Thursday, January 30, 2014


Happy Chinese New Year!


Wednesday, January 15, 2014


As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I was plummeted with a hail of backlash. 

I was talking to a person who was bitterly grumbling about how our world (i.e. society, economy, standards of living, education, etc) were all going down the drain and that people should consider themselves beyond lucky if they had even rice and soy sauce (and kangkong) to eat.

We shouldn't be asking for more, we should be grateful having just enough to 'get by', we shouldn't complain about our beloved government (ha!) and instead just keep our noses to the grindstone and shut up because really, we should be thankful for the very skin on our backs.

We shouldn't take chances, risks are too risky, we should treasure our pennies and not think of dollars (or ringgits) more. The road to success is riddled with too many potholes. No, no, one should not even dream of pursuing greater things because there are too many dangers lurking in wait! Better to lie quietly and let others test the waters. Better to reside in safety and let others take the fall.

I responded :

Would you encourage your child to aim for a mere pass on a test? Would you ask an employee to do their job just enough to not get fired? Should an athlete aim to just complete a race, or to charge across the finish line and sweep first place? Would you want to barely cling on to existence, or do you want to richly colour your days with passion, vibrance, and life?

It is NOT good enough, to be merely 'good enough'. To think as such would be to breed complacency, which leads to failure. Good is the enemy of the great. 

The wind momentarily taken out of her sails, she gave me a look of irritation that I was not nodding to her beat.

" You say you aspire to be great? My girl, I have eaten more salt than you have eaten rice and I tell you, you are young and foolish indeed to even utter such words. Pride comes before a fall, and what a fall yours will be! "

After which she said a whole load more of other dogmatic drivel which I can't really remember because they all went in one ear and out the other. At this point, I realized some people are happy just being an unhappy grouch and it's pretty much pointless to try to cheer them up.

It's sad, pitiable even, to know that there are people with such miserable mindsets. What more when they sullenly glower in their corner facing the wall and snap at anyone who dares tell them that there is so much to rejoice and live for.

You can continue scraping the bottom of the pot and tell yourself that you are beyond blessed to be able to eat burnt crusts but I am setting the bar high and fixing my sights on greater things. Which hands down beats resentfully receiving your circumstances and playing the victim.

" Good is the enemy of the great. "

Don't tell me that being great holds no appeal for you. It is what everyone desires, but not all have the balls to declare.


Monday, January 13, 2014


I was talking to this kid (I think he was about 15 or 16 years old) and he told me that he would like to get better at singing. 

Me : How do you intend to achieve that?
Him : I suppose I'll practice more.
Me : But how do you know if you're getting better at it or not?
Him : By listening to myself.
Me : Why don't you join a competition, or perform at one of your school's events?
Him : I don't need other people to validate if I'm getting better or not. And I don't think want other people to hear me sing either.
Me : But what's the point for you to put all that effort into becoming a better singer, if you're only going to sing for yourself? 


What good does it do... 
   To be an amazing chef, who does not allow others to savour the taste of your cooking?
   To be the most graceful ballerina, who only dances behind drawn curtains of the stage?
   To be the strongest person in the world, who does not lift a finger to ease another's burden?

By which case, would be just as though you had naught. 

Talent and gifts are meant to be shared, for the rest of the world to rejoice and delight in as well.


Sunday, January 5, 2014


A few days ago, I went to DiGi to make some adjustments to my phone plan.

The girl who saw to me was friendly, courteous and efficient. Which given the industrial norm, proved a pleasant surprise indeed. As a way of saying thank you, I asked if they had any customer service feedback forms so I could compliment her for a job well done.

It is apparently not the norm either to thank people in this industry. Slightly taken aback, she politely told me that there were no such forms. Hence I ended up using a blank sheet of paper to word down a few sentences of acknowledgement. 

I think this was the first time I've ever done so (as in formally commended someone for doing a good job.) No, I had not had an especially wonderful day. I was not particularly overflowing with goodwill and altruism, nor had I won a billion dollar jackpot in the lottery. To be frank, I did it simply and without much thought. (I suppose it's because I'm just a genuinely nice person like that heh.) It took all but three minutes, then I handed her the slip of paper and left.

This afternoon, I received a call from an unknown number. However, I ignored it as I was busy. A short while later, I received a text from the same number.

It was Claire, the girl who had attended to me. She exuberantly described how her supervisor had passed it on to her manager, who passed it on to his manager, who passed it on to upper management at their HQ. The whole company was abuzz - the short paragraph I had penned out was being sent out to every member of their staff as a form of encouragement. A reminder to thousands of employees that no matter how trivial they perceive their work to be, people still recognize and validate a job well done.  

She gratefully gushed her thanks, and told me that she would be more than happy to serve me again when I came back. As I read through the text, I could feel her enthusiasm radiating through ; it put a smile on my face and spread a warm glow through myself as well.

That action came about on the spur of the moment and without any consideration or forethought. What initially was meant to be an unassuming note for one individual, ended up reaching thousands. This simple incident taught me never to underestimate how much of an impact a few words of appreciation or a simple deed of kindness can have in uplifting your fellow person(s).