I have been experiencing a mixed bag of emotions this week. Happy, sad, pensive, thoughtful, excited, comforted, peaceful, sentimental; name it and you will probably have it.
Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the founding father of Singapore, has died 3 days back. Although all Singaporeans knew that his death was imminent as he had been in a critical condition for weeks, no one could ever prepare for the moment when someone important to us departs for real, his spirit becoming another memory in our lives.
One of the few things that being on the roads sometimes bring is loneliness. Especially at moments like these, where amassing support will be comforting. It would have been really nice to gather with fellow Singaporeans, reminiscing the many times we disagreed with his tough, cruel ways and the many times we felt stifled, unhappy and frustrated with the inflexible system. At the same time, we also celebrate the truly meritocratic system he has built, how everyone, despite gender, religion, race or culture always receive equal opportunities as long as we are willing to work hard. No man is perfect and although I cannot say I love him as a person, I deeply respect him for his single-mindedness and regard him, wholeheartedly, as a brilliant politician. He made tough choices, played the dirty political game darn well, was such a bad arse and gave me the opportunities and life I have. I am always proud to be Singaporean, the city state better known as the tiny vulnerable island with no natural resources of her own but has miraculously flourished beyond imagination because of one man’s brilliant foresight. Rest in peace Sir, I’m grateful to you and your legacy will live on.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the world that I am currently at, there is an explosion of joy and excitement as a new life entered into our world. Stephanie, the host that I am staying with, has just given birth to a beautiful baby girl, Amara yesterday. The household is blanketed with a perpetual sense of jubilation. I could not contain my smiles when I first laid my eyes on the little newcomer, all tiny, vulnerable and precious. Despite having to pander to her needs 24/7 and losing massive amount of sleep, the mood in the household is wonderfully positive and cheery. There is great fascination and hope in creation. New life always signifies wondrous beginnings.
This week has been really introspective. It feels like the essence of life (and death) has been captured and re-packaged all in a few days, accelerating what will probably take us a lifetime to learn.
With every life, there is the inevitable departure. With every death, there is a new beginning. Life is indeed a circle of re-creation.
It prompted me to think of what it means to live a damn good life, and how human beings tend to delay gratification from doing what we love due to fear and self-imposed constraints, when time is constantly ticking and mortality is real. There is no better life than the one we make a stand for.
Co-incidentally, Jon (yea, that’s his real name), an old friend of mine, invited me to contribute to his financial blog last week and I thought it is apt to share it at this juncture. Enjoy the read.