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O'ZAPFT IS Hội Beer Tháng Mười Nguyễn Quý Đại 

Thế Vận Hội  ATHENS 2004 Nguyễn Quý Đại 

Globally Diff'rent Strokes Kim Vu

Chữ Nôm trong một tác phẩm của vua Tự Ðức (PDF Files cần Acrobat Reader Gs. Ðoàn Khoách

Monkeys Show Sense Of Fairness

Scientific Inventions 1900 - 1990

Mùa Xuân Nói Chuyện Hoa Mai (PDF Files cần Acrobat Reader) Nguyễn Ngọc Bảo

Lễ Tình Yêu  Valentine’ s Day Nguyễn Quý Đại 

Ngộ độc thủy ngân và một số cá biển Dr. Hồ Văn Hiền 

Ăn Tết Tàu, Tết Ta, Nghĩ Đến Identity (PDF Files cần Acrobat Reader) Phạm Văn Bân

Cho Một Mùa Xuân Nguyễn Quý Đại 

Mùa Xuân nói chuyện Khỉ Nguyễn Quý Đại 

Sách ở Việt nam đầu thế kỷ thứ 19 Dr. Hồ Văn Hiền 

Hồn Việt Hải Triều


The Meatrix
Check out this cool new Flash presentation!

Tạ Ơn Thượng Đế Thanksgiving Nguyễn Quý Ðại 

Lễ Tạ Ơn Thanksgiving: Có Gà Tây Chay Rẻ, Ngon... Tâm Diệu

Chinh Phụ Ngâm - Femme de Guerrier Tuần Lý HUỲNH KHẮC DỤNG

MÙA THU QUA THI CA Nguyễn Quý Ðại 


Truyện Kiều Nguyễn Du

TỰ VẤN: Người Việt Mạnh Yếu Chỗ Nào? Ðỗ Thông Minh

HỘI AN QUẢNG NAM  Nguyễn Quý Ðại 

  Trầu  Cau Qua Thi  Ca Nguyễn Quý Ðại 

  Giổ Tổ Hùng Vương Nguyễn Quý Ðại 

  Giai thoại Trạng trình Nguyễn Bỉnh Khiêm Nguyễn Quý Ðại 

  Việt Sử Toàn Thư Phạm Văn Sơn

  Hán Việt Tự Ðiển Thiều Chửu

  Truyện Kiều

  Bàn Về Vần Trong Thơ Phạm Văn Bân

  tùy bút:  khảo các chữ  ngày tháng Phạm Văn Bân

  Năm Quý Mùi Nói Chuyện Dê Nguyễn Quý Ðại sưu tầm

  Saint Valentine của Tây và Ðông Phương Phạm Văn Bân

  Sự Ðồng Âm Dị Nghĩa Trong Ngữ Ngôn 1  2 (PDF Files cần Acrobat Reader) Phạm Văn Bân

  Phong Tục Ngày Tết Phạm Văn Bân (PDF File)

  Tị Húy Trong Sinh Hoạt Của Người Việt Nam Phạm Văn Bân

  Khảo Tiếng Hán Việt Phạm Văn Bân 


  Văn Hóa Việt Nam

  Việt-Nam những hình ảnh xưa

  Women in Vietnamese society Dr. Hồ Văn Hiền


  Mean Moms

  Bộ Gene Trong Cây Lúa và  Triển Vọng BS Nguyễn Văn Tuấn

  Liberté Paul Éluard -  Hồ Văn Hiền dịch


  Vai trò người cha Dr. Hồ Văn Hiền 

  I'm still trying to learn some of these...

  Youth Samuel Ullman

Vai trò người cha Dr. Hồ Văn Hiền 

The Apple Tree

The Daily Motivator - Wide open

For my friends

A thankful perspective...

The Paradox Of Our Age


Dinner Bowl

4 Wives


Một Số Ý Kiến Giúp Trẻ Em Việt Có Khả Năng Song Ngữ ... Dr. Hồ Văn Hiền

Về Vấn Ðề Song Văn Hóa (biculturalism) ... Dr. Hồ Văn Hiền

A Ten Year Old Girl on the Street of Saigon

Một nghệ thuật sống của Rudyard Kipling

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 I'm still trying to learn some of these

They're written by Andy Rooney a man who has the gift of saying so much with so few words.  Enjoy....

   I've learned...That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.
   I've learned...That when you're in love, it shows.
   I've learned...that just one person saying to me, "You've made my day!" makes my day.
   I've learned...That having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world.
   I've learned...That being kind is more important than being right.
   I've learned...That you should never say no to a gift from a child.
   I've learned...That I can always pray for someone when I don't have the strength to help him in some other way.
   I've learned...That no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.
   I've learned...That sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.
   I've learned...That simple walks with my father around the block on summer nights when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult.
   I've learned...That life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.
   I've learned...That money doesn't buy class.
   I've learned.... That it's those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.
   I've learned...That under everyone's hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.
   I've learned...That to ignore the facts does not change the facts.
   I've learned...That when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.
   I've learned...That love, not time, heals all wounds.
   I've learned...That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.
   I've learned...That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.

   I've learned...That there's nothing sweeter than sleeping with your babies and feeling their breath on your cheeks.
   I've learned...That no one is perfect until you fall in love with them.
   I've learned...That life is tough, but I'm tougher.
   I've learned...That opportunities are never lost; someone will take the ones you miss.
   I've learned...That when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.
   I've learned...That one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them.
   I've learned...That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.
   I've learned...That I can't choose how I feel, but I can choose what I do about it.
   I've learned...That when your newly born grandchild holds your little finger in his little fist, that you're hooked for life.
   I've learned...That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it.
   I've learned ...That it is best to give advice in only two circumstances; when it is requested and when it is a life threatening situation.
   I've learned...That the less time I have to work with, the more things I get done.
   It's National Friendship Week. Show your friends how much you care.


Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks' red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life.

Youth means a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity of the appetite, for adventure over the love of ease. This often exists in a man of 60 more than a boy of 20. Nobody grows old merely by a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals.

Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the the soul. Worry, fear, self-distrust bows the heart and turns the spirit back to dust.

Whether 60 or 16, there is in every human being's heart the lure of wonder, the unfailing childlike appetite of what's next and the Joy of the game of living. In the center of your heart and my heart there is a wireless station: so long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer, courage and power from men and from the Infinite, so long are you young.

When the aerials are down, and your spirit is covered with snows of cynicism and the ice of pessimism, then you are grown old, even at 20, but as long as your aerials are up, to catch waves of optimism, there is hope you may die young at 80.

Samuel Ullman

The apple tree birdtran.gif (3866 bytes)

 A long time ago, there was a huge apple tree.

A little boy loved to come and play around it everyday. He climbed to the tree top, ate the apples, took a nap under the shadow... He loved the tree and the tree loved to play with him.

Time went by... the little boy had grown up and he no longer played around the tree everyday. One day, the boy came back to the tree and he looked sad.

"Come and play with me," the tree asked the boy. "I am no longer a kid, I don't play around trees anymore." The boy replied, "I want toys. I need money to buy them." "Sorry, but I don't have money...but you can pick all my apples and sell them. So, you will have money."

The boy was so excited. He grabbed all the apples on the tree and left happily. The boy never came back after he picked the apples. The tree was sad.

One day, the boy returned and the tree was so excited. "Come and play with me" the tree said. "I don't have time to play. I have to work for family. We need a house for shelter. Can you help me?"

"Sorry, but I don't have a house. But you can chop off my branches to build your house." So the boy cut all the branches of the tree and left happily. The tree was glad to see him happy but the boy never came back since then. The tree was again lonely and sad.

One hot summer day, the boy returned and the tree was delighted. "Come and play with me!" the tree said. "I am sad and getting old. I want to go sailing to relax myself. Can you give me a boat?" " Use my trunk to build your boat. You can sail far away and be happy." So the boy cut the tree trunk to make a boat. He went sailing and never showed up for a long time.

Finally, the boy returned after he left for so many years. "Sorry, my boy. But I don't have anything for you anymore. No more apples for you..." the tree said. "I don't have teeth to bite" the boy replied. "No more trunk for you to climb on" "I am too old for that now" the boy said. "I really can't give you anything ... the only thing left is my dying roots" the tree said with tears. "I don't need much now, just a place to rest. I am tired after all these years."

The boy replied. "Good! Old tree roots is the best place to lean on and rest. Come, sit down with me and rest." The boy sat down and the tree was glad and smiled with tears.......

This is a story of everyone. The tree is our parent. When we were young, we loved to play with Mom and Dad... When we grew up, we left them.. only came to them when we needed something or when we were in trouble. No matter what, parents will always be there and give everything they can to make you happy. You may think the boy is cruel to the tree but that's how most of us are treat our parents.

 ** Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself. **


THE DAILY MOTIVATOR - Wide open partly_sunny_md_wht.gif (5200 bytes)

The great thing about today is that it's wide open. Anything can happen. Today is full of choices and it is brimming with opportunity.

Are you not satisfied with some aspect of your life? Today you can take the first steps toward changing it. Is there something you truly desire to have, to become, to experience, to create? Today you can begin to make it happen.

This very day you are free and able to make all sorts of choices. Those choices determine precisely where your life will go. What you do today can change the course of your life far into the future. Today is critical. Today really counts.

Today is your opportunity to make a real, positive difference in your life and in the world around you. It is a powerful position you're in today. Live this very day with respect and responsibility toward your own future and the treasure of today will be with you always.

Ralph Marston

For my friends ...flowersCLR.gif (9786 bytes)

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every  time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.

The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down.

He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.... Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day    that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, "You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out.  It won't matter how many  times you say I'm sorry, the wound is still there."

A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one. Friends are a very rare jewel indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed.

They lend an ear, they share words of praise and they always want to open their hearts to us.

A thankful perspective...rose1.gif (10326 bytes)


If Earth's population was shrunk into a village of just 100 people -- with all the human ratios existing in the world still remaining -- what would this tiny, diverse village look like? That's exactly what Phillip M. Harter, a medical doctor at the Stanford University School of Medicine, attempted to figure out. This is what he found:

57 would be Asian.

21 would be European.

14 would be from the Western Hemisphere.

8 would be African.

52 would be female.

48 would be male.

70 would be nonwhite.

30 would be white.

70 would be non-Christian.

30 would be Christian.

6 people would possess 59 percent of the entire world's wealth, and all 6 would be from the United States.

80 would live in substandard housing.

70 would be unable to read.

50 would suffer from malnutrition.

1 would be near death.

1 would be pregnant.

1 would have a college education.

1 would own a computer.

The following is an anonymous interpretation:

Think of it this way.

If you live in a good home, have plenty to eat and can read, you are a member of a very select group.

And if you have a good house, food, can read and have a computer, you are among the very elite.

If you woke up this morning with more health than illness ... you are more fortunate than the million who will not survive this week.

If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation ... you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.

If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or are fortunate, more than three billion people in he world can't.

If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to are richer than 75% of this world.

If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace ... you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.

If your parents are still alive and still are very rare, even in the United States.


The Paradox Of Our Age  modelTCLR.gif (9283 bytes)

We have taller buildings, but shorter tempers;
Wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints;
We spend more, but have less;
We buy more, but enjoy it less.
We have bigger houses and smaller families;
More conveniences, but less time;
We have more degrees, but less sense;
More knowledge, but less judgment;
More experts, but more problems;
More medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much,
Smoke too much,
Spend too recklessly,
Laugh too little,
Drive too fast,
Get too angry too quickly,
Stay up too late,
Get up too tired,
Read too seldom,
Watch TV too much,
and pray too seldom.
We have multiplied our possessions,
but reduced our values.
We talk too much, love too seldom
and lie too often.
we learned how to make a living,
but not a life;
we added years to life, not life to years.
we been all the way to the moon and back,
but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor.
We conquered outer space, but not inner space;
We done larger things, but not better things;
We cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul;
We split the atom, but not our prejudice;
We write more, but learn less;
Plan more, but accomplish less.
We learned to rush, but not to wait;
We have higher incomes; but lower morals;
More food but less appeasement;
More acquaintances, but fewer friends;
More effort but less success.
We build more computers to hold more information,
to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication;
we become long on quantity, but short on quality.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion;
Tall men, and short character;
Steep profits, and shallow relationships.
These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare
More leisure and less fun;
More kinds of food, but less nutrition.
These are days of two incomes, but more divorce;
Of fancier houses, but broken homes.
These are days of quick trips,
Disposable diapers,
Throwaway morality,
One-night stands,
Overweight bodies,
and pills that do everything
from cheer, to quiet, to kill.
It is a time when there is much in the show window
and nothing in the stockroom
Isn't It true ?


Timeless Clock Lg Clr.gif (7646 bytes)

Imagine there is a bank that credits your account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day. What would you do?  Draw out every every penny, of course!

Each of us has such a bank.  Its name is TIME.  Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose. It carries over no balance.   It allows no overdraft.   Each day it opens a new account for you.  Each night it burns the remains of the day. If you fail to use the day's deposits, the loss is yours. There is no going back.   There is no drawing against the "tomorrow". You must live in the present on today's deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness and success! The clock is running.  Make the most of today.

To realize the value of ONE YEAR, ask a student who failed a grade.

To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who gave birth to a premature baby.

To realize the value of ONE WEEK, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize the value of ONE MINUTE, ask a person who missed the train.

To realize the value of ONE SECOND, ask a person who just avoided an accident.

To realize the value of ONE MILLISECOND, ask the person who won a silver medal in the Olympics.

Treasure every moment that you have!  And treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time.  And remember that time waits for no one.

Yesterday is history.  Tomorrow is a mystery.  Today is a gift.
That is why it is called the present!


Dinner Bowl butterflies_flowers_md_wht.gif (8353 bytes)

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year-old grandson. The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his steps faltered.

The elderly grandfather's shakey hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth. The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the  mess.

"We must do something about Grandfather." said the son.
"I've had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor."

So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There grandfather ate alone, while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowel.

When the family glanced in grandfather's direction, sometimes they saw a tear in his eye as he ate alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions, when he dropped a fork or spilled milk.

The four-year-old  watched it all in silence.

Then one evening after supper, the father noticed his son making something  with wood scraps on the floor.
He asked his child sweetly,
"What are you making?"

Just as sweetly, the boy responded,
"Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and mama to eat your food on when I grow up." The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.

No words were spoken,

That evening the husband took grandfather's hand and gently led him back to the family table.

For the remainder of his days, he ate every meal with the family.  Neither husband nor wife did not care any longer when a fork dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.

On a positive note, I've learned that, no matter what happens how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.

I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

I've learned that, regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.

I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life."

I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.

I've learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you; but if you focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others, your work and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you.

I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.

I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.

I've learned that every day, you should reach out and touch someone. People love that human touch - holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.

I've learned that I still have a lot to learn. I've learned that you should pass this on to everyone you care about. I just did. Sometimes they just need a little something to make them smile. People will forget what you said ...people will forget what you did...but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Contributed by K. Huynh

4 Wives

Once upon a time...................

There was a rich merchant who had 4 wives.

He loved the 4th wife the most and adorned her with rich robes and treated her to delicacies. He took great care of her and gave her nothing but the best.

He also loved the 3rd wife very much. He's very proud of her and always wanted to show off her to his friends. However, the merchant is always in great fear that she might run   away with some other men.

He too, loved his 2nd wife. She is a very considerate person, always patient and in fact is the merchant's confidante. Whenever the merchant faced some problems, he always turned to his 2nd wife and she would always help him out and tide him through difficult times.

Now, the merchant's 1st wife is a very loyal partner and has made great contributions in maintaining his wealth and business as well as taking care of the household. However, the merchant did not love the first wife and although she loved him deeply, he hardly took notice of her.

One day, the merchant fell ill. Before long, he knew that he was going to die soon. He thought of his luxurious life and told himself, "Now I have 4 wives with me. But when I die, I'll be alone. How lonely I'll be!"  

Thus, he asked the 4th wife, "I loved you most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company?"

"No way!" replied the 4th wife and she walked away without another word. The answer cut like a sharp knife right into the merchant's heart.

The sad merchant then asked the 3rd wife, "I have loved you so much for all my life. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company?"

"No!" replied the 3rd wife. "Life is so good over here! I'm going to remarry when you die!" The merchant's heart sank and turned cold.

He then asked the 2nd wife, "I always turned to you for help and you've always helped me out. Now I need your help again. When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?"

"I'm sorry, I can't help you out this time!" replied the 2nd wife. "At the very most, I can only send you to your   grave."  The answer came like a bolt of thunder and the merchant was devastated.

Then a voice called out : "I'll  leave with you. I'll follow you no matter where you go." The merchant looked up and there was his first wife. She was so skinny, almost like she suffered from malnutrition. Greatly grieved,  the merchant said, "I should have taken much better care of you while I could have !"

Actually, we all have 4 wives in our lives .......  

The 4th wife is our body. No matter how much time and effort we lavish in making it look good, it'll leave with us when we die.

Our 3rd wife ? Our possessions, status and wealth. When we die, they all go to others.    

The 2nd wife is our family and friends. No matter how close they had been there for us when we're alive, the furthest they can stay by us is up to the grave. 

The 1st wife is in fact our soul, often neglected in our pursuit of material wealth and sensual pleasure. Guess what ? It is actually the only thing that follows us wherever we go. Perhaps it's a good idea to cultivate and strengthen it now rather than to wait until we're on our death bed to lament.

The paradoxes of the English language

Let's face it-English is a crazy language.  There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple.  English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France.  Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat.

We take English for granted.  But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.  And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham?  If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of
booth beeth?  One goose, 2 geese.  So one moose, 2 meese?

Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend, that you comb thru annals of history but not a single annal? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?  If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?  If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?  If you wrote a letter, perhaps you bote your tongue?

Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.  In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?  Send shipments by car and send cargo by ship?  Have
noses that run and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and wise guy are opposites?  How can overlook and oversee be opposites, while quite a lot and quite a few are alike?  How can the weather be hot as hell one day and cold as hell another?

Have you noticed that we talk about certain things only when they are absent?  Have you ever seen a horseful carriage or a strapful gown?  Met a sung hero or experienced requited love?  Have you ever run into someone who was combobulated, gruntled, ruly or peccable?  And where are all those people who ARE spring chickens or who would ACTUALLY hurt a fly?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which an alarm clock goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race (which, of course, isn't a race at all).  That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.  And why, when I wind up my watch, I start it, but when I wind up this essay, I end it.

Frank Bures, Dept. of Chemistry, University of Toronto, M5S 3H6

A Ten Year Old Girl on the Street of Saigon and Mother Vietnam

  birdtran.gif (3866 bytes)                                                                 
10/31/00 10:39 AM
Dear Friends,

A friend of mine recently visited Vietnam and told me a story that touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes.

Thanh and his wife went out to eat one night in Saigon.   As they ate, Thanh could not help but notice a 10 year old girl hovering right outside the door of the restaurant.  She was holding a little baby probably no more than two year old, and a little boy of five or six was at her side. She was staring at the food, and every time Thanh looked at her, she would look away, hurdled her brother closer to her, afraid and embarrassed.

The late night rain started.  It wetted her unkempt hair, and the dirty clothe on her back.  She tried hard to keep the baby dry, and her little brother out of the rain.  Shivering and hungry. Thanh and his wife invited the girl and her siblings inside and  ordered food for them.  Timid but grateful, the girl carefully fed her baby sister and brother.  After the younger ones were fed, she ate their left-over leaving her full portion untouched.  Puzzled and curious, Thanh asked her why she did not eat her meal while it was obvious that she was still hungry.  The little girl looked up at him, tears rolling down her cheeks, begging him to let her take the portion home to her sick mother.

I have a twelve year old daughter named Van, and two little boys, Vinh and Minh.   Last night when I took them to McDonalds, Van wasn't hungry and did not want to eat.  Perhaps she was too anxious to get back to her teenage friends on the phone.   I   looked at Van and the image of the 10 year-old girl in Saigon flooded my mind.   Van had no idea why her Dad suddenly became quiet.  Van had no idea that Dad was praying.  A Thanksgiving prayer for our well being.  An aspiration prayer of wellness for the little girl and her sick mother.  And a contrition prayer for my inability to do more. Dear friends, Mother Vietnam is sick.  Millions of Vietnamese back home are suffering. Like that little girl, we all need to become beggars to take care of our less fortunate compatriots. Do this and remember to say a prayer for that little Vietnamese girl and millions more like her.

"Một nghệ thuật sống"

Sau mười mấy năm hành nghề bác sĩ nhi khoa , một số đông bịnh nhân của chúng tôi đã đến tuổi teenager (mười ba trở lên, lứa tuổi nữ thập tam nam thập lục của chúng ta), những lần khám bịnh về thể chất không còn thường như trước nữa . Ðây là lúc cha mẹ bắt đầu lo nhiều về đời sống tinh thần và đạo đức của các em. Các em có đời sống vật chất bảo đảm, cơ thể phát triển nhanh hơn thế hệ trước. Xã hội tân tiến thì đầy cám dỗ, nằm ngay cả trong bốn bức tường của nhà mình (điện thoại, internet, cable TV). Trường học có nhiệm vụ rất giới hạn về giáo dục về các giá trị tinh thần, đạo đức và nhất là tâm linh. Một số nguyên tắc dạy ở lớp học có thể quá phóng khoáng với một số gia đình. Mỗi người cha, người mẹ phải quyết định dạy cho con mình những nguyên tắc nào đó để hy vọng chúng sẽ lớn lên thành một con người theo đúng nghĩa của nó, nghĩa là dạy (nếu có thể) chúng một nghệ thuật sống.

Bài thơ ‘’If’’ sau đây của Rudyard Kipling, một văn thi sĩ người Anh cuối thế kỷ 19, đầu thế kỷ thứ 20. Oái oăm thay,  Kipling chỉ có một người con trai, chẳng may chết yểu, chắc chưa đủ thời gian để trở thành con Người mẫu mực, lý tưởng được mô tả trong bài thơ này. Tuy nhiên, theo thiển ý, bài thơ này là bài thơ hay nhất mà chúng tôi biết nói về nghệ thuật sống, có lẽ đúng cho cả nam lẫn nữ và đã giúp cho nhiều người thanh niên tìm ra một lý tưởng sống đẹp. Một số tư tưởng phù hợp với đạo trung dung, với quan niệm về nhân, l, nghĩa, trí, tín của Khổng giáo và ngay cả Phật giáo của Phương Ðông.

 Bài thơ này hình như từng được ông Nguyễn Hiến Lê dịch từ bản tiếng Pháp, chừng bốn mươi năm trước khi ông dịch  cuốn ‘’Un Art de Vivre’’ của André Maurois ra tiếng Việt. Rất tiếc, vì tìm không được các bản dịch tiếng Việt cũ của bài này, chúng tôi tạm dịch lại ra tiếng Việt để giúp các độc giả không rành tiếng Anh.

BS. Hồ Văn Hiền


If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;

If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with triumph and disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,

And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools;


If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve you turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”


If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run-

Yours is the earth and everything that’s in it,

And-which is more-you’ll be a Man, my son!  

Rudyard Kipling



Nếu con vẫn bình tâm lúc mọi người chung quanh

Hoảng hốt và đổ lỗi cho con;

Nếu con vẫn tự tin khi mọi người nghi ngờ khả năng con,

Nhưng vẫn không buồn lòng vì mình bị nghi ngờ:

Nếu con có thể đơị và không mõi mệt vì trông chờ,

Hoặc bị người lừa dối, đừng gian dối với ai,

Hoặc bì người ghét đừng để hận thù xâm chiếm lòng con,

Tuy thế đừng đóng vai quá tốt,đừng nói lời qúa khôn ngoan.


Nếu con có thể mơ nhưng đừng để mộng mơ làm chủ con;

Nếu con có thể suy tư - đừng lấy tư duy làm mục đích;

Nếu con có thể gặp Khải Hoàng và Thảm Bại

Mà vẫn đối xử hai kẻ giả dối này như nhau:

Nếu con chịu đựng nghe sự thật con vừa nói ra

Bị kẻ tiểu nhân bóp méo giăng bẩy lừa kẻ dại,

Hoặc nhìn công trình đờI con, đổ vỡ,

Và cúi xuống và xây dựng lên với dụng cụ đã mòn.


Nếu con dám đem hết đống tiền con thắng được

Ðổ vào một trận úp ngửa ăn thua,

Và mất hết, và lại bắt đầu từ số không,

Và không một tiếng thở than về sự mất mát của mình:

Nếu con ép được tim con, và từng sợi gân thớ thịt

Phục vụ mục tiêu của con lúc từ lâu sức chúng chẳng còn,

Và cố bám víu vào lúc mà trong con chẳng còn gì

Ngoài Ý chí dục con: "Ðừng bỏ cuộc".


Nếu con có thể chuyện trò với đám đông mà vẫn giữ gìn đạo đức,

Hoặc giao du với Vua chúa - vẫn không xa đám thường đinh,

Nếu con không để bạn thân cũng như kẻ thù làm con khổ,

Nếu con trọng mọi người, nhưng không một ai quá lố:

Nếu mỗi phút qua đi không bao giờ chờ đợi

Trong nuớc rút cuộc đua con chạy đủ sáu mươi giây,

Thì mọi sư trên Trái đất thuộc về con,

Và-hơn thế nữa - con sẽ đúng là một con Người, con trai của cha !


 Rudyard Kipling




I ran into a stranger as he passed by. 
"Oh excuse me please" was my reply. 
He said, "Please excuse me too; 
I wasn't watching for you." 
We were very polite, this stranger and I. 
We went on our way and we said good-bye.

But at home a different story is told, 
how we treat our loved ones, young and old. 
Later that day, cooking the evening meal, 
my son stood beside me very still. 
When I turned, I nearly knocked him down. 
"Move out of the way,"I said with a frown.  
He walked away, his little heart broken. 
I didn't realize how harshly I'd spoken. 

While I lay awake in bed, 
God's still small voice came to me and said, 
"While dealing with a stranger, common courtesy you use, 
but the children you love, you seem to abuse. 
Go look on the kitchen floor, 
you'll find some flowers there by the door." 
"Those are the flowers he brought for you. 
He picked them himself; pink yellow and blue. 
He stood very quietly not to spoil the surprise, 
and you never saw the tears that filled his little eyes." 
By this time, I felt very small, 
and now my tears began to fall. 
I quietly went and knelt by his bed; 
"Wake up, little one, wake up," I said. 
"Are  these the flowers you picked for me?" 
He smiled, "I found 'em out by the tree." 
"I picked 'em because they're pretty like you. 
I knew you'd like 'em,  especially the blue." 
I said, "Son, I'm very sorry for the way I acted today;
I shouldn't have yelled at you that way." 
He said, "Oh, Mom, that's okay. 
I love you anyway." 
I said, "Son, I love  you too, 
and I do like the flowers, especially the blue." 

Are you aware that if we died tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days. But the family we left behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives.  And come to think of it, we pour ourselves more into work than to our own family, an unwise investment indeed, don't you think? 

So what is behind the story? Do you know what the word FAMILY means?


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