Fishball Story

Of the people I heard speak on a stage tonight, one person stood out. His name is Douglas, and he is 23. He makes fishball noodles at a hawker market, and is a very dedicated and passionate one at that. He shared that he learnt to make fishballs from his grandmother so that he could enjoy them every day, and then thought why not step up & sell them at a hawker centre because fishball and hawker food are very much our national heritage? Even as he spoke of the many challenges he faced in the last 7 months as a hawker (e.g. young hawkers have no subsidy and are less likely to get good stall locations), his words and energy were brimming with passion. He needed no slides or photos to capture his audience’s attention. The photos in this blog look really yum – must go support his food one of these days.

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the hug

While on the way home…

Noticed 2 individuals along the walkway. One a blind singer, the other a tissue seller with really thin legs. Gave some coins to the singer, and went over to pass a dollar to the tissue seller.

The tissue seller looked happy but indicated that the tissue packet was worth 2 dollars.

And I thought 1 dollar was quite a pricey sum already.

So I asked, “Can I give you the dollar? I don’t want the tissue.”

The tissue seller shook his head. He indicated for me to take the tissue, and took the dollar. He then opened his arms as if asking for a hug, and said, “bao bao”.

I wasn’t sure what to do next, but I trusted my instincts that he meant well. So I went just that bit closer, and he leaned over to give me a hug. It was really a strong one near the neck, and I couldn’t help panicking for a bit.

Within a few moments, the hug was done. I was free to leave with the tissue packet. As I type this down, I wonder what it meant, and hope all the best for him.

Awesome day – A day of flow, courage, appreciation, inspiration!

Awesome, awesome day. So much to give THANKS for!! :)

Appreciate myself for making a self-empowering decision to do a presentation today, to a good size crowd of clients, colleagues & random conference walk-ins. It is not a topic that I’m an expert in, but I was scheduled to speak on it yesterday, and for a myriad of reasons, yesterday’s talk didn’t happen.

After the last scheduled talk for the day, a lady who strolled in asked, “So, what’s the next talk?” With immense clarity and courage, I announced to all that I would be the last speaker, even though it wasn’t in the schedule. Was so totally delighted when the random walk-ins shared their personal interests & backgrounds – they are so totally in line with my chosen topic, which is a really niche one (and different from the previous presenter). I got really good feedback after – am really glad!!

Things just seemed to flow today… Caught up with former colleagues (feels like family!), old connections… Met the “random walk-ins” randomly much later – we had such good conversations, we felt it was fate! Oh, and how my colleagues & I ended up at the same cafe after the event, even though it was not in our original plans.

I came home feeling inspired after attending a pre-geohackathon workshop. Totally recharged by listening to the challenges that volunteer organisations need to overcome, and how aspiring programmers and general people in the street want to form teams and create apps that make a difference! In like 48 hours too.

Formed an impromptu team with poly students – our goal to create an app that will really help Food for the Heart. We don’t have the skills to create a really professional one. But what we have – loads of it – is the readiness to do something, learn from one another, and a desire to make a real difference :)

the 4 mins speech

There was this ball. It was blue, red and a little soft. You know, the bean bag kind. The ball was thrown across the table to another student. He stood up, walked to the front of the room, said his 3 to 5 mins speech without any audio or visual aids. The speech was video-ed and he got immediate feedback from the class.

I sat uncomfortably in my seat, not wishing to speak. The ball looped over. It was my turn!

I walked to the front, plagued with self doubt. Not too sure if I knew what to say. The topic which I chose was something I feel keenly for, but do I know enough to captivate the audience for 5 mins? Without any aids?

As I took my position & felt the presence of a “stage”, the fear slipped away. A certain courage & strength took over. A voice rang clear and powerful – was it mine? For 4 mins, I shared stories that until now I felt no one understood. The room listened with apt attention, at times responding with laughter and nods.

As I returned to my seat after the speech, my heart danced. :)  There was this joy as I realised… I did my act of courage! I stood for something I believed in, and I stood up for myself. I am truly very thankful for the opportunity.

Gifts

“I now see how gifts like courage, compassion, and connection only work when they are exercised. Every day.” ~ Brene Brown

Every moment we have is a precious gift

There’s a wake at a house very near to my place. Plucked up my courage again, went up to give my condolences to the family. Because I feel it is the right thing to do. But because I have never met them before,even as I stepped up, I didn’t know what to say really, and who to approach.

Somehow I got their attention. The mum appreciated it very much when I said I am a neighbour who lives just down the street. The family later shared with me how the father, who is really still quite young, had passed away suddenly & unexpectedly, and no one really accept that he is gone just like that.

As we talked for over an hour, I sensed that this is a family who care for one another, & the parents worked really hard for the family business. They realised that every moment is really precious, one really cannot foresee when the end will come, and there’s time for work, there’s also time to rest – ultimately, health is key. All the money in the world cannot bring a person back; it is better to live life happily, rest well & be with love ones.

All good reminders really. All of us may know & understand them, but how often do we actually do them? Don’t wait till it’s too late to do what you want to do, or say what you want to say. Because the present is a gift, and the future is never guaranteed.