The Passing

The passing of Mr. Lee left a void in the hearts of many Singaporeans. He has an admirable personality – I meant him as a person on his own. Not so much about the part on being a nation-builder. I know little about history (beyond what’s taught to me in school and through museum trips) to write about his contribution in the building of modern Singapore. His passing made me think about a lot of things. I’ve tried to imagine myself (and even many of us) in his circumstances. What is the possibility of any of us thriving in that sort of situation? How is it possible for anyone to feel so strongly about his values and beliefs to pursue success that isn’t guaranteed?

Mr. Lee had an amazing set of credentials at that time, where he could have stayed in UK and still go on to pursue an extraordinary career. His life would have been a bed of roses if he doesn’t return here. He could also struggle alittle to open a law firm and still pursue the principles he stand for. What is the probability of securing the reign of a state versus earning big bucks in a multinational corporation? Upon securing the reign, what are the odds of success in clearing up the ruins and building it up from scratch?

Many of us have so naturally regarded him as a watchful guardian despite his old age and deteriorating health. Of how he could step down from the PM’s position or even exit the Board and yet, his presence will give us reassurance that all is well. I’ve never met him or speak to him. A part of me feels missing at this point, especially now in addition to the mourning going on around the country. It feels alittle regretful because I’ve always seen him as like any politician imprinted in books, TV, Internet and everyday life until his passing, a wake-up call, and now I can’t see him so much like a politician as before anymore.

A part of me wants to get out of here and move somewhere else, then I’ll be a much happier person. The other part of me wants to repay the debts I’ve owed to the State. Debts that they don’t require me to repay in black-and-white. Debts that is mostly financial assistance in the form of school fee subsidies, bursaries, pocket money and miscellaneous deductions in childcare services and spending on groceries in the past when I was younger. I can’t do much in the political realm of the state. Perhaps in Social Service where I plan to explore at this moment.

Meanwhile, I can’t vision myself residing in another place for a long, long time. No matter where I go, I will be back here somehow, as a citizen and never as a tourist. Presumably, I won’t want to be an idle citizen. Maybe I’d want to do my part but I don’t know how, for now.

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What I’ve learnt in 2015, so far!

It’s almost a quarter of the year now! I’ve been looking a breather to write this post for weeks…

The point of attaining higher (or the highest possible level of) education was never clear to me. At times, we see no point of why people choose to go further than a degree, beside to secure the highest position possible and a pay raise. The sophisticated ones may say they want to “learn” something along the way, meet new people, gain new experiences , etc etc. Ultimately, it is always seen as a means to a specific end of clinching better career prospects. We are determined to at least thread through this final phase due to expectations (parents, society, ourselves). Then, there are expectations that you can never understand the meaning behind them. For ten over school years, going to university is marked as an official closing to schooling life for me and it scared me very much to deviate from an expectation that was formed, subconsciously – because I never question the point of studying besides (ideally) to get a good job.

But I’m starting to see it differently now. Learning is becoming less dull, more of a revelation and a novel experience (most of the time during Monday’s sociology and Thursday’s psychology lessons :P). What’s so novel is that I’m getting answers to the life questions I’ve been asking, like religion. These answers probably don’t serve a clear practical purpose in any way but it’s still nice to get it cleared in the head and to be amazed by how we humans are able to form an explanation for almost everything in this world – not only for things that are explained scientifically. Cass and I talked about this the last time we met. The world is just as it is but we refuse to settle for “just as it is“. Who intends for humans to figure out every possible way to explain the world around them? There’s no absolute meaning to facts at all. Every time someone comes up with a new discovery, an existing theory that has been there for the longest time is proven wrong. We are always looking to challenge someone else’s meaning (by proving it wrong) or to fit our meaning into the most commonly-accepted meaning.

In 2015, I’m beginning to see how what’s taught in the classroom is relevant in many aspects of our daily lives. There are varied perspectives you don’t get very often, unlike in the public realm (through social media, news and among your social circles). I lagged in getting to know about the most current affairs. So most of the time, it’s becoming some sort of a new experience for me. Sometimes, there are opinions (which are probably truths) that surprised me in an upsetting manner. But as creatures of meaning, we tend to filter out what’s tailored to our preference and build on our already-existing opinions. You don’t get enlightened by these things all the time and I found an area of study to vest my interest in – so I figured out this is probably an achievement!