To my readers who may have heard recent shocking news with regards to the brand new Association of Bloggers (Singapore) , well, I am still the secretary who intend to see this through (read my new theme for 2009) together with EastCoastLife. I believe that challenges and obstacles are there to propel us forward, setbacks are there for us to see how badly we want that something, and if we want it bad enough, the entire universe will conspire to make it happen. These are borrowed ideas from Paulo Coelho and Randy Pausch. Those who have worked with me know my style. Some see a wall and they stop. I see a wall and find a way to crash through it. Mark my words: AB(S) is re-grouping for round 2.
Democracy Comes with a Price
Recent events in my life trigger a recollection of an episode that happened last year, in a different setting, rather unrelated to these recent events. Nevertheless, it has been in my to-blog list for quite some time.
In as much as I wish to see myself as a coffee boy, I am not. But somehow, during those weeks of working with an International crowd flying from all over the world and into Malaysia, my priority then seemed to evolve around coffee in the morning and the food that we served. Noises on the ground seemed to have a life on its own, an infectious fire that moved from the topic of workshop logistics to the aggressive inquisition on the leadership’s decisions previous made (read previous blog entry, quite a funny read). Everybody wants to make decisions, but who is going to do the work?
One evening, my then project director of an African origin looked at me with his usual fatherly eyes, a look that has calmed many turbulent situations throughout the course of our project, and he shook his head and said, “Democracy comes with a price”. I concurred. When everybody is talking and nobody is working, when the directions and decisions set by the leaders are in a perpetual cycle of questioning and debate, nothing moves. [Too much] democracy hinders progress. Like most established organizations, a good level of chain-of-command is good.
One Message Different Delivery
Recent observation in life triggers my thought on how one single message can be delivered in different ways that has such a high contrast of shock and awe versus nurture with hope. Hypothetically, I could make a sweeping statement saying that, “Singaporeans complain a lot, too much for the good of our progression of […]”. I could hypothetically quote examples from my personal experience working overseas, perhaps add on my friend’s true story as well. This good old friend of mine leads teams within a call center located in Malaysia handling calls from the region. Let me tell you, he dreads calls from Singapore. Specifically, Singapore.
That statement probably won’t sit too well with the public. Hence, the hypothesis.
Alternatively I could quote the late American professor Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture and promote the idea of “Don’t complain, just work harder” (somehow there is an unspoken rule saying that whatever you write is less credible than quoting from other people). And hope that someone listens. Hope that people realize that they can be much stronger without being consumed by the negative energy of complaining just a tad too much.
Whether it works or not, at least I have done my part. Share this with someone: don’t complain, just work harder.
On the Photo in This Blog
When I was studying in Hong Kong, I enjoyed studying at the Zoo located just a stone’s throw from my school in the morning and in the afternoon. The serenity has its charm. Once in while, animals from one cage would start to – for lack of a better word – make a lot of loud noises and that would trigger animals from another cage to do likewise. The next cage, and the next. Soon, there would be a symphony of animals’ calling that I could immerse into. Suddenly, the zoo seems alive. Some noises are just music to the my ears.
I took this photo during my trip to Hong Kong last December. I wish the animals were not caged like those in Singapore Zoo. Here is a close-up of that photo with high key effect. If you see some shadow at the foreground, you are not seeing things. It’s the cage.