12 animals – mouse, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig – all fixed in that order on a 12-year cycle, and each related to one of 12 Terrestrial Branches. Ranked the ninth, the monkey is related to Shen Terrestrial Branch, and seen as a symbol of vitality and wit.
The Year of the Monkey follows the current Year of the Sheep, an animal many consider passive and docile. The monkey is more favored by prospective parents, because many believe babies born in the Year of the Monkey will be energetic, self-assured, sociable, smart and innovative.
The most famous monkey in the Chinese culture, the Monkey King features in the classic Chinese legend Journey to the West. He had many supernatural powers and was responsible for protecting a well-known pilgrim in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) on a journey to retrieve the Buddhist sutras from India.
The Monkey King stands for bravery, sincerity and the power to fight evil. In Fujian Province, he is worshipped as a guardian of families.
The Monkey King is also the hero of many traditional operas, movies and TV series. One series on Journey to the West has been broadcast more than 3,000 times by various TV stations since 1986.
A stamp issued in 1980, the Year of the Monkey, is now priced at 12,000 yuan (about $1,800) each, but the face value printed is only 8 cents (about 1 US cent). It is one of the most prized stamps among collectors.
Many other countries also have issued stamps to celebrate the new year. This year, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Japan, France and Canada are among those issuing their own monkey stamps.
Made familiar in the monkey master in Kung Fu Panda, the monkey is an important symbol in the world of Chinese martial arts. The school of Monkey Boxing derives from the gestures of monkeys. The moves are agile and swift, with some of them even imitating the monkey in real life.
SYMBOL OF HIGH POSITION
The Chinese character for monkey is very similar to that for powerful men or high positions, and they are both pronounced “hou.” So in the Chinese culture they are closely connected, as the monkey was considered an auspicious symbol for high social status, such as government officials or royalty.
In Chinese pinyin, “a monkey on a horse” is similar to “be promoted to a higher position immediately”. Such combinations can often be found in folk arts, such as sculptures, paper-cuts and paintings.
MASCOT FOR GOOD HEALTH
The monkey is considered a symbol of health and longevity, as many kinds of monkeys have white beards like old men.
In ancient China, people also believed that monkeys were sensitive to the plague. Traders and merchants often traveled with a monkey to protect their horses from diseases.
(In case you are wondering, I’m not a monkey but a rabbit -main attributes sexy and loyal – I can live with that! lol!)
Sometimes we are made to feel guilty,but really it is upside down and inside out.
Whether you believe we are a creation of God or a random bleep of evolution the concept remains. “In the beginning” everything was free. You had to earn it in a sense by foraging, hunting, farming or building, but nothing was owned. Now corporations want to sell us our own water (pretty soon they’ll start bottling the air!)
The basic math is if some take more than they need others have less (and some folks can sure be greedy!)This world belongs to us all, not just the multi national corps. the corrupt politicians that rule or those shadowy figures that lurk behind the scenes pulling the strings.
It was not this way in the beginning and it will not be this way in the end. I’m not against the rich if they use their money in a benevolent way, care for their workers, produce ethical, quality goods, but to a large degree world economics doesn’t work that way.
That’s why I’m so adamantly against the extreme promotion of evolution in our schools.This generation are being taught if you are stronger you have an evolutionary right to prey on the weaker, it’s just nature. I seem to remember Hitler being big on that!
That’s also why I would embrace Christian ethics even were I not a believer. It contradicts evolution, teaching that the strong should care for the weak.
Feeling nostalgic looking at the many pictures my daughter and family in China are posting. I can almost taste the food… sigh! You don’t get real Chinese food in the west it has all been adapted.
(It’s the year of the monkey this year by the way.)
Yes, in spite of my former up beat post, instead of a quick knock out punch this flu went several rounds lasting a whole week and leaving behind an annoying urinary tract infection as a departing gift.
Ugh! You think too much information. I agree, very hard on the pride (not the kind of thing you want to mention). It’s also quite restricting I discovered (always needing to be within 2 mins. of a bathroom makes life challenging.)But now it’s finally beaten life is sweet. I have a whole bunch of stuff I’m so thankful for that I never appreciated before, not least being able to get a wonderful refreshing night’s sleep ah! Life is good!
“When is the devil being beaten? Well, not when we feel great and confident, when it looks like wonderful things are happening… No. The devil is being defeated when we are feeling attacked and under the gun, when we feel weak and helpless and do not know what to do, when we are not sure how to respond, when in our perplexities and sense of weakness we come before the Lord and plead with him for strength to go on one more day, and for grace to help us stand.” —Ray Stedman
Boy oh boy I can really attest to this one! That’s when the big victories are won! A particular instance comes to mind. We’d been private teaching in east Taiwan, a tropical paradise. All needs were met for our little family and life was easy.
Then came an urgent call for my husband to take up a post in the south. Long story, but basically having passed on all classes and given notice to leave our beautiful house within the week, the whole thing fell through at the last minute. We couldn’t go back, couldn’t go forward, we tried everything to no avail. My husband collapsed under the strain and sank into deep depression. It was all left on my shoulders along with four kids. I recall lying on my back in total mental exhaustion saying “Jesus,I can’t do this. Help us!”
The phone rang. Amazingly a friend of my husband heard be were moving and asked was there any way we could baby sit his apartment and cover his classes while he was away in the US. Within five minutes we had a place to stay, a steady income and 6 weeks to find our feet in Taipei (which we did).
This has happened so many times that I tend to give a sigh of relief when faced with desperate impossibilities. I know that’s when I’m finally out of the way and God can take over.
“Remember that you have only one soul; that you have only one death to die. … If you do this, there will be many things about which you care nothing.”
—Saint Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), Spanish nun, mystic, and writer