From Living Well to Leaving Well

I am thankful for the gift of relaxation (vacationing) as we completed our drive through the beautiful Lake District to Edinburgh, cruised the Baltic and now completing the Mediterranean route as I write.

I believe in working hard (vocationing) and enjoying the fruits of it, completing 4 books in 12 months and taking SKM through another year.

I believe in living well. We all do, though we may define it differently. For me, it is about doing meaningful work, touching lives, inspiring faith, and embracing love.

In living well, however you define it, we do need to think about it and prepare for it. Most vacationers on the cruise are retirees who have some means. One couple has cruised a total of more than a thousand days. That's a lot of cruising and you need a lot of disposable income to be able to do that!

No doubt many worked hard at making and saving money, and are now enjoying the fruits of their labour.

That takes some planning and preparation. For some, it is a lifetime…

Losing Home, Losing Dignity

I introduced Lars Peter in my Facebook post from Copenhagen a few days ago. He is a 56-year-old gentleman from Greenland whom we met at his "home" which is the doorstep of a church in the heart of Copenhagen, a stone's throw away from the palace.

He was sitting on the steps of the church doorway with his broken tricycle parked at the side. Seeing us approaching, he gestured and said, "The church is closed. It is only opened on Sunday morning for service. It's my home the rest of the time."

His English was perfect. I introduced myself and Ruth. He said, "How do you do? My name is Lars and I am a veteran from Greenland."

I sat down beside him. There is a wisp of alcohol as he spoke. He offered me a cigarette to which I politely declined.

He told me his story.

An Eskimo from Greenland, he became a soldier in Denmark. Then he became a mercenary and was stationed in the Faroe Islands, Iceland, UK and Germany.

"I fought fierce battles in Africa …

They Made Adam Proud

My wife Ruth and I are traveling till Oct 1. And my travelogue is posted on my FaceBook.

Driving out of Manchester on a Monday afternoon, we encountered heavy traffic along the way. A huge queue had already formed on the motorway.

But there were no chaos, no honking and no irate drivers. Everything was orderly.

There is an unwritten rule governing the "Give and Take" of driving etiquette. To take, one must first give. The one entering gives way to the one on the motorway in the queue. The one behind him in the motorway then gives way to the one trying to enter as he had earlier given way. He now takes.

And so it goes, alternating between the one entering and the one already on the motorway.

It works perfectly.

The traffic was orderly and everyone took turns to join the queue. The traffic moved along smoothly.

We arrived late in Windermere without making reservations for accommodation. We were hungering for adventure and were counting on finding B&B joints along the…

It’s Spring at Seventy

I am seventy and I feel that life has just begun.

This feeling is shared by many septuagenarians. May Sarton has written At Seventy: A Journal and Judith Viorst, I’m, too Young to be Seventy. Both are funny, warm and positive. Judith is certainly “glad to be alive” and does not see it as the autumn of life.

“The autumn of life,” writes Sarton, “is … a matter of saying farewell, but the strange thing is that I do not feel it is autumn. Life is so rich and full these days. There is so much to look forward to, so much here and now…And right now there are hundreds of good letters to answer and hundreds of bulbs to plant. I do not feel I am saying farewell yet but only beginning again, as it used to be when school started.”

I love these positive life-affirming women, full of vigour and humour. They are good representatives of the spirit of active ageing, of which I am an ambassador.

So, why do I feel that it’s spring at seventy?

For me, it is about being in good health. I have always …

Wan of a Kind... is back!

Dear friends

I'm back - from the other side... though not quite, because I was never really there.

When we took the painful decision to remove and archive Wan of a Kind last April 2016, my intent was to contribute actively to SKM's new editorial site, The Pride. And though I did manage a piece (and the editors also republished another that I wrote for a local paper) in its earliest days, it turned out to be just unrealistic to keep up with a more frequent, more current format with tight deadlines.

In a way, I am glad that happened.

For one, I am happy and proud to say that The Pride has now found its own solid footing, with its dedicated team of editors and writers serving up fresh thought-provoking perspectives with honesty, humour and hope 2-3 times a week.

At the same time, it freed me up to provide more input and guidance to my hard-working SKM team. I was able to contribute to many kindness-related causes on the ground beyond SKM including publishing four books:Towards a …

See you on the other side (site)

Dear friends,

Hello, it’s me. Pun on Adele’s song aside, it’s been almost four years since the launch of this blog in August 2012. Thank you for giving me the privilege and pleasure sharing with you my thoughts and ideas on kindness, and I hope I have gotten more people alerted and interested in some aspects of kindness. 

It is with a tinge of sadness that I am now announcing the closure of this blog. This is part and parcel of revamping our site. We are renaming our new editorial site, The Pride. It is a content-driven site that will bring fresh insights on current affairs and community happenings that has some relevance to our mission to foster a kinder and more gracious society. We want this new platform to be more engaging and interactive. I will contribute op-eds and social commentaries on issues relevant to kindness, as a member of the editorial team.

It is time to change from being the sole writer of my own blog on kindness, to being a staple contributor of T…

Be Kind, Include Us

I am pleased to share with you this special personal journey from my guest Danielle Chan. She is one of the kindest and most compassionate person I have met. She is who she is because of what she has.

Be Kind, Include Us.

I have two boys; my older son is 16 and was diagnosed with Attention Deficiency, Autism and Dyslexia when he was 7 years old. Around 8 years of age, my younger son who is now 12 years old was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. Because of them, I went for an informal diagnosis for myself and discovered that I also have Attention Deficiency Disorder all along. The 3 of us would often joke with their father that out of the four of us, he is the only abnormal one in the family. This reminds me of the movie “Planet of the Apes”, where apes were the norm and humans were the outcasts. The norm is defined as the majority. But that number which constitutes as the majority is not an absolute, it changes doesn’t it? It is not a constant. Recent medical research indicates th…