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November 2014 Archives

Giving Thanks

It’s Thanksgiving, a good time to reflect on what we ought to thank God for. I thank God for two things this year: the rollercoaster of a journey thus far, and the steadfast people that He has placed in my life.

I’m writing this at the beautiful airport in Hyderabad, India - making a snapshot of this very moment. It was only a few months ago I turned in my expired passport, five years and barely used. In the last two weeks I have been to Malaysia, went back to Singapore and flew out to India. I have met many wonderful people, learned many new things, and tasted the beauty and colour of the communities out here.

The last two and a half months in Google has opened my eyes in a new way. My time in the government has taught me to think deeply on many domestic issues; how complex policy decisions are and how they affect all who live on our small island state. Just these few weeks at the new job has filled me with a sense of awe that comes with working with amazing people from all over the world: a taste of the diversity that makes us, well, different, and the yet so much the same. I’ve met with students and educators, budding entrepreneurs and people who have bravely changed streams midway in their very successful careers.

I am grateful for this opportunity, and always mindful how these new lessons and knowledge enable me to serve people and communities more effectively - how it stirs my heart to care even more.

In a few moments I fly back to Singapore. I can almost feel it - the smell of my baby’s hair and the warmth of a family hug. Anne has left for America to attend her auntie’s wedding, and she has taken a part of my heart with her. Caleb was also sad to see her go. I am thankful that Faith is such a capable wife and has such a generous heart to take care of everything at home while I travel for work. I thank God that we can meet every evening via Google hangout. Such a vast improvement from the times I used to talk to Faith via IRC during college while we were apart!

I don’t know what tomorrow brings, but I want so much to walk in the way God has prepared for me. It is easy to get lost in the speed of all this change, but I am constantly to keep our eye on Him, our anchor who does not waver.

A Gift for Future Generations

As part of the celebrations of Singapore’s 50 years of independence, Singaporean couples having children in 2015 will receive a basket of 8 items as a gift. They unveiled one of the items this morning: a photoframe and a scrapbook for parents to store their memories in.

It was the comments from many members of the public that really struck me.

Getting a scrapbook isn’t striking the lottery, I’ll give you that. But does a gift - any gift - deserve to be so rudely criticised and snubbed?

For the parents who looked down on and scoffed at this small gesture by the State, how would it feel if this Christmas your kids said your presents were crap right to your face, just because it wasn’t what they really wanted? They’d just be following your example. It is not the scrapbook I care about. It is the lack of maturity that drives me insane.

You have no idea what you have. You have no clue how much our forebears worked to get us here. Sure, it’s not perfect. Glad you noticed. Now you going to get your hands dirty and make it better or you’re just going to stand there, palms to the heavens, whining that someone ought to give you more free stuff?

Get busy, Singapore. Our character as a nation, evidenced by our actions and our words, isn’t currently a legacy we can be proud of handing down to our children. There’s work to be done. Let’s do it together.

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