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Keith Tse


  • Writer's pictureKeith Tse

Meaning of numbers (11)

Today has been a terrifying day. I woke up to find that I had forty-four (44) unread emails in my inbox. As explained before, the number four (4) is hugely unpropitious in our Chinese culture, and forty-four (44) is especially bad. I then started reading them and discovered that my unread emails were divided into three sections: eight (8) + eighteen (18) + eighteen (18). I do not always read and reply to my emails immediately and often there is an accumulation of emails that go back to different chronological phases, and hence this chronological division. It turned out that I had received eight (8) emails today, eighteen (18) from an earlier stage and another eighteen (18) from an even earlier stage, which adds up to forty-four (44). As mentioned before, the number eight (8) and all its permutations are highly favourable in our language, and eight (8) + eighteen (18) + eighteen (18) is a magnificent combination. I have written before about the significance not only of individual numbers but also of numerical combinations like addition. What seemed like an ominous sign turned out at closer analysis to send a somewhat different message. I guess one can interpret these things in two ways (optimist/pessimist), but in difficult times like these it is important to stay positive and avoid self-defeating talk, since positivity can never do harm but only help. Has today been a difficult day or a beautiful day? I can’t decide but I’ll march on anyway with love and courage in my heart. This is the least that I can do. I look forward to seeing how many new emails I receive in my inbox tomorrow.

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