To throw or not to throw: what does Chinese sayings got to do with it?

Last week, I returned to Singapore to pack my belongings as my parents are moving to my grandparents’ place. I am sad for it feels as though I no longer have a home (where I have my own private room) to return to. However, there was no time for grieving as I was occupied with packing. It is no easy task going through two decades of personal belongings and collections. To throw or not to throw, that is the question. I find the following tips useful although it is easier said than done. They are in no particular order and it so happens that most of them are based from Chinese sayings.

  1. If you haven’t used/touch/read it, you probably don’t need it.
    I’m specifically referring to unread books that have been sitting on the bookshelf for years or books that I’ve read and unlikely to re-read. 
  2. 沒這麼大的頭,別戴這麼大的帽 ~ Don’t wear a big hat if you don’t have a big head.
    Be realistic, I can’t bring everything with me. We are downsizing, there will not be enough space for my stuff. 
  3. 生不帶來,死不帶去 ~ We are born into this earth carrying nothing and when we die, we take away nothing.
    It is time to let go and not be fixated with material possessions.
  4. 舊的不去,新的不來 ~ If we don’t get rid of the old, we can’t make space for the new.
    Here is an excuse to shop and buy. Although I must say the experience does make me stop and think twice about buying new things. 
  5. 不在乎天長地久,只在乎曾經擁有 ~ It matters not how long we spend together, it is the time we had that matters.
    Lets not fret too much about those lost and gone possessions even though losing them does feel like throwing away a part of me and all that memories. There are other important things to look forward to. I still have a dream to live. 
  6. 來無一物,何處惹塵埃 ~ Inherently, no object exists;  how can it attract dust if it doesn’t exist?
    A Buddhist-related teaching and bears a similar meaning to No. 3, let go and set your mind free.


Finally, to those I had to let go:

You were once a big part of my life.
My days were brighter because of you. 
I’m sorry I had to let you go. 
Thanks for the time we had together. 


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