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Monthly Archives: April 2015

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Vision is the art of seeing the invisible – Jonathan Swift

Quote outside the Museum.

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I’m delighted with the treat to visit the LKC Natural History Museum and the family of 3 dinosaur sauropods. Could dinosaurs have walked on Singapore soil once upon a time?  Possibly.

This is a story of how a few people with their conviction and passion managed to inspire many people to support their vision and collectively create something powerful.  It was not too long ago, I recall the Profs racing to canvas funding for the family of dinosaur bones. Now its a reality.

Now, they’re setting their sights on the return of the Singapore whale, which is residing in the Labuan Maritime Museum.

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In Retrospect (Maya Angelou)

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Photo by VT

Last year changed its seasons
Subtly,  stripped its sultry winds
For the reds of dying leaves, lrt
Gelid drips of winter ice melt onto a
Warming earth and urged the dormant
Bulbd to brave the
Pain of spring

We, loving, above the whim of
Time, did not notice.

Alone. I remember now.

Poem by Maya Angelou, born on 4 April 1928

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Photo by L taken along Boat Quay

When you see me sitting quietly
Like a sack left on the shelf,
Don’t think I need your chattering.
I’m listening to myself.
Hold! Stop! Don’t pity me!
Hold! Stop your sympathy!
Understanding if you got it,
Otherwise I’ll do without it!

When my bones are stiff and aching
And my feet won’t climb the stair,
I will only ask one favour:
Don’t bring me no rocking chair.

When you see me walking, stumbling,
Don’t study and get it wrong.
Cause tired don’t mean lazy
And every goodbye aint gone.
I’m the same person I was back then,
A little less hair, a little less chin,
A lot less lungs and much less wind.
But aint I lucky I can still breathe in.

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Tibetan man with his yak  at Yangpachen, Namtso

Tibetan man with his yak at Yangpachen, Namtso

Gift #4:   April Showers bring May flowers

Everything has a season, Everything has a reason

Had Steve Jobs not been fired from Apple, he would not have met his wife, and bought Pixar, which made him a billionaire. [This is according to his commencement address.]

In Chinese, there’s an expression that comes close to the English idiom, every cloud has a silver lining. In every terrible circumstance, there’s a tiny sliver of hope of something good that may come as a result.

塞翁失马 [sai weng si ma, yan zi feifu]

The expression 塞翁失马 literally means Sai Weng lost his horse and comes from 《淮南子》written by Liu An in the Western Han Dynasty. An old man called Sai Weng lost his horse, but when others came to comfort him, he said, “I have only lost a horse, and this is not a big loss. Maybe something good will come of it in future.” And so it came to pass – a few days later, his horse returned followed by another good horse.

Although from the story my mom told me, it continues that one day, his son sat on the new horse and was thrown off this wild horse. His son became a cripple. When neighbours came to console him, how is he going to start his own family? No one will want a husband like that?  The man said, its not a big loss. Perhaps something good will come of it. Several years later, the country went to war with a neighbouring country, and all the able-bodied men in the village were enlisted. But because his son was a cripple, he was spared and able to marry a young woman of his dreams. Perhaps the story has other twists and turns.

Tibetan yak

Tibetan yak

The Chinese saying, is usually twined with a question “Is this good or bad?”

Was colonialism good or bad for Singapore?

When World War II came, and the British came, and the Japanese occupied Singapore, was it good or bad?

When Singapore was expelled from the merger, was it good or bad?

When the British withdrew from Singapore in 1971, was it good or bad?

As I looked back at my own life, whenever I face a setback, fear crept in. At times, I was even paralyzed with fear and depression. Be positive, pull yourself by your boot-straps, friends tell me. They are not wrong. But somehow I couldn’t muster the courage to positive thinking.

I’ve come to learn that adverse situations are pivotal circumstances and contain seeds of new growth = turning points. Life-changing experiences take place, when I’m not preoccupied with grumbling. I’m not trying to justify the works of evil people. They will be judged in their own time.  Whatever man meant for evil, God can turn it to good.

My response to such adverse circumstances in future?

Ask: What is the lesson that I am supposed to learn from this situation?  What is my responsibility? Did I contribute to this problem? What can I do differently? [Which leads me to Gift #5 – Learn something new.]
What do I have to mourn and move on?
10 years later, when I look back, what can I give thanks for now?
Are there qualities, growth that I have gained?

Having a routine helps in adversity. And friends.

What are the lessons adversity has taught you? Let me hear from you.

Don’t judge each day by your harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.  – Robert Louis Steveson

 

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Nests come in different shapes

 

While you birth a dream, remember to hatch it.

In my garden, I found a nest with a pretty pink egg and white specks. Delighted, every day I waited for the egg to hatch. Its been 2 months. I guess the nest has been abandoned.

According to Wikipedia, 17% of all eggs are not hatched.  Sometimes, mother bird realises the egg is not fertile and abandons the nest.

Gift #3. Hatch your dreams.

An egg is not hatched when it is laid, but when you see legs. Of little chicks and their pretty feet. And wings to soar to the sky.

What is causing you to abandon your egg?

  • Is it fear of the unknown?
    Lack of skills? Resources?
    Objections?
  • Boredom?
  • Lack of recognition?
  • Moving on to the next hottest thing?

 

There’s an interesting website I chanced upon called 5 things God uses to grow your faith:

    1. Practical teaching – Build your foundation
    2. Providential Relationships
    3. Private discipline
    4. Personal gifts and gifting to serve others
    5. Pivotal circumstances

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
Calvin Coolidge

The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night. – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Tennyson’s Ulysses

How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!
As though to breathe were life! 

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Celebrating coming of Easter

Incidentally, Christians celebrate Easter because the empty shell represents an empty tomb of a risen Christ.

Happy Easter.

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Funnel shaped nest, possibly by a sunbird