Yayasan Suria JB (YSJB) – Learning from our charity clients!
As volunteers, we think we are there to help our clients (the Poor & Needy) and to impart to them our knowledge of how to have a better life.
How wrong I was when one of our clients, Ah Foo, who lives in an abandoned house in Puteri Wangsa, Ulu Tiram, with water/electricity “pulled” from a neighbouring double storey house. He, his wife and their 8 yo son live on the ground floor with a simple mattress, a mosquito net and that’s all – no furniture, no nothing.
Ah Foo does odd jobs, collects recycling materials, goes about in his old motorcycle, his wife is a housewife and their 8 yo boy goes to a nearby school.
His happiness is contagious, no fakes, no nothing.
Indeed, volunteers following me catch his “happiness” on their first encounter with this amazing guy. They asked me, “how can he be so happy in the place he is staying?”
Well, I am puzzled too after knowing him for some years, first meeting him at a petrol station in Ulu Tiram, hanging around there and “helping out”(not a staff though) and, occasionally, getting a few tips from motorists.
Then, I lost track of him, only to find him again one day when he honed at me and took me to his present “abandoned” house. We gave him our monthly food bank and strangely, he never asked me for any cash. I have been wondering why all along. Today (11/9/2022) while on our visit to him with 2 volunteers, he greeted us with his “smile of happiness” that caught the attention of the 2 first time volunteers having a “once-in-a-life-time” experience encountering “what is happiness”.
I chatted with Ah Foo and he told me this: “Happiness is a CHOICE!”
After that incident, all 3 of us really learnt in the true sense from our master “Ah Foo” the key to living life. He is so rich, lives a life so meaningful, so fully that puts us to shame. He goes round helping other old folks, bringing them food whenever he can.
He doesn’t just exist (like many of us), he LIVES!
Amazing guy, he told me he wakes up at 4.00 am daily to meditate. He tells me that no snakes come to disturb his family when his dwelling place is full of belukar (bushes) with overgrown lallang all around.
To me, he is the richest man on earth, not Elon Musk! – thank you Ah Foo, you taught me how to live, what is the actual meaning of life. We have so much to learn from the simplicity of your life.
He is not ashamed to be “poor” in the eyes of society, he looks at everyone with respect and dignity and Ah Poo is indeed my role model of living life to its fullest!
I am humbled and have my highest admiration for this man who has so much to teach us how to live!
Ah Foo, we will continue to journey with you, learning from you how to live our “materialistic” life in this dog-eat-dog world.
Oops! Just got this message from a volunteer as I am about to conclude writing my diary now (5.04 am 10/9/2022): “Yesterday I was clever – I wanted to change the world. Today I’m wise – I’m changing myself!”