Saturday, May 05, 2007

Birthday is our sweetest day of the year

The happiest day of the year is most likely our Birthday. One can forget any day of the year but we seldom forget our own birthday. That is one day that has so much of sweetness and meaning to oneself.

I have developed an interest of remembering friends' birthday since 35 years ago. I was lucky to have worked in a trading company, which was the main distributor for 'Hallmark Cards.' Hallmark is the best available greeting cards in the world. Their slogan, "The Card That Cares, When U Want To Sent The Very Best." The American spend millions to create the best design with the most meaningful wording before each card is marketed to the rest of the world. My job was to pick and systemically ordered stocks from The State. I had the opportunity to read and admire the flowering words and meaning of those beautiful cards. Words are powerful. They could create a sense of joy, pride and happiness. If is written negatively, it creates a sense of sorrowfulness and sadness too.

The only card that I love sending is birthday card and not festival or seasonal cards. I believe seasonal cards are too commercialised, which have little meaning to the recipients. All seasonal cards look quite similar with simple words and design. In fact those who received them, read and throw them away later, without even bordering to appreciate the cards. It is a real waste of money!

I designed my cards and had them printed. I picked the right words and meaning. Pink is for the ladies and light yellow is for the gentlemen. Every year, my friends, including children and sometimes grand parents, received different cards from me. My wordings depict their background and personality. I always tried to send cards that had meaning to them. The cards must inspire and encourage them. Like I said, words are powerful.

I was so surprised, I have friends who kept and treasured my cards for years. One lady doctor whom I have known for 25 years, has 25 different birthday cards, all kept in her personal drawer. I had unintentionally created jealousy within husband and wife for receiving my cards, because they had forgotten their birthdays themselves. However, I know they still love to receive cards from me. The best birthday card isn't the one that you buy over the counter or the one you got it printed, but the one written on a piece of plain paper written with our sincere heart.

This was one birthday note, written to one of my friend's daughter many years ago;
My dear Sin Yin,
Happy birthday to you today. Time passes so fast and here I am again. You were telling me last year was a bad one, bcos you didn't do well in your study. Now you are in Std 6. You have to work even more harder for this coming year end exam . Please try and do well. Do you know, your dad & mum always have high hope on you. Dad works very hard as well. He told me, he works for the sake of you. He wants to give you the best education. He wants to fulfill your dreams. They really love you a lot my dear. I know you would do well bcoz you are smart to me.
Signed..Uncle Robert.

I never knew that simple birthday note was so inspiring to this little girl then. Although her family was poor, Sin Yin managed to complete her accountancy degree and working successfully today to support their parents. She still keeps my note and proud to show it to most of her friends. See! Words could inspire.

Most people think that sending birthday cards are just routine work. If you were to send for the sake of sending, you would not do it for long. On the hand, if you did it out of joy and satisfaction, you would do it for life. Sincerity and kindness could be felt. I love sending birthday cards because at least once a year, my heart could reach each and every of my friends. Be they, the young or the old one.

I can't be doing big things like these people. My Boss, the CEO of Prudential has to lead a number One insurance company. Like my friend, Dr Hanjeet medical researcher cum doctor who saves lives. Like my friend, Hizam a financial consultant who handles millions of fund. My son, Alvin who works in Shanghai who manages a Chinese Corporation of few hundred employees. My friend, Abdul Rahim, an Engineering Consultant who provides advices to the industries. Sathurutheen, my friend, an IT engineer who represented a reputable IT company.

All you guys and many not mentioned, could do great things whom I admire and respect. As for me, I could only do small little things. Like touching and reaching to people I know. Sincerely I try to make them happy. At the same times, applying the facts of life to encourage them to go for an extra mile to succeed in life.

My total belief; "The beauty of life does not depend on how happy you are, but on how happy others can be because of you!


Alvin Foo said...

everything start with a little thing. the 1st block will always be the hardest. Big job comes with huge responsibilities and I had learned from my experience that you can only achieve big things provided you know how to manage the small things.

A big success are combinations of many little successes.

Dad, you had already done well like sending those cards out are what most people cant even do even though it sounds so simple. You had persevered and had been super discipline and this had earned admiration from many of us.

Keep up the good work as you had touched many hearts. Dont forget to touch those hearts closest to you. They are your most precious gems.

Deen said...

Dear friend.
I was quite touched as you mentioned my name in your blog...
I have known you for about 17 years now thru my late cousin; Syed whom I will never forget..
There are people who send cards and sms due to their profession but your words are very unique..
This is because your are always sincere in what you do; even in writing sms/greeting cards..
You even took the trouble to send a card for my wife's b'day this year and she was very suprised and happy to received it even she only knows you as my friend..
Continue to write as it does inspires many of us.. God bless