Good Men Shine


“The light of a good character surpasseth the light of the sun and the radiance thereof. Whoso attaineth unto it is accounted as a jewel among men.” ~ TarázátSONY DSC

Sometimes we forget that heroes do exist. They don’t come leaping across rooftops in shiny suits. They do not have any super powers to zap and freeze. They look just like you and me. And they walk in our midst. Shoulder to shoulder.

Except that their hearts burn like a million shining stars. And in their souls they carry a burning flame that nothing can ever dim nor waver.

I met a hero once. Except that I didn’t know a hero lived in him. His name was Kevin Tan.

He played the drums at church in Kuala Lumpur where we were both on the music team. Eventhough it’s been twenty years since I last saw him, I can still see him in my mind. Just like it was yesterday. Snapshots flashing before me of a friendly, unassuming chap, moving to the beat of the drums as he played. When he smiled, his eyes crinkled up into two tiny slits.

Kevin passed away after jumping into a river to save a young man from drowning. He managed to push this man to safety but was himself pulled under by the fast swirling currents. He leaves behind his beautiful wife and two young children. SONY DSC

It has been written that one righteous act has the potency to scatter across the universe a power so great as to elevate even the dust to pass beyond the heaven of heavens.

I can only imagine the waves of goodness and light that this one single act of rare selflessness would have ignited in each of the hearts of those who had known him and beyond.

As I sit here reading the eulogies that have come pouring in from around the world for Kevin, I begin to see this young drummer lad who had since become a man, a husband, a father, a leader in the community.

A man who infused courage, strength and affirmation into the lives of everyone he met. A man who revived the meaning of honour, integrity and strength of character. He loved life with a passion. He loved the great outdoors. His life was a manifesto of joy.

“Life is the balance of getting there and not yet there, and the joy of the whole process of becoming. If we only live for good performances and results, chances are, we often miss out on all the roses and the colors along the way. Appreciate the little things. Appreciate details.” ~ Kevin Tan (1971 – 2013) SONY DSC

It has been said that it is not the length of a life that counts but how brightly that life shone while it lived out each day on this earth.

Dear Kevin, I may not have known you that well in life but your story is a light that shines in my heart. You are a light among men. May your light live on in your children’s hearts. May the hearts of your loved ones be solaced in remembrance of your legacy.

May your sacrifice teach us anew the meaning of love and courage.

Rest in peace great soul…you were obviously always listening to the beat of a different Drummer.

“Heroes are they, O my Lord, lead them to the field of battle. Guides are they, make them to speak out with arguments and proofs. Ministering servants are they, cause them to pass round the cup that brimmeth with the wine of certitude. O my God, make them to be songsters that carol in fair gardens, make them lions that couch in the thickets, whales that plunge in the vasty deep.” ~ ´Abdu’l-Bahá