Vote Strong

As long as I have been old enough to vote, I have never had the opportunity to vote, as nobody contested the ruling political party- The People’s Action Party- in the constituencies I lived in. There has been a general apathy and sense of powerlessness where politics is concerned in Singapore, and little political debate. I did not mind too much in the past though as I never thought that I could make a difference in the way that my country was run. I felt very much like my vote or opinion did not matter.

This is changing for me as I build a sense of sovereignty over my life and shape my personal life into one of freedom, meaning and purpose. As I feel more empowered in my life, I feel that I can make a difference in the community and world in which I live. So I have become more involved in social causes and want to make my voice heard.

I signed a petition in 2008, saying I would boycott the Marine Life aquarium at Sentosa if they imported Whale sharks. A year later in 2009, Sentosa announced that they had decided against importing the sharks. It was the first time that I realised I could make a difference by supporting a petition. I was thrilled.

Encouraged by this, I started signing petitions sent out by Avaaz*- An orgaisation that increases awareness of and raises funds for various current and on-going sociopolitical issues from corruption to climate change. Their members currently number over 8 million and are growing at a rate of 100, 000 a week. This month in India, 650,000 people joined their campaign for a powerful new anti-corruption bill, and won.

I recently signed a petition that was submitted to the President of Singapore to pardon a Malaysian man, Chun Yin, on death row in Singapore, charged with trafficking drugs, though when he was arrested he had no drugs on him.**

I used to be intimidated by the seeming absolute authority of the People’s Action Party in Singapore and the political persecution of any voice that dared to question them. But I now realise that you can’t persecute a whole society, or even thousands of people. As we are now witnessing in the Middle East, when the consensus for a need for change from a population reaches critical mass, it takes on a force of it’s own and change then becomes unstoppable.

We are part of an interconnected whole that exists as the entity of the human race and on a larger scale, as creation. Being a part of the whole we influence it by the mere fact of our existence; and on an energetic quantum level, who we are and the choices we make everyday, contribute to the whole of humanity, past, present and future.

We may not feel like we can make a difference because we feel distant and far removed from social issues but we can and we do by the very lives that we lead. Our votes and the social causes we support, or not, contribute to the fabric of the society we live in.

Only you can decide how much you want to be involved, but choose to be involved; choose to be a part of the creation of your life, your community and your country. No one knows more about your needs or will better represent your rights, than you. If you do not declare sovereignty over your life and contribute to your community, you create the condition for somebody else to. Obama said it well when he said ‘We are the people we have been waiting for.’

‘First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.’

Pastor Martin Niemoller

* Find out more about Avaaz at

** Watch a video interview of Chun Yin’s sister at

Leaps Of Faith

Finding your calling and purpose in life requires courage, stamina and self-discipline. If you make any serious headway on this essentially inner journey, you will reach points where you feel uncomfortable. You will come face to face with your emotional wounds and question the validity of your quest.

This is when you need to be brave and take a leap of faith. Like Indiana Jones in the movie The Last Crusade who had to step forward onto an invisible bridge over a deep chasm as a sign of his faith; you need to keep walking this path less travelled, believing in the deeper truth and meaning of what you are seeking.

Finding purpose and meaning requires you to take risks and carve out an individual path, but the rewards are enduring and real. You will be the first one to tread this path so you will make your markers as you make choices in your life.

You may find it helpful to take time out to examine your life and allow for an internal emotional shift to unfold. You may also choose to ask for support, in the form of a mentor, spiritual adviser or healer. These periods are opportunities to grow and heal your emotional wounds.

Emotional wounds develop in reaction to painful life experiences and your understanding of them. Once you are aware of these wounds, you can make a decision to heal and let go of any beliefs about these experiences that cause you pain or stress. Then you can start to see how these past events have contributed to your personal growth and helped you become a better person.

Peace and equilibrium become an integral part of who you are as you transcend your fears and heal your emotional wounds. Over time you are rewarded for your faith by the natural confidence and inner radiance that flows from within you because you are connected to the innate balance of your soul.

Your soul has a greater wisdom and knows what decisions will give you the most peace in each moment as it is connected to the wisdom of your heart. By quieting your mind’s incessant chatter and making sure you have at least fifteen minutes of silent contemplation every day you strengthen your ability to tune into this wisdom.

As you heal and find alignment within yourself, you will meet people with whom you connect in heartfelt ways. They are your tribe- your companions who will bring you much joy and learning on your journey toward your destiny. Let their goodness and love light your way.

‘Come to the edge, He said.
They said, We are afraid.
Come to the edge, He said.
They came.
He pushed them…
And they flew.’

Guillaume Apollinaire

The Pink Dress

There was this little girl sitting by herself in the park.
Everyone passed by her
and never stopped to see why she looked so sad.
Dressed in a worn pink dress, barefoot and dirty,
the girl just sat and watched the people go by.
She never tried to speak.
She never said a word.
Many people passed by her, but no one would stop.
The next day I decided to go back to the park in curiosity
to see if the little girl would still be there.
Yes, she was there, right in the very spot where she was yesterday,
and still with the same sad look in her eyes.
Today I was to make my own move and walk over to the little girl.
For as we all know,
a park full of strange people is not a place
for young children to play alone.
As I got closer I could see the back of the little girl’s dress.
It was grotesquely shaped.
I figured that was the reason people just passed by
and made no effort to speak to her.
Deformities are a low blow to our society and,
heaven forbid if you make
a step toward assisting someone who is different.
As I got closer,
the little girl lowered her eyes slightly to avoid my intent stare.
As I approached her,
I could see the shape of her back more clearly.
She was grotesquely shaped in a humped over form.
I smiled to let her know it was OK;
I was there to help, to talk.
I sat down beside her and opened with a simple, “Hello.”
The little girl acted shocked,
and stammered a “hi”
after a long stare into my eyes.
I smiled and she shyly smiled back.
We talked until darkness fell and the park was completely empty.
I asked the girl why she was so sad.
The little girl looked at me with a sad face said,
“Because, I’m different.”
I immediately said, “That you are!”
and smiled.
The little girl acted even sadder and said,
“I know.”
“Little girl,” I said,
“you remind me of an angel, sweet and innocent.”
She looked at me and smiled,
then slowly she got to her feet and said,
“Yes, you’re like a little Guardian Angel
sent to watch over all people walking by.”
She nodded her head yes,
and smiled.
With that she opened the back of her pink dress
and allowed her wings to spread,
then she said “I am.”
“I’m your Guardian Angel,”
with a twinkle in her eye.
I was speechless —
sure I was seeing things.
She said,
“For once you thought of someone other than yourself.
My job here is done”.
I got to my feet and said,
“Wait! Why did no one stop to help an angel?”
She looked at me, smiled, and said,
“You’re the only one that could see me,”
and then she was gone.
And with that,
my life was changed dramatically.
So, when you think you’re all you have,
remember, your angel is always
watching over you.