Choice & Chance

Cool, serene night

“Regardless what race or color you are, the blood flowing in your body is still red.”

I suppose we can’t agree more with the above sentence because that is fundamentally what makes us all human, and what makes us all the same. Equality, though it will remain more of an ideal than reality, is something very much worth striving for and towards. The world has long been working to abolish racial inequality and slavery, because such differences cause differentiation, followed after that by division and discrimination.. which are undesirable and not in line with peaceful and harmonious co-existence.

If we allocate some thought to it, no one was born having a choice as to what race, nationality or background he or she would be born in to live out. In mortal knowledge, we know that none of us on earth now had a choice before as to which country, community or family we would be conceived in to begin our life. Speaking purely of what we know, an only child couldn’t have chosen to be born into a family of many offsprings, just like how an American or Japanese didn’t choose to be American and Japanese to start. In all fairness, a white man could have been born black too.

If that is so and nobody had or has a choice as to what the first step and place in life would be, should we all not work towards the best for all humans? If you were fortunate to be born rich as maybe a German, a wealthy Spaniard or Korean, would you not do away with racial supremacy and help your fellow humans of another flesh colour? After all, if we slit open the skin of any human.. the same pain would be felt and the blood that flows out would be inevitably red.

If we can look at another person purely as another individual, looking pass his background etc, more love can be shared and spreaded in our modest world. In this way, no one will judge and be judged, and no one will discriminate or be discriminated.

This surely would prompt us to think that this idea of not having a choice of what and how to begin life applies to all living beings in this world as well. An ant might not have had the choice of being an ant or not, just like how an elephant might not have chosen to be one. In that case, should we not all practice ahimsa and show compassion and love to all beings then?

The Individual

Light drizzle, cool night

“It is eventually all about the individual.”

The above line is commonly heard and said by people in regards to a person’s success or downfall, citing the fact that it  is ultimately the strength and choice of the individual / self that is the main causal factor of the outcome. The statement is quite subjective and incident-based and it is not applicable to some people and cases, since nothing really is in reality. Of course, in success stories such as the late, great Steve Jobs or the whizz-of-our-time Bill Gates, it clearly was and has always been about the individual.. with a decent inclusion of luck plus opportunity and affinity, definitely.

If we pay close attention to how success happens for some people and not anyone else, we would realize that many a time success and permanent failure borders on the individual and the way his mind works. The individual has the choice to decide whether he is willing to fulfill his desire at all cost or not, and also the choice of whether he is willing to push the limit of the strength of his character or not. If the answer to both is a resounding YES, then success is an equally loud GIVEN as well.

A feeble character will not be able to sustain and survive the entire arduous route to success, just like how a fickle mind is not able to stay on track and not walk astray from the journey to the same location. As such, a strong and determined individual must control his mind and strive beyond the supposed strength and grid of his character to reach the pinnacle that is known as success.

Without doubt, obstacles such as distractions, momentary failures and emotional or physical weariness will stand in the way as we endeavor to scale the heights towards our final objective or goal. It has not and will never be an easy mission. Just ask those on their way, and those that have reached.. you might get answers that will either motivate you or put you off; but whatever the answer is, ‘easy’ will not be included or featured.

Have you what it takes to reach the peak in time to catch the sunrise?

Cold & Wet Festive Season

cool, silent night

Floods, train breakdowns and the likes have hit Singapore hard in recent days and one cannot help but feel concerned and disturbed by the unpleasant incidents that have struck our sunny island. The constant downpour and drizzle has caused our shopping district to be flooded, and it is not the first time that our busy street has gone under the water this year. If you tell someone a decade ago that parts (such as Orchard) of Singapore may flood, you might almost hear the word ‘impossible’ being shot straight at you. Now, with the recent inclusion of the mighty Marina Barrage in our local map, I think more floods will take place when torrential rains hit and more problems may soon arise with little counter measures being put in place to protect our shoppers and shop owners. A link somewhere, perhaps?

Besides that, we also have the problem of our trains breaking down in the past week and many commuters have been inconvenienced in more than one way or another. Many smart people have stepped out to make comments about the technical glitches as well as the decline in competency and standard of SMRT; some of the comments made have been widely deemed as atrocious and stupid, with the forerunner of it all looking to be one of our supposedly smarter people who has a surname that comes after Yummmmm. What a brilliant way to attempt to start racial unrest and disharmony in the peaceful heartlands of Singapore.

Well, whoever has stepped out to say something to lessen the impact of the recent train incidents on SMRT and LTA,  I reckon it would be a simpler and probably more effective task to ask a particular someone to step down, instead of trying to use paper (excuses) to cover up and hide a fire. The transport system is not about making money from rental or whatever other means; it is about serving the people and ensuring that all Singaporeans can get around the country with ease and comfort. Is that not what the transport system is for, to take people from point A to point B, rather than taking people from point A to point B in a packed can of sardines and at the same time greedily fill huge pockets?

I suppose this is only the start of more problems and cracks that will appear out of a system and society that is profit based, where there is a disappointing lack of care, benefit and thought for those who share the same sunny island as the decision makers and the people with oversized and overloaded pockets that has brains that contain more air particles than brain cells. I think it is about time to look out of the ivory tower and see what exactly is going on on the grounds.

December Rain

light drizzle, cool morning

It’s that time of the year again, where everyone is either hurrying about to finish errands that have been accumulated over the year, or taking a backseat and relaxing after all the hassle and buzz of the whole year that has rushed passed them. Surely, now is also the time of the year where people look back at the months of the year that has gone by and wonder what went wrong, and what went right for them. They certainly can pat themselves on the back and have themselves a lovely December and a wonderful Christmas if they have done well for the year; if they have not gotten things right and things have not been smooth sailing, now is the time to reflect and ponder upon their actions and make use of this crucial month before the turn of the year to correct things and step into the new year afresh.

I have a habit (which I’m sure almost everyone has, just in different formats and platforms) of writing a short reflection of all the things that took place in the year that have been good, and not good, and what I have taken away from these encounters and experiences. I have done pretty extensive ones on my previous blog for past years, and I still laugh and turn nostalgic when the memories entailed in those posts are revived.

You read through silly past incidents, petty arguments and lame moments and wonder what you were thinking at that point of time and laugh at your own ignorance and foolishness; it can be very interesting to look back and be fascinated by your own development and growth. It can also be a relief to look back at a rough patch that you had to brave through and take pride that you survived the bitter storm and unkind waves.

By looking back at the past, the memories created and the times lived, you can use it as a guide as you endeavour through life and create more memories to look back at at a later time. It is with time and experience that one learns the ropes in life.

The past can guide the present as you shape the future; spend the current moment wisely and let no action give cause for future regret.