Seven, billion, stories, and counting…


Bản tiếng Việt ở đây.


I’m sorry if there is any mistake.

I know there are a lot, since I just let my heart beat. Heart creates chaos sometimes.



It”s the slogan of SBS radio that I hear every evening when my aunt comes home and turns the radio on and continues to do the kitchen’s things. This morning, I finally saw it showed up on the TV screen, word by word. A sparkling logo with a proudly presented voice. It did stop me for a while in front of the screen, and then I wondered…

Do I really need “seven billion stories”?

And does anybody else?


Perharps I do, when I’m boring, when I have nothing to do or when I’m fed up with all my stuffs. But even in that momment, seven billion stories can’t be all placed together in my mind. No capacity for them, even half of them, even one third, or one fourth.

In the end, when the number is reduced to its best, I think I just need three or four stories everyday, to fill up the boring gap between tasks and tasks. Time is insufficent to listen to them all – I have to come back to my own problems and get them done.


Or, may be, “one” is enough. I don’t even need two, let alone more. I don’t need that many.

Let me tell another story, may be in the end it has nothing to do with the beginning, but give it a try : )).

I live here in Bankstown, with  many Vietnameses who settled down in Australia for nearly 30 years and still can’t speak English. Actually, most of them can communicate very well with the language called “Vinglish” – a combination of grammar and vocabulary and so on from both languages. It does work, anyway, since almost everyone can understand “I want go”, “your money will bigger”, “buy me, darling”, etc.

The SBS here can translate any English news into Vietnamese, the services here can turn any English document to Vietnamese, yet I bet people who don’t know English still miss a lot of things happening every second around them. They can’t hear what I’ve heard when standing on the same platform. They can’t hear the little boy was yelling to the birds that they are so beautifull. They can’t read a sign in front of a restaurant quoting a meaningful sentence from a Christian’s gospel. Such a thing won’t appear on the radio but such a thing nourishes life.

I was twice (or more?) approached by elderlies at the Central Station and be a part of their stories. They asked me where I am from and told me where they are from; they asked me what it looks like in Vietnam this summer and told me what it looks like now in Indonesia. Another man told me about his betrayed daughter on the train from Chester Hill to Museum Station. I don’t know why, may be their loneliness were huge enough to be opened up to everyone, or may be I look like an interenational student who may know English.

Seven billion stories on the TV have no way to be compared to one or two like these, since those on the TV mentioned something really massive and in a large scale which I can’t embrace and empathize, while the men and women standing next to me on the platform are much more real. They gave me a piece of their lifes with their whole hearts urging me (in a sincere way) to give mine back. My time is short, really, so I rather spend it on these beings with emotional voices rather than on somebody/ something far away whose stories were retold by an auto-tuned voice. All stories needed to be listened, yes, but if I don’t have time, I would choose to solve something near my way.

At least, I can give them a hand, a tender smile with real voice. Or at least, I will stand next to them as a body language which means “I’m here, don’t worry, if you’re in trouble, I will call the 000 right away”. Energy comes through directly. If there is any wound, it would be cured directly.


I just need one story, in the end, to produce a thorough, thoughtful, respectful and mindful listening. One story that I can listen to not only by two ears, but also by the whole body, the whole mind, with an effortless smile and the capable ability of language. A story that I should bring 15 years of studying English in to get it and then reply, to make it go on and on, to make my heart sing and others do the same thing. A story that won’t be caught up on the radio or any media, so it’s very valuable and unique and worth listening.

Everyday, I pick a story like this up, peal it until its end and let myself touch to the end of the miracle, as every story contains lifes. The next day, I will choose another, peal it again, and familiarize myself with the never-ending rhythm of the world without listening to too much. One reflects all and contains all – to fulfill one simultaneously means to fulfill the others.


P/s: I will do a Vietnamese version for this entry later. :P. Sẽ có bản tiếng Việt của bài này sau ha, tại giờ mình phải ra ngoài rồi : )).


What do you think ^^?

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