I hope my piece could be featured in her Honorable Mention columns, though : ). But, if it's not, it's also okay.
I would like to congratulate Mr. Herman Martin as the First Place Winner, Ms. Mary Lauck as Second Place winner, and Ms. Ina Massler Levin as the Third Place Winner this year, respectively. And I believe nothing is coincidence, because the topics of shoes and socks were the winners this year.
Well, before reading my entry for that writing contest, I'd like to share some thoughts regarding the contest, in which could be a lesson for myself to write next year and enter the contest again in order to be a winner. These are just my thoughts : ).
From what I have read from the winners' entries of last year, as well as this year, they all have some things in common, such as:
Your writing should be simple. (Perhaps Einstein said it well: "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough," and "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.")
You have to be honest. Not to cover up or make up your piece of writing with what I call in Indonesian language as kembang gula (manisan) or "sweets" in the surface. Because you do not present your whole being in the writing. No matter what happens. I hope you understand what I mean. It takes courage--and time--to be honest indeed. But, I hope, in time we all could just be honest, just as we are. The good. The bad. And the ugly. And beautiful.
Your writing should be a kind of topic of a daily life experience, real, and could touch the readers' heart. By that I mean, can we see, feel, and hear what you write? It takes a human to write for another, fellow human being.
And most of all, I guess, our writing could bring joy, for whatever that means : ). And hope. So that we all could learn, at least something, if not precious, from your story. Because we do want to understand and know about you as writer, as a person, as a soul who pens that writing. For in the end, after reading yours, we can feel and be sure that we are still not alone in this world, in this life, and that we know and thankful enough for somehow that you have shared your life, too, from your writing.
Now, please allow me to share with you my simple writing that I sent to the contest. Anyway, may God bless you, Suzanne Beecher, for creating the event and making it possible for anyone of us, me, to write about ourselves. An opportunity to open our truest selves.
(I apologize for my modest English).
Can We Stay Thankful In Life?
This is a HUGE topic, I think. Writing about Life. Because, what do I know? But... allow me one thing to share with you, and that is a question: Can we stay thankful in this life, no matter what we face today?
This is not Poor Richard's Almanac alike that's full of wisdom. This is only a simple thought about can we be thankful in life. Such as:
Do we thankful every time we wake up early in the morning at 4.30, or a little bit late at 9.30?
Can we be thankful even when we lost something precious or valuable for us? (Just like recently I lost my file under a name of INPUT as its folder, which consisted of many meaningful notes that I have collected to support me when I need an inspiration when I write. I lost it because I forgot to make its back up as I reinstalled Windows 10 in my laptop. I was a bit mad at first because it's gone, and it's too precious, but eventually I tried to accept it. After all—regarding inspirations and theories to write—school's out, so let's quit studying the subject and start actually living it!)
And many other things to challenge us to keep being thankful.
Life is a like rainbow, isn't it? Not a single color. There are times when things are brighter, there are also times when things are not TOO colorful. But, either way around, we should be able to learn to be thankful.
I'm still 35 y.o. right now. And bald. I don't know why I'm being bald at this young age—is it because of too much stress? A friend, who is also bald even he's still in his thirties, said that we're bald because of using drugs in our previous years when we're still, say, in our high school. But, can I stay thankful even when I'm bald? I can. I just hope that God would still care about me, because Matthew 10:29-31 says, "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."
In addition to being bald due to drugs abuse, I'm lacking confidence when I talk with others because of fear in spreading a bad breath due to having some cavities and holes (and one little in front) in some of my teeth. I barely dare to smile! But, can I be thankful? I can.
I'm also still living with my in-laws. I'm married with two kids. Living with the in-laws are indeed quite common here in Indonesia, especially among the Javanese or the Chinese descent. But, I'd really love to live in my own house someday with my own family. But, as for now, can I still be thankful no matter what others might say about me as a married man still living with my wife's parents? I can.
Actually, I (we) can make a list of SO MANY things to complaint in life, instead of being thankful. But, at least, make one single reason to be thankful, no matter what, that hopefully it could help us to keep moving on in this life. Such as:
I'm thankful of this life, that I still can have the air to breathe.
I'm thankful of my job, that I hope there is a good progress along the way.
I'm thankful of friends. Near or far.
I'm thankful of my family, and yes, including my in-laws.
I'm thankful for my problems, my enemies, and my everything.
Things to complaint & regret will make us poor. Things to give thanks and be grateful will make us rich. No matter what.
And gee, I'm thankful that you could answer the simple question of mine.