31 Jul 2012

Patriotism Declining?

Flags bearing the crescent moon and five stars have sprung up in front of housing flats. Banners with "47th Happy Singapore Birthday" printed neatly on them have been hung on lampposts. It's the sign of a sweeping wave of national celebration... but is it as hyped up as it used to be?

Understandably back then, fresh out of separation from Malaysia, the atmosphere was tense and the future was filled with uncertainty. Could a small island country really survive against its much larger neighbours, let alone the rest of the world? How could the hopes that the much revered Sir Stamford Raffles put into the nation all crumble and disappear at this point? So the country struggled, dealing with obstacles after obstacles before us, making sure Singapore lived to see another year. 

And each anniversary of Singapore's independence was both a poignant reminder of the hardships the people had to cope with, but also a positive indication that progress was made and at least we weren't faltering just yet. The locals that decided to stick through the rough times were grateful that things were improving. 

27 Jul 2012

Olympics Again!

Well how about that! Four years have flown by since the Beijing Olympics, and now it's about to officially commence soon in less than 7 hours in London! At least this is one of the more spectacular and enjoyable reminders of the relentless pace of Father Time's forward march.

How about that? It doesn't seem like too long ago, but that means an almost 4 year gap between this post and the other one featuring an on-the-fly report of the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony! I still remember when I avoided using capital letters probably because I saw other blogs that just stuck to small letters, and I wrote in a really disorganised and chaotic way. Not to say I've completely mastered the technique now, but I'm certain I've improved.

This time I'm not sure if I'll do a live report of this opening ceremony though. At least back then the live telecast was at a more comfortable time-slot since the time-zone gap is smaller. Now for a ceremony that I can only begin to watch at nearly 4 in the morning here, I probably wouldn't bother with that. Still, I might change my mind later and do it again for nostalgia and as a way to keep me alert throughout the telecast...

22 Jul 2012

Change

Yes I've made some changes on this blog, in case you haven't noticed. Thought of putting it off until after I'm done with the 'A' Levels exams, but I thought it'd be way too long and I'd probably forget to do it by then. So there!

Actually I thought that of all times, now seems like one of those appropriate moments for radical change. This feels like a turning point.

All around I see school events wrapping up to bitter-sweet conclusions; CCA competitions against other schools, last musical performances, final committee meetings, and so on. Even simple things like lectures and tutorials and other lessons are wrapping up, shifting gears into revision mode. If anything, now's the time to implement personal changes.

15 Jul 2012

Choose Your Death

How do you want to die if you could choose?

Strangulation? Drowning? Shot to the head? In your sleep? Freak accident?

Sounds like a question that a psychopathic killer might ask a hostage. And it probably is. But this question has to have an answer sooner or later, even if we're not being asked with a knife pressed against your throat or a gun pointing at your forehead. 

We don't ask this to ourselves so explicitly. We always obsess ourselves over how we want to live our lives to maximise satisfaction, but never how to die. Actually we indirectly plan our deaths to some extent, tweaking the chances of a certain type of death from occurring. By eating healthier we reduce the chance of us dying from heart disease or stroke. By staying off crime we're less likely to die from a gunshot or from execution. Most of us though, we all plan to do specific stuff that we want to do, the things that make us happy and fulfilled, so that we can die a less regrettable death.

8 Jul 2012

Who Needs Friends Like These?

I've always known I wasn't ordinary. I didn't seem to get into common stereotypes, like the hyper sports kid or the nerd-like bookworm or the charismatic cool kid. And I still don't.

Not that it was bothering me too much to think I should force myself into a certain stereotype. I just kinda accepted it, because I knew it'd be way too much hassle for me to undergo a major overhaul so quickly. I suppose the only big change I imposed on myself was to control my impulses; I think I remember being more emotion-driven in my behaviour. 

Now I just find myself becoming less attached to people. That alone sounds like I'm heading towards the future of a miserable loner, but that's not what I'm doing. I know that I cannot survive in this world if I completely shun away people; strength in numbers and mutual support are obvious benefits. But I have also learned that too much of emotional investment in other people is also not a good thing either, for a few reasons.

1 Jul 2012

The Man With Too Much But Not Enough

The world had seen his brilliance, felt his presence. He had power, money and fame as one of the richest tycoons in the decade. He had a beautiful loyal wife with lovely children. He had gained so much... almost too much some complain. 


And yet, he feels that he does not have enough.


What was he missing? Thomas pondered as he stared past the full glass window panes into the distance, admiring the hustle of tiny car lights zipping along roads. The pitch darkness of the night made the dance of the car fireflies even more mesmerizing. They did have to go home since their shifts are over. They have their own commitments back at home, shows to catch up on, sleep to catch up on, families to catch up on...


Is that what I'm neglecting? Thomas frowned in thought. He had all the material wealth that'd turn a crowd envious, but maybe he wasn't rich enough in the family love department. I've been away from home most of the time, so I hardly interact with my wife and kids, not to mention I haven't seen my other relatives in a while. Perhaps I should make up for that. 


And with the newly seeded plan in his head, Thomas finally exited his exquisite private office and was the last to leave the 50-floor headquarters building.