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…

My Abdeali Tayebali Lifetime Achievement Award

I have always been fascinated by religions and studied it at graduate school overseas. As a Christian, I do believe that we must respect the choices people make in regard to religion. It was therefore a singular honour for me to be conferred the Abdeali Tayebali Lifetime Achievement Award by the Family Trust.

I hope my acceptance speech and what my friend Dr. Gervis wrote will encourage you to let kindness to one another be the unifying factor for all of us, whatever faith tradition we embrace, or for that matter, no faiths at all.

Acceptance Speech for the Abdeali Tayebali Lifetime Achievement Award

Minister Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youths; Mr. Ameerali Abdeali, Chairman of the Abdeali Tayebali Family Trust, Your Excellency and my dear friend, Ambassador Kesapany, members of the Board of Trustees, leaders of collaborating organizations - the Singapore Indian Association and the Jamiyah Islamic Centre - distinguished guests, ladies an…

Aphorisms to Live By

On the eve of the New Year, I posted on my Facebook the following:

"I got up this morning reflecting to myself the following 12 lessons I have learnt and relearnt in the last 12 months:
Have time for things that count which are usually beyond counting. Always live with positive Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy. Peace starts with me and it begins with a smile. Prayer is not instructing God, it is simply reporting for duty. You can decide to do the right thing each and every time.No matter how you feel, just Get up, Dress up and Show up, for the best is just ahead of you. Earn your self-respect for no one owes it to you. Work smart while working hard. You can forgive everyone and everything for it will release you from self-destruction. Envy is a waste of energy, you already have all you need. Attune to the idea that what others think of you is none of your business. Realize that there is a poverty that only riches can generate, and a wealth only generosity can create.  Together, …

Acts of Kindness Observed or Received –At Home and Abroad

I am personally delighted that many more acts of kindness are observed and reported in Singapore. Several friends noted that in recent months there are many more notations in the Bouquet Section of the Forum Page in the Straits Times.

Recently, the owners of the cafe, Strangers’ Reunion, were met with an overwhelming response from the public when they put out a call for help to raise funds for their cancer-stricken head chef. I was asked for my opinion by the New Paper to which I replied to the effect that there is innate kindness in every one of us. We naturally reach out with a desire to help for we know that the challenges of human frailties and vulnerabilities are common to all of us.

These days, I have observed and experienced an increase in the number of people offering seats to senior people on buses and trains. At 10:00 pm one evening, I boarded a crowded train at Dhoby Ghaut station. A middle-age lady immediately offered her seat to me. Just yesterday, my wife and I board…