The Chinese idiom ‘脚踏实地’ literally means to have one’s feet firmly planted on the ground. It implies one should be practical, down-to-earth. One English definition puts it as to be realistic without flights of fancy. We are told time and time again by the people closest to us; family and close friends, “Straighten up! Be practical!” I get it that fantasy doesn’t [always] match up with reality, we need to be realistic. But what if by living a mediocre life, one’s soul is dried up? What if by living grounded, you shortchange the world of your gifts, the gifts the Good Lord has blessed you with? But life is too short not to pursue one’s dreams, too long to live with the regret of one’s past decisions [or lack of]. Sometimes, some situations call for extreme measures. If you need to run for your visions and dreams, do what you need to do. You are not a grounded being, the sky is your boulevard (Ephesians 3:20). Start dreaming again; quit the job if you need to, fly to distant lands if you need to, start the new job from ground up if you need to, start the new business if you need to, enroll yourself in the desired course if you need to, [gently] explain to your family and loved ones if you need to.
What if you were never meant to be grounded? 脚踏天空. The sky’s the limit, if only you could see it, you could possess it. Because a life of mediocrity isn’t enough. You are meant for more, you are a being beyond this world.
In the previous entry, you see ‘Letters From:‘; letters addressed to me by friends and loved ones. However, a person who receives and does not give [back] is like a dead sea – so rich in minerals, yet no life can exist there – with only inputs without outputs. It takes two hands to clap, and it takes both on either side to maintain a relationship. Letters are one of the most practical ways to do so. Two-penny letters (Hanson, Kinfolk Volume Three, p102-103) work very well as opposed to the notion that one should only write ‘proper’, lengthy letters. A simple “Hey, love your dress!” or “Meet for coffee soon, old sport.” can be so heartfelt in letting the addressee know that you are thinking of them.
I have written and sent out much letters, post cards, post-its, handmade and DIY cards to friends and loved ones through the years but two-penny letters is a quick solution with the same intent and outcome [though results vary depending on effort spent la]. One doesn’t have to fret over filling in the lines of the letter with ‘substantial’ content too. Simplicity is the way of life. There’s also lesser pressure and expectation added to the addressee; they are not forced to write something back.
We’ve all received that out-of-the-blue note from a friend; the joy and comfort that these little check-ins bring us is incredible considering the simplicity and scale of the act. It doesn’t take much time or effort to jot down a thinking-of-you note to a friend that will change their day.
– Killeen Hanson (Kinfolk Volume Three)
A follow-up to Kinfolk‘s HOW TO BE NEIGHBORLY: CHECKING IN article, here‘s how you can ‘check in’ in someone else’s lives without being too over the top. And it is inexpensive too. Scattered all around hot-spots in Singapore are the Zo card racks constantly topped up and replenished with new Zo [post] cards on a regular basis. Pick up a few with interesting themes, colors, concepts, photography, etc. Bring them home, use a trusty pen to write on the blank areas of the card, give them by hand or by post whichever is preferred. For my foreign friends, you can collect all those free post cards from your country’s attractions and hot-spots (museums, tourist centers, etc), they are good for writing too.
Knowledge is power, now that you know how and what to do, send out your two-penny letters [or Zo cards]!
P.S. I would love to see your two-penny letters. Please feel free to tag me on your blogs or social media platforms, or drop me a hyperlink to your new media platforms under the comments section of this entry.