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1 January 2020

1 January 2020
 
Happy New Year.
 
While we celebrate the beginning of a new year, make resolution for what we must achieve, we need to reflect on the past effort, too: have we completed what we vowed to do in the past 12 months? Did we do anything we now regret because of the damage it brought about? Have we worked hard enough making the first term exam a worry-free task? Or do we want to make up some statements to get by another fruitless year?
 
When I was younger, I remember the fridge was a war zone, that it was packed up with packets and packets of raw and cooked food, some ingredients could not be used in one go, so they were frozen for another meal, but that another meal did not come quick enough.  This is not my exclusive story; it is one shared by many of my peers.  One said she had found a box of ice cream expired for over a year.  Perhaps we had been trained to become hoarders without knowing it from young.
 
The Japanese doctrine Less is More (斷捨) fascinated me for I learned to discover new stuff at home and parted with very worn out comfortable T shirts; I do look like a hobo when I am at home.  But the doctrine not only is to throw away stuff, but to really examine one’s life: what it is that we truly need to enjoy life.  It turns out that, not much.  Many items in life, at times activities, are decorative rather than of necessity. I also learn to double up the functions of an item, not forgetting sometimes we do need a pat on the back, just don’t make that “extravagant sometimes” every other minute.
 
So set your targets for this year, achieve them with all your might, but employ as little complication as possible.  Be clutter-free, minimalistic, but achieve much for yourselves and people around you.
 
Anson Yang