Two Tissues for $1.20

I was walking towards the neighborhood’s Mc’s to get a ice cream cone before heading home when I saw a hunched elderly lady trying to peddle her tissue and TOTO coupons to a couple; the only people left at the Hawker centre. On instinct, I immediately stopped in my tracks, asked her how much in dialect while whipping out some coins to give to her. One hand holding two tissues and another holding TOTO coupons, she asked what did I want to get. I asked for the tissues, she handed two to me and I placed two 50cent coins in her hands. She uttered $1.20 in dialect. Immediately in my mind I criticized her for asking for $1.20 for 2 tissues. In my mind I was thinking “I’m trying to help you and you..!” First of all, the ‘market rate’ for tissues were 3 for $1. Both ‘conditions’ were broken. I handed her another 50cents and left. Few seconds later I was rudely surprised by how quick I was to condemn her in my head. Repented. Isn’t that how many of us behave?

1. We be nice to people while expecting people to ‘return the favor’. In business terms, that is called return of investment. Or we give, wanting people to react in a way that we would desire. In business terms, that is called sponsorship; there is conditions attached to the money.

2. We want to be a blessing to people in our own terms. We give something we think people will be blessed with (regardless if they might not be blessed by it). Conditional giving. That is not really giving either. Conditional giving is kind of hypocritical at the same time.

3. When things don’t go according to our plans, we judge, criticize and condemn the person in our minds. Without even getting the full story. Not very nice. Not that we should critic or judge in the first place. There is already so many haters in the world. And we think the world can do with less.

Sad to say, I have also at times responded or approached a matter in such ways.. While it is close to impossible to give without expecting anything in return (recognition, appreciation, rewards, etc), try to anyway. And give something that the person will appreciate. If it’s $1.20 for 2, then it’s $1.20 for 2. You can’t be a blessing by determining the terms and conditions.. It doesn’t work that way. Going back to the story, after getting my ice cream and proceeding to head home, I saw the elderly lady again. She was still walking around past 10.30pm hoping to get some more business.. It’s quite sad actually. Thank you for the tissues and bless you old lady.

No Limits with Nick Vujicic Sound Clip

A recording on Nick Vujicic on happiness, family, dealing with disappointments, faith and love. I really think everybody should listen to this. We all have problems and woes of our own. But sometimes we need to lift our eyes off our circumstances and realize there are people who are far less fortunate or privileged than us but are more happier and are doing far more than us. “A great healing medicine for the heart is going out and serving someone.”, Nick Vujicic. If you’re feeling lousy about yourself and your current circumstance, go volunteer at a home or something and you will realize that you are far better off than so many people. We can all be happy with what we have. Sorry about the advertisement sounds and my occasional noise in-between.

Be blessed.

Note: I do not own this sound clip. This clip serves to inspire for daily living and may not be used for reproduction of any kind.

My notes during the television programme:

1. Attitude of gratitude
Know your value – who you areย 
Don’t devalue yourself [or allow yourself to be devalued – by words of people]
You need to tell your children that they are beautiful and they are beautiful.
[If not they are going to listen to what others out there tell them about their value]
Keep the truth of your value in you and in your family first
“Love is communicated face to face when I spend time with you”
Time is your greatest asset
Encouragement brings you closer. Discouragement brings you further.
Tree of lies grows a fruit of lies
Greatest emotions above all emotions is fear
F.E.A.R. – False evidence appear real
F.A.I.T.H. – Full Assurance for all things In The Heart

More than an excellent speaker(enter your job _______), be a excellent father/husband
Take care of your home before you take care of your work
How can you communicate hope unless you make sure your homegound is safe and healthy?
Love saves.. And produces faith
Faith is trying to reach a potential when you cannot see
Courage is strength when you feel you cannot do it
Courage doesn’t wait until you’re not afraid.
Purpose ignites courage
It starts with love, then faith, then courage.
Through courage you try to find the faith that you cannot see.

1. Attitude of gratitude.

2. You don’t know what you gonna achieve until you try it.
3. If I fail, try again.
If you need to let the dream die, let the dream die.
Don’t let yourself die.
The greatest things in life are not things.
While you have goals, don’t let your achievement define you
While you look a certain way, don’t let your appearance define you
Be the best you, reach your full potential
Take one day at a time, and live your best right now
Keep trying, you don’t know what you can achieve until you try
Thomas Edison failed 9,999 times until he succeeded in creating the lightbulb.
But he said “I didn’t fail 9,999 times, I just found 9,999 times that didn’t work.

4. Failure equals education
Some failure is expensive
Words are powerful.
Build people up with words
Don’t ever for once entertain the thought that you’re a failure

Money can’t buy hope
Was that a failure? Yes. Was I a failure? No.
5. Obstacles equals opportunities

6. Dream big
7. Never ever ever give up
8. Faith

ABCs
The truth to your value, your purpose, your destiny
You will not reach your potential until you seek it.
You will not seek it unless you know it is there

My top 3 priorities is:
My faith.
Family.
Mission.

Faith is actually trusting that God has a plan.
It doesn’t mean telling you the ABC and the XYZ of His plans because if you know that you don’t need faith.

I don’t want to live by my strength because I fail me everyday.
But He will never fail me.

On Disabilities and discouragement:

A great healing medicine for the heart is going out and serving someone

Plant seeds.

Focus on what you do have.
Who you are matters more than what you can do.
Develop the maturity between things that you can change and things that you cannot change.

It’s okay to ask for help.

Make Singapore Known for Graciousness and Magnanimity

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A family whom I managed to help link up with a CEO to get much needed furniture in the house back in 2012. Under the City Care program I had the privilege to mentor the mom’s (in the picture above) 3rd son who was discharged from a home.

It was a defining moment for me when the family were thanking me. Even the eldest brother looked me up in camp to thank me and gave me updates about the family. Through this I know I have made an impact to the family…

Lately there has been this increasing trend of internet bashing where Singaporeans criticize others for their lifestyles. One being participating (and spending money) in the zombie walk. While the thought may seem good, the method of delivery or even the intent may not be so. While we desire to see more good in society and to get others to do so, we must understand that not everybody shares the same passion to do good. And we are entitled to how we spend and live our life… How does criticizing encourage people to do good or give to the poor? While I would like to engage in social work and give to the needy, I don’t criticize my friends for the lack of volunteering or giving.

Abase and abound. From here, we accept people just the way they are, but we continue to do good on the individual level anyway.

Lead by example. There is a Christian proverb that says ‘Show me your faith apart of your works and I will show you my faith by my works.’ Singaporeans seems to be coming to a point where they easily criticize and find fault in others. Some then use ‘good thoughts’ like slamming people for not doing good with their money, to mask their intent and make it ‘well-meaning’. If we really want to see change, we make THE change. Make a difference yourself. Others will see the impact and whether they follow suit is entirely up to them. But many will follow after.

Let’s build a Singapore that is gracious and magnanimous, not a Singapore where we nitpick at each other.

To volunteer with City Care, click here.

Conversations: The Troll Brother

Me enters brother’s room.

Brother: Where did you go early in the morning sia?

Me: Army Half Marathon la. You don’t need to go meh?

Brother: Nope, I’m not in the army. *gives a smug look*

Me: ‘Ha-ha’. I will tell you I’m not in the army next week okay?

Brother: *Speechless*

Me before leaving the room: ORD loh!

Satisfaction guaranteed. ๐Ÿ™‚

Of Lights And Skylines

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Do you see what I see?
Dusk is ushered off,
Retreated beyond the horizons.
Dawn makes its grand appearance.
We wake up with the city,
Coffee queues lined up,
Traveling cars and busy streets.
We move to the beat,
In rhythm to the music within our soul.
We make for our dreams,
All is possible,
All is achievable.

Do you see what I see?
A long day has been gone,
A hard battle has been fought,
The skies make a dance,
From blue to yellow,
From crimson red to jet black,
The sea turns crystal black,
The lights within the malls snub off,
One after another,
Going into a deep slumber.

But don’t be mistaken,
She is still breathing,
The skylines lit up to paint the night’s canvas,
Herein lies all her aspirations for tomorrow,
Her dreams, hopes and future.
Tomorrow will be another day,
The city lights extinguished,
The mall lights turned back on.
Tomorrow will be another day,
Where we wake the dawn,
And chase our dreams.
Do you see what I see?

I see dreams,
I see visions,
I see aspirations,
I see futures,
I see hope.
What do you see?

Scribblings: The Mountain Experience

SCRIBBLINGS DATED 28 JULY 2013

As I come to the end of days in Taiwan, experienced my fair share of discomfort, pain and suffering; the epiphany that came out of it was unexpectedly rewarding. Though I did not climb the nodes of Taiwan, I did so for the seven nodes and Mount Biang of Brunei, hence I could identify with that rather unpleasant experience.

The ascent up is definitely difficult with every step; filled with rocks that can cause one to stumble or fall off the cliffs, plants that cut into the flesh, slops that seem impossible to climb, mosquitoes that stalks one through the entire journey. Much ‘what-ifs’ plagues the mind continuously, complaints and whining are not too far away and beads of sweat irritates the eyes. The desperation when you realize you’re still a distance away from the peak and too far off from the foot of the mountain to turn back to.

Yet diligence [almost always] reaps rewards. The view from the top is unparalleled unlike any other; the steep and breathtaking mountain views, the [really] clear blue skies, the smell of the winds mixed with the scent of grass, the rays of the [setting] sun, the stellar show of stars that fill the night sky, oh what glee!

And isn’t that how life is? [Life] will always reward the diligent and those who stuck all through the way. Pain may be temporary, but the view from up there is worth much more. Some mountain-scaling may be obligatory, some voluntary. But if you could make it all the way to the top, that experience has not been wasted and instead turns into a rather fruitful one. Something beautiful can come out from your mountain experience.