A Little Thought – 2017 Week 6


There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why. —- William Barclay

I took this photo with my iPhone 6 when we flew to San Francisco last Thanksgiving. It was one of those moments that I felt, maybe, God was going to say something to me. 😉

I don’t know about other people… it seemed that I had been bothered by why-I-am-here since I was born. It was not one of those sad or depressed kinds of bothering; it was, from time to time, feeling frustrated that I-was-not-at-where-I-should-be kind of bothering. And that frustration had puzzled me for many years.

When I was 30 something, one day, a family friend came to visit us. After dinner, while chatting, he suddenly said, “I remember when your mom was pregnant with you… your family was poor; your mom didn’t want another kid.”

I don’t know how I was supposed to feel, but I knew exactly how I felt. I was angry that my birth had created a big concern for this wonderful woman. I had a feeling that I knew the situation when I was still in her womb; I had a feeling that I didn’t want to be born because I love her so much that I didn’t want to trouble her.

I didn’t say a thing to my mom, but she found out anyway. She wasn’t happy. She told me it was not true.

It doesn’t matter if that was true or not. I love my mom a lot more after that day. In spite of having financial difficulty, she gave birth to me; she loved every one of her kids equally; she worked hard, and never asked anything in return.

Years later, when my brother Shao turned 50, he said to me, “I don’t know the purpose of my life.”

Shao was 4 years older than me. He, too, was born during that family struggling time.

I told him I didn’t know the purpose of my life either. I suggested that since we were here, we might as well enjoy it.

I also told him that it was possible that we were lab mice for a researcher high up there. The researcher himself knew exactly what each mouse was here for, but the mouse didn’t have a clue.

Many years has passed since my conversation with Shao. I don’t know when or how, I started seeing a lot of beautiful things around me: snow glimpsing under sun, trees coming alive after winter, a baby crawling toward his mother… I began wanting to see more and more, and I loved each day more than the day before.

Now, I wonder… does it really matter why I am here?

There are two great days in my life – the day I was born and the day I no longer cared why.

Thanks for visiting my blog.


About Helen C

A retired computer programmer who loves writing and photographing, and has managed to publish a YA novel "Jin-Ling’s Two Left".
This entry was posted in photo and thoughts, Weekly Little Thought, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to A Little Thought – 2017 Week 6

  1. Mabel Kwong says:

    Some deep thoughts, there, Helen. Purpose is such an ambiguous thing and feeling, and I think it changes with time and changes with where we are at – geographically and emotionally – in our lives. Why we are all here in this world is a mystery. Or maybe it is not. Maybe we are just all here to coexist with each other – maybe for one moment in time, maybe for something bigger out there. Who knows. Live each day with eyes open, a positive mind and we will see the finer things in life.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Anabel Marsh says:

    Helen, this is such a beautiful post. I know exactly the feeling you describe – I had it when I was younger too. I thought if I was not going to make great achievements and just be ordinary, what was the point of being me? Of course, I learned to take joy from whatever life brings. Live well and be good to those around you! If we all do that we achieve something great together.

    My Mum is a big fan of the Scottish theologian William Barclay, but I think I prefer your amended version of his quote.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Anabel. I am so happy that you knew the feeling I described (and I took time to let myself be happy ;-). I have a feeling that a lot of people wouldn’t be able to understand, and I almost decided not to post this.
      Sometime we just have to look at things from a different angle — it took me a while to figure that out. Ha.
      Have a wonderful day.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. restlessjo says:

    That’s a great way to look at it, and come to think of it, I haven’t got a clue either! And when I had my son, 19 years after my daughter, I was quite cross that he’d come along. I had a whole new life and career mapped out. But it was never meant to be. And here I am- not sorry 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Jo. My mom was so worry that I would feel hurt. But as far as I was concerned, even if it was true, she had a good reason (not enough money to feed 4 kids) to feel that way and a good reason wouldn’t hurt me. 😉
      There are many ways to look at every thing, and it’s really up to us to decide which way to choose. I guess I am more flexible now 😉
      Have a great day.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Joanne Sisco says:

    A very profound view on life, Helen. Maybe we aren’t meant to know what our true purpose is because if we did, we might be tempted to alter the course.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Pilgrim says:

    I love your story especially the finale that you don’t care why. What a great statement and revelation. This is a proverbial question of many. Why was I born? Well, there’a a man and a woman…. And there you are. Then it get’s complicated when we ask why. Why not?
    Good morning, Helen. Pleasant days ahead. Perpetua

    Liked by 2 people

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Perpetua. I had a good laugh… there’s a man and a woman… 😉
      Some problem you just have to figure it out yourself. I hesitated to post this. On one hand it’s kind of personal. On the other hand, if someone else was wondering about the same thing, my experience may help. I have to say that your recent posts did give me some encouragement. Thanks.
      Have a wonderful evening.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. GP Cox says:

    “There are two great days in my life – the day I was born and the day I no longer cared why.”
    I love it!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. loisajay says:

    I had to read this several times, Helen. Such a good read. But bottom line is what you said: “There are two great days in my life – the day I was born and the day I no longer cared why.” Like it or not–here I am World!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Lois. I began to see that everything happened in my life is somewhat connected. Our life sure is interesting. Of course, I never stop counting my blessings. 😉
      Have a wonderful evening.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. neihtn2012 says:

    That family friend!!! I have never seen any greater love than that between a mother and her child, or children.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Hien. I, too, have a strong belief in the love between a mother and her child. My mom passed away 15 years ago unexpectedly. She was in good health, we thought. But for some reason, she called me 3 or 4 days before she died (she seldom called me; usually I would call her.) and told me I was a wonderful daughter. It turned out that that was the last thing she said to me. We had a strong connection, I have to believe.
      Have a wonderful evening.


  9. A wonderfully written post. Very thought provoking. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Inese Poga Art plus Life says:

    It’s not always we can discover the purpose of our life that easily. Somebody wise told: living is the main purpose of life. Do you think somebody famous writer or actor or whoever knew that was the purpose of their life? They didn’t. One works and discovers the ways the universe works and sort of finds the balance between what their and Gods intention is, but nobody is here to tell whether that was or wasn’t the purpose of their being here. Other people usually assign somebody a title, but whether that person really feels like living up to this purpose is unknown either. Who is going to tell you that? We don’t hear the last wishes and words of all people as they summarize whether they have fulfilled and lived up to what one calls a purpose of life. Philosophy has tried to define this for as long as humanity as we know it exists. It’s a tough question which might never have a clear or definite answer. https://inesepogalifeschool.com/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Inese. Lots of wisdom thoughts in your comment. What interesting me is that some people live happily without ever thinking about why they are here, and others like me struggle finding a meaning of our lives. It always brings me a little comfort when meeting my type of people 😉
      Have a great day.


  11. Lady Oscar says:

    As always, I enjoy reading your story!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Amy says:

    Had I asked the question why, I might have different answers at different life stages. Great read, as always. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  13. prior.. says:

    this is extra beautiful to read especially as I return from a funeral. and while there, some of us were talking about life displaced and how and when some people find their contentment – and so reading this post fits right in with the topics of this week.
    and that photo does have a spiritual feeling….
    and how precious to hear that about your mother – wow – tugs at the heart

    Liked by 1 person

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