Below are my answers to an online survey in www.yougov.com
Q: Why do you feel neutral/negative about the SEA Games 2015?
It seems to be part of the competitive system that tends to divide people rather than create true unity among humanity. Rivalry and competition fuel the capitalistic money-making business, and competitive sports tends to distract people from social and humanitarian issues. Sports has its place and can be beneficial in some ways, but the commercialisation and glorification that come with it can be detrimental to the process of loving and accepting ourselves and others for who we really are.
Q: Why are you neutral/unsupportive towards Team Singapore athletes’ efforts in SEA Games 2015?
Ultimately, we can be our own best versions of ourselves, and no one is intrinsically better or worse than others. We are more than our national identities – we are all one human race. I don’t consider myself a Singaporean at my deepest core, so I don’t support Singapore or any other nation, as nationality is an artificial, man-made, illusory human construct that doesn’t exist in reality.
Yes, laughter and tears are the very emblem of the essence of our humanity, which holds the power to be an antidote to hatred and terror indeed. It reminds me of an impassioned speech by Charlie Chaplin, which I came across some time ago, in which he also spoke about how the world, in the face of wars and violence, needs to recover humanity and universal brotherhood.
On looking back, it looks like the public school education system that I grew up in has far more repercussions than I probably realised. The need (or the pressure) to keep up an appearance of performing, whether in studies or socialising or participating in discussions or conversations, seem relentlessly pervasive in every aspect of our lives. Why was I shunned or ignored in schools, or later in life, in social outings such as care group meetings? It seems that to be popular and extroverted is the goal of many of my peers. If friendship were to be built on such superficiality, I would rather be not part of it. On hindsight, maybe it was a blessing in disguise that I didn’t – and couldn’t – fit into the crowd, as much as it felt painful then.
“Segmet.net” provides critical and rare information on Breathing and what to do to gain the greatest benefit for your own Self. Part 2 contains an actual Breathe-along portion. Enjoy!
I have checked out both videos and watched them twice as her message on how to breathe deeply and consciously is so refreshing and important as a perennial reminder for me. I learnt that breathing deep down into our diaphragms can activate who we really are in our body and help clear the emotional trauma/tension that is stored above/around the diaphragm area. I find her demonstration of the deep breathing useful and I noted that the method of inhaling through the nostrils and exhaling through the mouth slowly at our own pace and space is similar to that taught by a trekking expedition guide when my hiking companions and I were warming up to climb the mountain to go to Cemerong Waterfalls. Talking about water, I find her reminder of staying hydrated in order to eliminate toxins from our body helpful too. I enjoyed listening to the warm and informative talk by the speaker.
“In our work to end modern slavery, we must find the time to take care of ourselves, and to take care of the present moment. By doing so, we can find some relative peace in our body and mind to continue our work. We need to recognise and embrace our own suffering, our anger, fear, and despair so that the energy of compassion can be maintained in our hearts. When we have more clarity in our mind, we will have compassion not only for the victims, but for the traffickers themselves. When we see that the traffickers have suffered, we can help them wake up and stop what they are doing. Our compassion can help transform them into friends and allies of our cause.
“In order to sustain our work of compassion, we all need a spiritual community to support us and protect us – a real community, where there is true brotherhood and sisterhood, compassion and understanding. We should not do this work as cavaliers seuls, as lone warriors. The roots of modern slavery run deep, and the causes and conditions, the networks and structures supporting it are complex. That is why we need to build a community that can continue this work to protect human life not just until 2020, but long into the future.
“The world in which we live is globalized, and so too is this new form of slavery, that is connected to the economic, political and social systems. Therefore our ethics and morality also need to be globalized. A new global order calls for a new global ethic. We have to sit down together, as people of many traditions, as we are doing now, to find the causes of this suffering. If we look deeply together, with clarity, calm and peace, we will understand the causes of modern slavery, and we can find a way out.”
(From Thich Nhat Hanh’s Speech at the Vatican, December 2, 2014 – SUMMIT OF WORLD FAITH LEADERS TO END MODERN SLAVERY & HUMAN TRAFFICKING)