Monthly Archives

August 2014

SWEETS AND MARBLES

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There was this boy who had a wonderful collection of marbles, and a girl with an attractive collection of sweets. Each saw the other’s collection and wished they had it.  One day they decided on an exchange. The boy would pass all his marbles to the girl, and the girl would give the boy all her sweets.  That night, the boy began to pack his marbles for the exchange.  He looked at them one by one and put them in a bag.  He held a particularly beautiful marble in his hand, and decided to put it under his pillow instead…

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WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HONOUR?

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Some people have commented that the word “honour” appears somewhat abstract and could therefore mean different things to different people. So they asked why we do not use a simpler word like “trust” or “respect”, which will be easier to understand and has less ambiguity. While we agree this would have been simpler, it would have lost a very important point about “honour”.  Let us explain it this way. “Honour” is something we offer someone, whereas “trust” or “respect” is our reaction to someone.  Thus if someone behaves in a way which makes us believe in him or her, we respond…

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WHAT THE HELL IS WATER?

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  The late author David Foster Wallace began his commencement address to the graduates of Kenyon College in 2005 with: There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, “What the hell is water?” As Wallace explained, the point of the fish story is merely that the most obvious, important realities are often the ones…

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HONOUR GETS THE TURNIP OUT

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Honour (Singapore), a non-profit enterprise that seeks the well-being of Singapore by promoting a culture of honour and honouring, was launched by Minister for Education Heng Swee Keat last Tuesday, 5 August 2014.  It seems a fitting lead-in to National Day, which we will celebrate tomorrow, by reminding everyone to honour Singapore. Honour carries the dual message of being a people who honour our word being a people who honour each other despite possibly having widely different views on issues Perhaps a good way to appreciate the message can be found in the well-known Russian folk tale about The Great…

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FREEBIES WITH HONOUR?

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  I am told of a mother with her daughter who went shopping and there were some freebies being given to families, but only one freebie for each family. The mother told her daughter, “You are not my daughter, go collect the freebie!” So the mother-and-daughter family unit ended up with two freebies.  On the way out, the daughter turned to her mum and asked, “Am I your daughter now?”  A true event, but no laughing matter!  As someone has remarked, values are caught, not taught. And parents especially carry the primary burden in inculcating values and virtues in their children….

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