My family celebrates Chinese Lunar Calendar Birthdays. Chinese Lunar Birthdays are one year older than Western Birthdays. It’s my Mum’s 93rd Chinese Birthday, and something is really bothering her… (a Robren Prose on gratitude and being taken for granted)

My Mum always celebrates our birthdays based on Chinese Lunar Birthdays until today. I myself don’t practice this. I usually celebrate my birthday party on the Saturday before my actual birthday. So this year I’m celebrating on 3rd September.

I’m at my hometown Ipoh, to celebrate my Mum’s 93rd Chinese Birthday. She requested to have a Chinese Vegetarian Dinner at Chuk Lum, one of the best vegetarian restaurants in Ipoh.

Simple, cosy Mum’s 93rd B-Day dinner with my second brother Jimmy at Chuk Lum Vegetarian Restaurant in our hometown, Ipoh, Malaysia.

When I arrived home my Mum immediately said something is really bothering her. And she wanted talk about it and hopefully let it go. After dinner and watching her Hong Kong TVB drama series, she shared how stupid she is, she said even my late father said so.

She went on to share how after more than ten years, she now only realized on that day that some of her close relatives clusters whom she had helped a lot during their crises and financial hardships, were avoiding her when she bumped into them, did not want to mix with her, and wouldn’t touch her with a ten-foot pole! They didn’t call her, or attend her big 60th Diamond Jubilee Wedding Anniversary banquet. She wondered what she did WRONG to deserve such treatment.

My Mum should focus on positive relatives instead. Like Auntie Mea, whose children, Yit Koh (the oldest cousin on my Dad’s side, nearly a few years younger than my late Dad) and his siblings knelt in front of my Mum at Auntie Mea’s funeral many years ago. Yit koh repeated that his mother occasionally reminded them never ever to forget what my Mum can contributed to her and her family. That’s gratitude.

At my Mum’s 60th Diamond Jubilee Wedding Anniversary banquet and during the Press Conference my Dad last comment was “She is the perfect wife for me.”

Jessica & Michael 60th Diamond Jubilee Wedding Anniversary Press Conference held at St. Michael’s Church, Ipoh.

A month ago, a cousin of mine response was my Mum too can call those relatives instead, not just wait for their call. She defended by saying why should she be the one to call all the time. I actually agreed.

IMAO, I think if a relationship is too one way and too low in priority, or one has been taken for granted all too often i.e. you are the one calling or checking all the time, then you need to review that relationship. Maybe you should spend less time with this individual since you are so low in priority, or that individual calls you only if she or he wants something from you.

Advice from a 94 year old about how to make a 65 year old marriage last (Robren’s Dad’s last interview)
The most iconic Katz’s Delicatessen in Manhattan “Faking an Orgasm” scene from “When Harry Met Sally” movie (1989)

“What Sally said about Harry, reflects who Sally (replace any name you want) really is.”

Back to my Mum. Firstly, I shared that it is usually NEVER about her. It’s really about their own hidden issues or hidden agendas (e.g. jealousy, bitterness, pride, hypocrisy)  and their choices in life. I shared just be GRATEFUL for her loving sons, and those relatives who do care,  check on her, and give gifts and snacks. Let go and move on from those who no longer care for her. Period. She felt a  lot better after sharing her inner feelings.

I shared that my Mum is not stupid, but innocent and naïve in some life areas. She was a full time house wife with four active kids, and a traveling salesman husband who was back during weekends. I shared a few cases whom I have helped a lot but now they don’t connect with me anymore.

I shared the case of the Brahma Kumaris cult whom my brother and I co-founded Brahma Kumaris Malaysia and Raja Yoga Centres in 1991. We were the world’s first Chinese BK leaders. I joined for ten years and left in 1989. When I opened a company branch in Kuala Lumpur, no BK visited me or thanked me for my contributions and financial backing for a long time – until when they wanted my testimonial story for their 25th Anniversary Book in 2006. Then no news again. Human beings can be real selfish.

Tom and I were featured in the first page spread of BK Malaysia’s 25th Anniversary Book in 2006

I shared a close friend’s story how he helped a student from young not only in art classes but also her school studies. When the newspapers reported about her straight As result nationwide, she did not mention about her art teacher who helped her to be where she was. He was quite hurt by it.

I shared another untold story of a famous Feng Shui master who made it big locally and internationally. He and another famous Feng Shui author learnt from him. The latter student mentioned her Grand Feng Shui Master in her first book and made him famous. The former student marketed and publicize him. Then there was a huge falling out. They shared the same surname but were not related. The former refused to acknowledge to his Feng Shui teacher in any his writings, as he knew many media journalists, he decided to make a name for himself. He became a huge success by his clever marketing and PR campaigns. But it is so ungrateful, because without his Grand Feng Shui Master, he would NOT have the very launching pad that lifted him to the sky. KARMA KNOWS.

From my in-depth study of Karma, his Grand Master will reap the very rewards as Karmic Credits he gained in the Afterlife, or future lives.

The moral of the Feng Shui story is never to insult or bad mouth your life-changing teacher. One can criticise his/her teacher for a different opinion, but never to belittle one’s Yoda. It takes a bigger and better person to acknowledge his or her career roots.

This story is verified by a close family of the late Grand Feng Shui Master.

To me GRATITUDE is part of Love, one of 7 Principles Spiris live by.
Never forget who had helped you in life.
You may not owe them anything but they helped shape your life, destiny, and purpose.
At least pass it on to others.
If one day you ever become so big headed from your latest success, remember Rome was not built in a day, you as Rome was built over a long time, from many individuals who helped and lifted you. If you forget this, then one of The 6 Pillars of Self-Esteem (i.e. Accountability, Acceptance, Assertiveness, Integrity, and Purpose will start collapsing one by one, until you have nothing that you stand for.

Chinese Lunar Calendar Birthdays Records:

Ah Ma (my mum’s mum):  7th month-14th day. Start of Ghost Festival (a day before full moon)
Ah Kung (my mum’s dad): 7th month-21st day

Mimi (mum): 7th month-23rd day
Papa (dad): 5th month-23rd day

Tom (eldest brother): 2nd month-21st day. (Good Friday)
Jimmy (brother): 9th month-24th day
Andrew (brother): 3rd month-24th day
Robren: 8th month-2nd day

@Spiri: Where All your self-help and spiritual needs are covered
Gratitude is expressed love.

Give your comments on your own experience.

Written by: Robren
Published on: 20 August 2022.
Updated on: 21 August 2022
Link to this article:


4 Untold Stories on Gratitude. A Robren Prose on How to Deal with Ungrateful Friends.