My Wish for Singapore in 2016

Having seen so many people writing on large white plastic balls for the Wishing Sphere Project, I wondered what I would write on one of them if I ever got round to it. I suppose the following might be adequate:

I wish that Singapore will grow from strength to strength in the coming year, that we, as a nation, will unite against threats to our security, economy, and way of life.

I wish for Singaporeans to be more appreciative of what they have, to be more introspective and think more critically, to be more others-oriented than self-obsessed. 

I wish that we will remember that the world observes who we are and what we do, that we will lend a helping hand to our neighbouring nations, and that we will continue to be a strong, positive influence in the global community.

May we be always proud to call this land our home.

Water Pour

A Weekend, A Market, A Learning Experience

Never having done anything related to retail before, I spent the weekend at a market - as a vendor.

Based on my photo albums, you may guess that I sold something related to something that I love - and you'd be right: gemstones.

It was a great experience and I learned a lot, saw things in new perspectives, and had a new appreciation for trading, economics, and human behaviour.

The main learning point had to do with the great disparity in foot traffic. There are times of intense activity as well as periods of dull lull. This spoke to me of the need to understand human motivations - why certain times brought certain people or their lack.

From this I started to understand the temptation of immersing yourself in your smartphone and simply serving the most interested people who started asking questions while ignoring those who casually browsed or glanced over. It was so easy to do this that I had to mentally remind myself over and over again to treat every browser as a potential customer.

Not everyone bought something, of course - economics at work here - but I was glad of the opportunity to share what I knew with my browsers. To see their smiles, receive their thanks, and hear their appreciation at learning something new  as they left inevitably reminded me of appreciative learners that I have had in schools.

All in all, it was a fantastic learning experience. The amount of insight I gained cannot possibly have been gotten elsewhere. I'd do it all over again.