Monday, December 23, 2013


It's at once strange & wonderful to have all four of us under the same roof.  Z & W are here on their winter break.  This tiny apartment is not made for four large people to live in despite having 3 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms.  We are overflowing with luggage & furniture & STUFF.

But in spite of living on top of each other, these next few weeks will be treasured.  We have learned to appreciate each other more because of the separation.

We are Family.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Moving On

I read this article about Friendship today and it struck a chord in me.  I have been feeling like I've been drifting away from old friends in the past few years, friends whom I have known for most of my life, since primary school.  I had thought that we would be BFFs forever, no matter what, no matter where.  But in the last few years, every time I tried to re-connect when I was back in town (in my home country), they couldn't find the time to do so due to either family or work commitments.  Each time, I admit that I would feel slightly resentful, thinking that if it was me, I would make the time since such get-togethers were so hard to come by, given the fact that I don't live there anymore.

Recently, after my last attempt at organizing another get-together, I finally accepted that they (& I) have changed).  Our priorities are no longer the same.   Our attitudes towards life are different.  "C'est la vie"  is now my motto.  They will always remain my friends & we will always have great memories of times shared, both good & bad.  I will not try so hard to grasp at what I think remain the same, because they are not the same anymore.  We are different people now, shaped by different life experiences.  If they reach out to me, I will gratefully & warmly reach back out to them.

But for now, I will stay connected to those who still want to stay connected, no matter how short a time I have known them.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Root Causes

Several years ago, before I left the work force, I learnt about Root Cause Analysis.  I learnt about its use specifically in health care & adverse events & medical errors, and how, by doing this analysis, we can recommend system-wide changes & improvements to minimize risk of adverse events.

A couple of days ago, there were riots in Singapore, my home country.  I never thought I would use the words "riot" & "Singapore" in the same sentence in my lifetime.  These riots were triggered by the death of an Indian national as a result of a road traffic accident in Little India, on a Sunday which is the day off for the thousands of foreign workers who work in Singapore.

Much is being said on the social media about why it happened & what should be done & along with it, the trolls & racists & xenophobics are all at it too, denouncing specific racial groups.   Sad, really.  This is not the Singapore I grew up in.  We were told in school that we were a multiracial, multicultural country.  It is even in our pledge -  "...regardless of race, language or religion..."

It was drilled into us that we should be tolerant of each other, color blind, respectful of our differences.  But in recent years, I have noted with sadness that there are signs of racism and xenophobia becoming more & more apparent.  Perhaps in the past, this was hidden, but with social media, it becomes more obvious.  In any case, it's sad.

With these riots, I am hoping that the government & Singapore society will wake up & see that making money is not all that counts.  Do a root cause analysis of why this happened.  I would not be surprised if they found that some of the issues faced by these foreign workers were part of the fuel that resulted in the riots.  

We have to learn to be human again.  Respect each other as humans.  Treat each other right, no matter if you're a top level executive, politician, blue collar worker.