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Charming Wet Weather (2nd July)

Taken in 2006, Sapa, Hanoi, Vietnam

Ah, such a beautiful weather to think of wonderful romantic fantasies.

The darkened skies looming above, the heavy downpour and the cacophonous sound of rainwater hitting fearsomely against the ground have never been so fine for such an endeavour.

Alas, I am imprisoned by work: deftly sorting papers, stappling them, arranging them, filing them... etc.

For the pursuits of material happiness, it dawned upon me that I have little else but to abandon all wanton thoughts and other flight of fancies. I must attend to the drudgery of dreary admin work - sorrowfully yet conscientiously.

Could this still be a blessing? I must think again, oh I must.

I don't know. Shall I defy the urgency of duty and let slide my body in a slump and to just spend time in the labour of 'feeling'? I am confounded.

My eyes are bleary. No, no product of a burdened tear duct, just merely a weary pair from the hardwork of staring at insignificant specifics.

Perhaps, labouring, I estimated - the charming weather notwithstanding - could still be a good thing. I think labour denies me the luxury of employing my mental faculties to whimsically attend to the quiet despair and melancholia brought about by solitude. So, labour, I must then. There, all is resolved now. Resolved? It seems to be a somewhat of an ironic reprieve!

I must confess that the silent poety residing within an unaccompanied heart is certainly stirring. Yet, for now, it must seem to be the only pleasure of passion I am allowed to experience - and I do hope it is for now, only.

My Meditation

When the going gets tough, one has to tread ever more vigilantly along the winding and undulating course so that one shall never forget to give due care to one's inner self - making sure that one's inner self remains intact, untarnished, secure and assured. Only then can we continue to remain stout-hearted and courageous to surmount whatever obstacles that assault us - from minute to minute. Only then can we find ease to tenaciously bounce back to life - from minute to minute. And, only then can we remain dignified, noble and principled in our manners of thoughts, words and deeds.

Such is the tough reality of life; but one that serves to make you tougher.

It has been quite a ride this year. But, despite the intense emotional anxieties and dreariness that seem to grip and cripple me, I am still comforted. I am comforted simply because I realise that at least I am still rational and strong enough to arrive at the above enlightened thought. Sometimes, I achieve this by willing myself to embrace calmly a mild sense of stoicism and while at other times, I submit fully to the deep pleasure of expressing my raging and mounting anger as I recount lucidly whatever 'significant emotional event' that had recently plagued me in full force. Both ways work. Both ways allow me to expel my 'demons'.

A dragonboat team mate once said that a philosopher by the name of Jean Paul Sarte did say something about "Hell being other people". I think, in this sense, what could be more hellish would be "the other people in your head".

On no account shall I permit the perpetrators of my anger and frustration dwell in my head. They must be vacated immediately as soon as they choose to illegitimately squat in my private mental space. That's my choice and I shall choose this tenaciously. Fie! Begone!

Let peace to me return.

Breathe... 1, 2, 3

On a more soothing note, I must say that God does put the right people in front of you - when all seems lost and almost debilitating. One such person appeared in a friend who shared with me a quote from Marcus Aurelius just when I recounted to her my recent 'significant emotional event'.

So, in return for her generosity I wish to share the quote that she had given below. Relish in the comforting words of this Stoic Emperor/Philosopher.

Go.... experience the joyful moments of true equanimity.


BEGIN the morning by saying to thyself, I shall meet with the busy-body, the ungrateful, arrogant, deceitful, envious, unsocial.

All these things happen to them by reason of their ignorance of what is good and evil.

But I, who have seen the nature of the good, that it is beautiful, and of the bad, that it is ugly, and the nature of him who does wrong, that it is akin to me, not only of the same blood or seed, but that it participates in the same intelligence and the same portion of the divinity, I can neither be injured by any of them, for no one can fix on me what is ugly, nor can I be angry with my kinsman, nor hate him, For we are made for co-operation, like feet, like hands, like eyelids, like the rows of the upper and lower teeth.

To act against one another then is contrary to nature; and IT IS acting against one another, to be vexed and to turn away.

Colour Pencils in a Boat

I think that like the colour pencils in a box, so are the paddlers in a boat.

Some colour pencils are brand new while others have been used a little more often. Some colour pencils are short while others are longer. Some colour pencils are sharp, while a few may need immediate sharpening. Of course, there are always a great number of colour pencils that are sharp enough.

Despite the varied characteristics that these colour pencils possess, they can - with vision and craft - produce a whole gallery of beautiful pictures; pictures that are not only colourful but also vibrant and breath-taking. The trick is to to accept that although not all colour pencils are created equal, each has a significant small part to play, in the bigger picture and each needs sharpening from time to time due to blunting. And so is the case too for a boat of earnest and committed paddlers.

My orderly disorder

Jackson Pollock's "No. 8"

I like my little chaos to continue thriving in full colour and splendour compartmentalised and infused neatly and comfortably into all aspects of my life's adventure.
That’s my schema.

I fervently go forward, with a sense of daring within the parameters and structures that I am happy with so that I can act on life in wanton abundance.
That's my schema.

I want to explore the terrains of my mental expedition within the bounds of reason and the animated energies of my passionate heart.
That's my schema.

I seek to understand everything but enough to live chaotically day by day, minute by minute, moment by moment while enjoying a lifetime that bears a good semblance of order and harmony.
That's my schema.

I want to be cognitively efficient so that I can be fully expressive with the creative energies of the universe to push my limits, expand my boundaries, widen my horizon, extend my scope, stretch my imagination.
That's my schema.

I want to merrily frolic with seeming disorder to enjoy the fullness of surprise found in the mundane; and, rest in the comfort of calm and peace amidst the dizzying madness of life's splendour.
That's my schema.

I want to gulp the wonderful diversity of the world by seeking to understand what was previously understood and predicted.
That's my schema.

I want to be an individual, to be fully me, fully myself - with the 'I' intact while staying as a part of a group. I want to be part of groups of groups of groups of people who have their 'I' intact, people who are fully themselves, fully authentic.
That's my schema.

I want freedom without the frantic and frenzy yet, I too want order but without burden and oppression.
That's my schema.

Balance is...
My schema is...
Order and disorder... both, I need.

Harmony IS disorder and chaos put together. That's the path to my piece of peace.
And that too, is my schema...

I owned a copy of this storybook. A friend gave it to me as a b'day gift 12 years ago. I think she was convinced that I love Children's Literature. She was right. And, I thought it was certainly a fitting gift. I still keep it. I also bought another copy a few years later, one with a corresponding chinese translation for each page of the storybook. Haha... couldn't read them characters though. What does it matter?

'The Little Prince' is a wonderfully woven tale; almost allegorical, almost always symbolic. Although, it is a children's book, an adult who can still grasp the wonders of life like a curious child would, could read this book - emotional scars notwithstanding - and enjoy its essence (or soul). You will certainly gulp down a large dose of lessons as you leaf through the pages tenderly. I promise you, the book will no doubt get you traipsing mentally along thoughts of deep reflection and contemplation; meandering along the stories of your life, reclaiming the little pieces left behind and to enjoy rightfully and once again, what life can and does still richly offer. *smiles*

Anyway, 12 years later, I meant to read it to a class to pique their interest in narrative texts. I chose the following extract. However, I did not re-read in full upon selecting it in haste due to the lack of preparation time that I had - I read only the first few paragraphs.

When the moment came, I read the extract to a bunch of eager-eyed teenagers from China. I read, and read. I made many attempts to explain and clarify - patiently. I read and read, slowly and deliberately, picking up all the emotional nuances embedded between the lines while letting them be heard in my voice. I made certain that I gave each word and sentence the life that it bears. I read on. As I read, I would pause and discuss some pertinent hidden issues. Then, I read again. I read and sometimes, I thought TOO - privately.

I continued, and read again, slowly and contemplatively. And there it was, "It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important." I suddenly felt a lump in my throat. I paused. I couldn't go on. I waited - patiently, for me. Momentary silence ensued. I repeated the last phrase. I broke it - the brief silence. But, after that, I had to remain quiet again - and, for a moment. And just for a moment, I needed that. A plethora of images and thoughts clouded my mind. Let the calm return. Silently, I was also minding not to let the pregnant pause hung heavily in the air. Gently, I smiled and waved away the discomfort and in an evenly measured voice, I noted, "it's beautiful, isn't it...?"

The quiet classroom; it was so less than a minute before. It's too recent...

Fortunately, the burdensome stillness that only I could detect dissipated as soon as we got on... enjoyably.

The story of the 'little prince' and the 'fox' is simply gripping. I have placed below for your reading enjoyment the excerpt. Read it, chew on it, digest it, smile upon it... most of all, enjoy it for its purity, beauty and truth.

And now, I'll say no more... *smiles*

From The Little Prince
by Antoine de Saint Exupery

It was then that the fox appeared.
"Good morning," said the fox.
"Good morning," the little prince responded politely, although when he turned around he saw nothing.

"I am right here," the voice said, "under the apple tree."
"Who are you?" asked the little prince, and added, "You are very pretty to look at."

"I am a fox," said the fox.
"Come and play with me," proposed the little prince. "I am so unhappy."

"I cannot play with you," the fox said. "I am not tamed."
"Ah! Please excuse me," said the little prince.
But, after some thought, he added:
"What does that mean — 'tame'?"

"You do not live here," said the fox. "What is it that you are looking for?"
"I am looking for men," said the little prince. "What does that mean — 'tame'?"

"Men," said the fox. "They have guns, and they hunt. It is very disturbing. They also raise chickens. These are their only interests. Are you looking for chickens?"
"No," said the little prince. "I am looking for friends. What does that mean — 'tame'?"

"It is an act too often neglected," said the fox. "It means to establish ties."
"'To establish ties'?"

"Just that," said the fox. "To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world..."

"I am beginning to understand," said the little prince. "There is a flower... I think that she has tamed me..."

"It is possible," said the fox. "On the Earth one sees all sorts of things."
"Oh, but this is not on the Earth!" said the little prince.

The fox seemed perplexed, and very curious.
"On another planet?"

"Are there hunters on this planet?"

"Ah, that is interesting! Are there chickens?"

"Nothing is perfect," sighed the fox.
But he came back to his idea.

"My life is very monotonous," the fox said. "I hunt chickens; men hunt me. All the chickens are just alike, and all the men are just alike. And, in consequence, I am a little bored. But if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow. And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the colour of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat..."
The fox gazed at the little prince, for a long time.

"Please — tame me!" he said.

"I want to, very much," the little prince replied. "But I have not much time. I have friends to discover, and a great many things to understand."

"One only understands the things that one tames," said the fox. "Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends any more. If you want a friend, tame me..."

"What must I do, to tame you?" asked the little prince.

"You must be very patient," replied the fox. "First you will sit down at a little distance from me — like that — in the grass. I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing. Words are the source of misunderstandings. But you will sit a little closer to me, every day..."

The next day the little prince came back.

"It would have been better to come back at the same hour," said the fox. "If, for example, you come at four o'clock in the afternoon, then at three o'clock I shall begin to be happy. I shall feel happier and happier as the hour advances. At four o'clock, I shall already be worrying and jumping about. I shall show you how happy I am! But if you come at just any time, I shall never know at what hour my heart is to be ready to greet you... One must observe the proper rites..."

"What is a rite?" asked the little prince.

"Those also are actions too often neglected," said the fox. "They are what make one day different from other days, one hour from other hours. There is a rite, for example, among my hunters. Every Thursday they dance with the village girls. So Thursday is a wonderful day for me! I can take a walk as far as the vineyards. But if the hunters danced at just any time, every day would be like every other day, and I should never have any vacation at all."

So the little prince tamed the fox. And when the hour of his departure drew near —

"Ah," said the fox, "I shall cry."

"It is your own fault," said the little prince. "I never wished you any sort of harm; but you wanted me to tame you..."

"Yes, that is so," said the fox.

"But now you are going to cry!" said the little prince.

"Yes, that is so," said the fox.

"Then it has done you no good at all!"

"It has done me good," said the fox, "because of the color of the wheat fields." And then he added: "Go and look again at the roses. You will understand now that yours is unique in all the world. Then come back to say goodbye to me, and I will make you a present of a secret."

The little prince went away, to look again at the roses.

"You are not at all like my rose," he said. "As yet you are nothing. No one has tamed you, and you have tamed no one. You are like my fox when I first knew him. He was only a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But I have made him my friend, and now he is unique in all the world."

And the roses were very much embarrassed.

"You are beautiful, but you are empty," he went on. "One could not die for you. To be sure, an ordinary passerby would think that my rose looked just like you — the rose that belongs to me. But in herself alone she is more important than all the hundreds of you other roses: because it is she that I have watered; because it is she that I have put under the glass globe; because it is she that I have sheltered behind the screen; because it is for her that I have killed the caterpillars (except the two or three that we saved to become butterflies); because it is she that I have listened to, when she grumbled, or boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing. Because she is my rose."

And he went back to meet the fox.

"Goodbye," he said.

"Goodbye," said the fox. "And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."

"What is essential is invisible to the eye," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

"It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important."

"It is the time I have wasted for my rose — " said the little prince, so that he would be sure to remember.

"Men have forgotten this truth," said the fox. "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose..."

"I am responsible for my rose," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

Racial Harmony - Singapore

picture by Amanda Lim of NSW
for "Shot" a human rights photography competition, 2003


We encounter all sorts of people everyday from moment to moment – our parents, our siblings, neighbours, friends, classmates, teachers, our team mates, the canteen lady, the foreign workers who clean our blocks, the expatriates who share a bus ride with us and, the list goes on.

Some of these encounters involve some level of interaction and relating, and that can occur when we lock eyes with them, share physical space with them, walk alongside with them on the pavement while on our way to our destination, drive past them, nod at them to acknowledge their presence, smile at them to greet them, exchange a few words of pleasantries to begin a short conversation, reveal our personal histories, divulge our personal hopes and dreams, open up ourselves to others to expose the richness of our inner world … and so on.

What have we got here?

Like it or not, we meet all kinds of people every day and we do all sorts of things with them. It is inevitable that in our encounter with them, some differences may become more apparent; differences that can potentially lead to tensions and conflicts - but, to be celebrated nevertheless if we manage them well.

Unfortunately, some of these differences can also cause disharmony in the way we see and treat others. It is also a shame to admit too that sometimes, these differences can make us forget how to respect and truly love our neighbour.

Of course, this is understandable. We are different and after all, we are fallible and not perfect. While this may be the case, it is certainly not a permission for us to treat others in a less than dignified way simply because others are different from us. Let not our differences incite fear. Let it generate genuine curiosity and interest, leading to a better understanding.

We have heard so much about the racial tensions that led to the racial riot of 1965. In Singapore - through the school system mostly, and public education - we have always remembered that fateful and shameful blemish on our history calendar. Ever since, we have made it a matter of national policy to preserve our social and racial harmony. One of the means we do this is to commemorate the RHD, or Racial Harmony Day every year on the 21st of July. This is certainly a wonderful thing. However, I would like to suggest that we go further and deeper with this.

At a personal level, why not make Racial Harmony Day more than just a matter of racial harmony; and, something that is relating to a national policy only. Let’s make racial harmony, or better yet, inter-personal harmony A PERSONAL POLICY; a policy that we uphold as part of our personal commitment to keep our character integrity intact. Make this policy our personal endeavour to value another creation of God - be it animals, plants or a living person.

Let's ensure that by embracing this policy, we can learn something of respect and love for another so that ultimately, we know how to also have a harmonious relationship with them. And, let this personal policy enable us to understand their needs and desires, and their good intentions; to recognise their personal failures as something to be compassionate about; to constantly go out of our way to see the common good that we can build together out of the genuine goodness of our inner selves. Essentially, to strive for a common understanding and common love through common goodness.

It is a lot of hard work but it is worth it. Let’s hope, in all that we think, feel, say and do from now on with another being be part of a daily personal encounter that will also entreat us to fully experience a more enriching and harmonious inter-personal relationships – from moment to moment, regardless of language, religion, culture, ethnicity, politics, education level, social ranks, wealth, gender, intelligence, abilities and DNA.

Have a wonderful day everyone and let us start this moment with a smile.


Mohandas K. Gandhi
It is the duty of every cultured man or woman to read sympathetically the scriptures of the world. If we are to respect others' religions as we would have them respect our own, a friendly study of the world's religions is a sacred duty.


Today, being the first of Ramadhan, marks the day when all Muslims in Singapore and the world start their month-long fasting.

Fasting is a universal practice; many world religions advocate fasting and in Islam, fasting is also not just a matter of abstaining oneself from food and drink. Fasting is the means by which we continue to build our character towards spiritual cleansing by way of curbing our desires.

Certainly, during Ramadan especially, all Muslims are called upon to be closer to God. We do this by being simple in virtue and steadfast in duty. Muslims are asked to do good deeds – always and mindfully - and to consciously refrain from the ways of the wicked – even from something as simple as lying or using offensive harsh words on others. Thus, during Ramadan, through the practice of temperance, we are to actively absolve all ill thoughts, intent and deeds.

Fasting is one of the pillars of Islam. It is compulsory for all Muslims to fast however, with the exception of some, namely, young children, the old and sickly, people on medication AND pregnant and nursing mothers.

During Ramadan, Muslims will wake up every morning before 5.30am to have our pre-dawn meal to prepare us for the act of fast. And, at night, all mosques will lead their congregation in the special Ramadan prayer called Tarawikh. Believers of Islam are not only encouraged to perform this prayer to cleanse themselves spiritually, mentally and physically, they are also required to donate a portion of their wealth to the poor through the practice of ‘Zakat’ and ‘Fitrah’.

Although we should not exert ourselves with rigorous activities in the daytime, this does not mean that we can shirk our routine responsibilities. We are in fact expected to continue doing all that we can within the bounds of reason and health.

The month of fasting will end with the Hari Raya celebration or Eid Mubarak. It is the day when Muslims rejoice at the successful completion of their month-long fasting. Celebration is in the form of visiting their family members and relatives to ask for forgiveness and inviting family and friends to their house.

With this, I pray that all Muslims will have the strength and endurance to go through the fasting month with less difficulty. For the non-Muslims, we invite you to show your support to your Muslim brothers and sisters by similarly exhibiting the same kind of earnest mindfulness and keenness towards doing good deeds. Let the month of Ramadhan be a solemn reminder for all of us to also practice an active reluctance to commit ill deeds - small or big.

Let’s pray also that with all your support, our Muslim brothers and sisters shall NOT be tempted to food; and, shall always be encouraged to complete their fast successfully while remaining steadfast in duty and simple in virtue. Let us all work together as a multi-religious community to continue our daily efforts to be exemplary in our behaviour.

May the Holy month of Ramadan enrich us all - spiritually and emotionally.

God Bless and thank you.

This was written as part of the morning prayer conducted daily in the catholic secondary school where I teach. It is our practice to espouse the spiritual virtues of the various religious practices in Singapore in our bid to promote spiritual and religious harmony for all members of the school. May our sincere efforts be blessed and bear fruits for the goodness of mankind.

The man in the mirror

The courageous life to live is one
that teaches you to learn that God loves you.
The blessed life to live is to inspire others
to accept that God loves them too.
The divine life to live is to accept the duty
0f loving God through the genuine love
You give to others regardless of what
The person appears to be to you.

And from thence, one will find purpose.
Purpose is given and is there within us
But, we can only see it through the eyes
That met ours when we look in the mirror.



I was actually having a conversation with a Singaporean friend who went over to Aus. to work as a nurse. In the middle of our conversation, I wrote something like what you've read above - in bits and pieces.

I guess, the thought was already developing as a result of a few experiences I had prior to the chat.

Just a few days before, I was talking to a colleague about inter-faith forums and the importance of its place in civic-minded, mature and deeply gracious societies (It's very National Education in orientation).

We talked about how some people get on their lives feeling absolutely at ease and peace with their own personal genuine efforts to help others in need - others who are living in abject conditions. That spawned a discussion on the essence of deep spirituality. At the back of my mind, this entails the building of a personal relationship with the Almighty - or by whatever name you call it through the sincere good deeds we perform on others.

My colleague, who's a Catholic thought further and said, "well, that's because they see THE person." Egad! To see others not in terms of convenient labels we slap onto them, which have till this day created the notions of 'us' and 'them'. As Karen Armstrong, a writer would aptly put it, to 'dethrone ourselves'.

Also, just this whole week, I was spending a lot of time coming up with an action plan for my co-curricular activity, to develop a leadership programme that focuses on character development. The notion of servant leadership keeps cropping up. Hence, it dawns upon me that it is equally important that we learn to place others before oneself regardless of how those others appear to be in our system of thinking: to place others before oneself in a gracious way, without compromising one's own personal convictions.

When you exude exemplary behaviour, others will feel at ease. All forms of healthy relationship are built on the strong foundation of trust, understanding and compassion. We don't get much of that these days. We are all products of systems.

As I was reading various websites, I found a Jim Robbins who talked about the fifth level of leadership, describing it as a skill that someone at this level has to look into the mirror - for self reflection, clearly!

I don't fully concur with all aspects of his marketing-oriented 'Five Levels of Leadership' but I do agree with his observation about the fifth level leader. After all, we are all flawed and fallible. Therefore, it appears now that a very brave life to live is one that compels us to constantly engage ourselves in a 'very thoughtful reflection' -pun intended.

My personal conviction:
It's always a good start to pursue "Carpe Dium" grounded on the principles of putting virtuous thoughts "into deeds for ALL OF US" ;) In my estimation, at the very centre of these virtuous thoughts is the golden rule that says "do not unto others what you do not want others do unto you". A Muslim colleague told me recently, "we are so good at judging others that we forgot to learn." (Haha... again in the context of N.E. discussion)

Take a look at this:

Another gem, that I've come across:

When you sow a thought you reap an action,
When you sow an action you reap a habit,
When you sow a habit you reap a character and
When you sow a character you reap a destiny.
- Anonymous


To learn or not to learn

NEVER, NEVER strive to be better than others...
if you do, then, you'll never learn!

NEVER, NEVER cease to be better than yourself...
if you do, then, you haven't learnt.


It's a reframe that reminds us to be more keen
towards a more gracious attitude.

Striving to only be better than others suggests a
personal arrogance motivated by a greedy desire
to be superior which can ultimately teach you to
do one thing and one thing only: to denounce the
understanding that there's a lot to be learnt from

The ideal is humility, to dethrone yourself, to always
accept that there's always something to learn from
another, "even the most unlikely person of all".

To cease, to be better than yourself is to abandon the
spirit of excellence and reject personal growth. The
ideal is to always progress from what you have humbly
learnt from others yesterday and make today's thoughts,
words and deeds more desirably noble.

Hence, learn from others, be better at it than you were
yesterday, serve others and then, continue the virtuous


Love -> Freedom -> Truth -> Justice.

A compassionate life begins when one seeks to give off
oneself to others, through service genuinely. Each gentle
touch we offer through our thoughts, words and deeds will
remove each layer of emotional shackle that has cocooned

An unburdened heart will free the mind from clutter and
hence, giving it the space needed to embrace truth, the
kind of truth preceded by, yeap, Love. And Justice is the
outcome that follows these chain of states.

On Giving

Give, even though when you seem to have nothing else that can be given away. If you know only how give by parting with your material possessions then surely you have not learnt to give generously.

It’s a lot easier to give material possessions to another. You simply transfer that object – be it gifts, money, clothes or food – from one hand to another. This kind of giving only requires you to part with a material possession that was once yours. However, to give generously is give a little more than that. It really is to give a little of yourself to another in a dignified and gracious way.

What could that be? It would be your time.

When there’s noting else you can give, give your time. Give your time fully to another person. When you have learnt to give your time then, give fully your attention. And when you have learnt to give your attention, give fully your care. And when you have learnt to give your care, give fully your love.

The ultimate form of giving is to give love that you have been blessed with. To give love is really to sacrifice the time of your life to care and attend to another person in a dutiful way.

Time is God’s greatest gift to us. Time is what we have since the day we were created but time is finite. Time has a limit but while we still have the Time, let us use it wisely, courageously and most importantly of all, kindly to love another. While we still have the Time, let us have the wisdom, courage and kindness to dethrone ourselves and place others at the epicentre of our love, care and attention. This I think is the ultimate mission of our time - a mission that will ultimately give peace to our mind, contentment to our hearts, comfort to our body and enlightenment to our soul.

Hence, let us seize every opportunity we have through our work and play to give fully our attention, care and love to others until it’s time to go.

This moment, you have given fully to me by giving me your time, and for that, I give you my sincerest thanks.

May we both be doubly blessed for the time we have shared. I am contented to know that time is not lost.