For a Good Friend

I usually like to write in Chinese because that’s my mother tongue and I express myself better. I am writing this in English for my good friend R in the US. She’s a Chinese but unfortunately her Chinese is quite… er…… Let me put it this way, her spoken Chinglish is probably much better than her reading Chinese. If I write this in Chinese, she probably read like 梅豔芳 in 審死官and got lost with lots of X and O in the charaters =P

What inspires me to write this is the fact that she is going to Namibia for the Peace Corps in a month of time. When I heard it, the first thing that hit me was: where the hack is Namibia and who the hack is Peace Corps? Without checking on the Wiki, Namibia sounds like some brother or sister country of the likes of Ethiopia, Somalia, Algeria, etc, who are some of the poorest countries in the world. As for “Peace Corps”, purely guessing from its name, it looks like some kind of NGO who mostly service in developing countries and particularly focused on maintaining the order in the countries.

The R that I know has surprised me a lot of times. When I first met her in school, I would have never guessed that she was actually a Computer Science major; nor knowing how she’s an ABC but yet with the strong traditional Chinese value; nor believing she would be running in a half marathon before I even have the courage to enrolled for a 10k; and now actually and seriously heading all the way to Namibia to help others. Putting down your career in the middle of your life and getting your full body into the voluntary work, it’s tough. It’s SIMPLY T.O.U.G.H. I would even hesitate to station away from Hong Kong in Bejing or Shanghai (if it happens), away from my family and friends, and she is going to Africa alone! OMG!

People like me, who has been in this materialistic world for long enough that it has just sucked me into this black hole of modern city lifestyle. I have already sold my soul to Master Money and everyday just work my @ss off to make enough and sustain my lifestyle. Money is my goddess; Soul, sorry, has been abandoned for a long, long time. Could I ever betray Master Money and go do the things that I want to do, to just forget about the $ sign and focus on this one thing that I really want to achieve (usually this thing is called “Dream”). Nowadays a one week holiday away from Bloomberg and Reuters (but still with Blackberry) already feels like in a heaven without my handcuff for someone like me.

This is why when I learn that R is finally making to the Peace Corps, I feel really happy for her. I truly, deeply feel happy for her. I am writing this because I want to give her my encouragement, and please take my soul with you (if any left) to work hard for the people in Namibia. While not everyone know who this R is, I do hope that for people who are reading this: if you have any little passion left for your dream, do go chase for it.

I have been reading the book The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (only half way done though). It talks about how each person has his own dream – small one, big one, doesn’t matter. Dreams are never easy to achieve, and that’s why we call them “dreams”. Most of the time, we have all sorts of excuses to stop ourselves from moving another step further towards achieving it. Before Lehman went busted, I have been so busy with work that not a single minute I thought about anything but work (ops, if you are my colleague reading this, you know I am exaggerating… Anywayz…). During those 2 weeks when I was one of the abandoned kids by Henry Paulson in the wilderness, it forced me to think: What’s next now? What are my options? So am I going to stay here?

You know everyone has some moments in his life that proves to be a turning point. I feel like this is it. I am pretty sure when I look back in 2 years’ time, my path must have been different from the world where Lehman was saved.

R, my most sincere blessing to you and I look forward to meeting you some day under the clear blue sky in Namibia!

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