For the most part of today, I have been offline. Partly due to the fact that it is virtually impossible to break through the great firewall of China (see the pun there) , and also it is good to chuck that phone away once in a while to really live life. (Yes, this is for all of you guys who are forever on your phone, sliding into DMs, liking pics 24/7 or snapchatting every aspect of your life).
Today was a low-key day where you just kickback, breathe life in and absorb the full glory of what God has blessed us with (even in Beijing!) So here is just one of the three quickfire reflections of what I have reflected upon today.
- One of the cooler definitions of Love.
So we all have different ideas of love, from thoughtcatolog.com or the love advice of our friends. We all have different definitions of what romantic love should be. Maybe the idea of sunset strolls along the beach, or a romantic dinner up the Equinox with a candle or two in a dimly lit room or going to the museum/zoo/River safari together. But today, in my lunch with my grandpa and my conversations with my grandma I accidentally discovered one of the most badass definitions of love.
Love is making it about the other person, paying a “near-obsessive” attention to the other party and making sure his/her interests are taken care above yours.
The first incident was my early morning conversation with my grandmother before she went for her health check up and while I was changing up. She said this in a relatively concerned way, and I translate it now.
“Later, when you walk, walk slightly slower,yesterday you walk too fast, he couldn’t catch up, your grandfather is old already, he can’t keep up. Make sure he walk on the inside of the road when you go for lunch ah!”
My first reaction was like “Aiyo, this one is a typical granny nagging”. But when I thought about it and I really thought about it, this was an instinct out of love. She pays attention to his movements and watches out for him even when she isn’t around. She observed that I walked too fast and even when she was going for her check-up. She thought of him, concerning herself with his safety. I mean, she actually bothers whether he walks on the inside or outside of the road. *take a moment to absorb it*
The second incident was lunch with Grandpa. He took this one hour with me and shared with me his inner desires. He told me, I should try to convince Grandma to come back to Singapore to stay with us instead of living in Beijing. He said that the air quality here is bad and that the life here is stressful. He said it affected her and she is not as happy as she is in Singapore. He told me, he rather she enjoys life in Singapore, where she would be healthier and happier. (He wasn’t even talking about like a vacation, he is talking MIGRATION)
This really struck me, profoundly. Think about it, my grandfather, a 90-year-old man, standing at a height of 1.49m with a frail frame in his twilight years who faces difficulty walking in the dark wants his life partner to leave him to live alone so that she could live happier. The look in his eyes was dead serious as he exclaimed that he wanted her to live healthier with less stress. This was again an instinct of love, he just wanted her to be happier. He placed aside his needs for his companion to watch over him daily, placed aside his needs for someone to walk with him daily because he wants her happier.
Ironically, when I tried to convince her, she flat out rejected, saying that if she leaves, “who takes care of him?” . It was then, I was really blown away by how strong their love endured through the years. Being the older generation that they are, they don’t say I love you to each other a whole lot. But, knowing them, their actions speak way louder than their words do.
In a generation where we pride our idea of love through the glorification of self, where our own interests and happiness trumps everything, or where we base our definitions of love off ideas promulgated through movies and films. It is perhaps wise of us to maybe observe how the people around us love and maybe learn a thing or two from them. Because today I was really amazed by how even at this age, where they have been together for over 50 years (HALF A CENTURY), they still do not get sick of each other and still make it their endeavour to look out for each other in the most practical way. They don’t care who gives more and who takes more, they only care about the welfare of each other. The disclaimer is that they are not perfect and they still bicker often (which I guess is how they express love) but what i know is that do care for each other deeply.
So, advice to self and others: Don’t make it about yourself always. Asking yourself if you have given too much for the other person. Your actions are a manifestation of your inner thinking. And when you love the person, your actions will show.Don’t be afraid to be the one who gives more, do not be stingy with your love. Make it an endeavour to put their interest above yours. Love them as you would give a “near-obsessive” attention to them and strive to make their lives better.
And from what I look at, it works for sure.
Guess I will write the second part tomorrow. For now, it is time to retire for the night 🙂