Saturday, October 31, 2009

An age of wisdom

An age of wisdom where money cannot buy. A vivid reflection and retrospection. Old age is looked upon as the pinnacles of life. Resourceful and more down-to-earth. A time of value added experience accumulated through the vibrant years of youth. But the sad truth of human pride, even in old age, revealed the very weakness of human. The moment of revelation is the ostentation of sort. Human selfishness is a characteristic inborn. We inflate our ego to keep in tune with our emotional wanting of recognition. We bragged about the bygone days of our achievements. We want to stand out to be seen as who we were and what we are now. We want to live in a comparative world. We totally forget that being humble is a virtue of character. We begin to lose the spiritual and emotional virtue of a being. We grasp tightly the egoistic abyss of impermanence. We compromise our very existence.

How happy one can be in an old age of wisdom if we live simply and able to empathize with the under-privileged, destitute and poor by uplifting their lives? We would have uplifted our moral dispositon. We ask nothing in return but with a true conscience of heart. We stay humble in a true old age of wisdom. Experiencing the greater warm of human interaction.We would have lived a meaningful and fulfilled life. The greatest accolade of human humility.
Not many of us can achieve.

Posted by Patrick Lee S J at 6:33 AM 0 comments

A Beauty in Distress (poem)

Dear friends,

A tribute to the once irresistible beauty of Hollywood, Marilyn Monroe.
After viewing her slides, I was inspired to give her an
eulogy of remembrance.



patrick lee s j.

A Gentle World To Live In

A world of individualism. What can an individual do to bring about world peace? Yes! Nancy, it is a mammoth task. Even the president of the world’s most powerful country cannot do it.
The degeneration of the world. Though technological advancement and IT brought the world closer to each other,the moral decadence of society at large is a perennial happening.
The human weakness and greed played a great part in our susceptibility to encourage such deceit and ponzi scams on a big scale. Human are never satisfied with what they have.Consequently, it breeds charlatans who prey on the most vulnerable.
As individuals we are our own failure to encourage people to cheat on us with all dishonesty. Because we are fallible.
Individuals will never bring about a peaceful world. The entities are far more complex than one can handle.
Terrorism, murder, fradulence, deception are all prevalent in a world of innate human nature. They are here to stay.
Extraordinary individual character emerged in history to bring about a sense of comfort and love to this world. People like Florence Nightingale, Mother Teresa were the peoples’ saviour. Our very own Teresa Wu, who at 101 years is still active doing charity for the poor and destitute of S’pore.
Nevertheless,the world at large is too overwhelming for any individual to change it. So is the life of humankind.
Last but not least, “Life is a test and this world a place of trial. Always the problems - or it may be the same problem - will be presented to every generation in different forms” - as said by Sir Winston Churchill.

How true till time immemorial !!

(Originally written on SHC post, pasted into my Blog)

Patrick lee SJ

Friday, October 30, 2009

Anger in Daily Life

Everyday we meet with certain kind of anger, be it in workplace, on the street, in conversation, you named it.

Anger excites your adrenaline and causes uncontrollable outburst of harsh words and actions not conducive to a real human being.

Hence, anger management is important to forge a peaceful co-existence among friends, among nations and families.

Many of us are easily agitated and irritated by others actions just because we feel that we should be treated as how we treat others. Be nice and courteous. But the world is a complex place with so many different characters of mind and thoughts and definitely unreasonable actions. We should take anger that comes our way with greater understanding of the other party. Why is he/she so angry in the first place? What have I done wrong that he is so angry with me? Sometimes, you may not be able to find the answers. So, like the 'garbage truck' episode, just smile and do not take heart. Most situation will be diffused.

Living in the world is never easy. Whatever we do, we will be criticised or commented upon.
If we are easily angry just by what people says, we will have lost our battle to manage our anger.

Meditation will help greatly in this aspect of life. Meditation encompasses a serene disposition of sort and through constant practice will enhance our ability to contain our anger and look at happenings in a different light and thus become more analytical of the situation and less angry in unpleasant moments. We practise self-control. We will achieve calmness at all times. My years of meditation helps me alot. I used to be a very temperamental impatient youth in my younger days. The years teach much which the days never known. I am more tolerant to others outburst and anger now.

Venerable Thubten Chodron in her book, "Working with Anger" said and I quote a paragraph from her book : "In one way, we can say it's others' nature to criticise, find fault and blame. They're sentient beings caught in the prison of cyclic existence, so naturally their minds are obscured by ignorance, anger and attachment. Our minds are too. If that is the situation, then why expect ourselves or others to be free of misconceptions and negative emotions? There's no reason to be angry at them because they harm, just like there's no reason to be angry at fire because it burns. that's just the way it is". - unquote.

In short, we are all human, with emotions. As seeing ignorance is the curse of God. Knowledge (to diffuse and contain ANGER), the wing wherewith we fly to Nibbana.

patrick lee s j


Dear Friends

Through the beginning of time Men (i.e.) husbands are the dominant figure in the household - most so in olden times of subservience and due to cultural and religious inclinations.

The modern world has seen Women power and equality of sexes. As women are now more exposed to the working world, their perceptions of thought change and their mindset adopts a stronger view of life and its happennings. No more is the wife a weak housemaker and playmate to the husband.

Many husbands are to be blamed for their flamboyance and unable to be satisfied with only one wife and family unhappiness and divorces abound.

In our modern world of lust and power, temptation is the weakest link in most men. We succumb to the pseudo beauties in young and proportionate women and lose our soul in exchange for moments of folly and satisfaction. We men then lose our morality and betray our conscience and sinned. The good wives suffer.

On the flip side, wives may not be angels too. In this instance, if the men goes astray due to no fault of theirs but the wives inability to care and treasure the husbands and satisfy their needs - God bless the wives !!

Not all Men are unfaithful. We have the rare breed of good men ! The day will come to such good Men to acquire good karma.

Most seemingly happy facade of marriage, hid behind the dark days of struggle and unjustification. It may take enormous sacrifice to stay on course of an everlasting marriage. The greatest sacrifice is, most of the time, on the women, to close two eyes to the decadent world of men- the strongest of the sexes but the weakest link in morality .

Men and women (husbands and wife) must journey thru life observing SILA,
the moral aspects of living. The question I beg to ask is: How many Men in this
universe can steer on course ?

The power of great men is scary when come to wrong doing. We see it
unfolding now and then everywhere. Lesser men will do likewise.

Bill Clinton stood up like a sore thumb and was forgiven by Hillary.

Take good care.

The Neglected People

A very relevant topic for airing. Senior citizens were the pillars of society. SMRT should have humane compassion and abolish the
restriction on the morning travel before 9am for senior citizens.
Many travel to work on the morning shift. Make it concession fare the whole day.

Government is encouraging senior citizens (SC) to work even there reached 62 years. Most of them are forced by choice to work because they do not have a nest-egg to live on. And with the prevailing small families in Spore, the two children are unable to support the parents especially if they themselves have a family.

I am the lucky some, who at 64 is so forward looking and engaging.
I have an annuity to live on comfortably. No organisation will employ an old man like me being over-qualified they said.

The council for third age is a mere lip service to look good.

Only some tourist attractions are giving concession to SC. In fact all
tourist attractions should do that. I know of some food outlets and restaurant giving special discount to SC on off peak dinning. So here it goes again "only off-peak period". How sad !

Are we SC the 'had been' of society at an age of vast experience to be discarded as trash in the rubbish bin.

The government is not doing enough to assist in this area.

We hope to live a graceful life in our golden years of mellifluous
reminiscences of our 'psychedelic' life experience.

A sad reflection of life in Spore's context.

Patrick Lee Song Juan
(Retired SC at 64 years)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Bitter Sweet Life in Singapore

Singapore has come a long way. The government did a creditable job to bring about a change of
lives for the average S'poreans. A dynamic change at that. The first 20 years. But not to this day.

Property prices soars, COL keeps going up, average salaries do not rise in proportion to our
daily life. Transport fare increased even the company is making a profit. Lost count the absurdities.

The last few years saw the unexplained influx of foreign labours to totally change the demography
of life in Singapore. The little 'red dot' is being squeezed to accommodate the new population to
a tune of 1.3 million on a population of 5 million. (26% of the population). Sheer madness !

The government in the meantime enriched themselves with 60% payrise after 2006 elections and
increase GST to 7% from 5%. Such is the draconian change we encountered, not the first 20 years
of nation building which the government did well.

The sweeping transformation in the last 10 years, put pressure on the otherwise 'sedate' life of
the average citizens. Nothing is within easy reached. Public housing, a noble move in the early
years for the poor is now pegged to the open market property movements . The government reaps
huge profit on new flats and the so-called BTO designed flats. Everyone cried foul inside and has no
tears to shed.

50 years saw a social divide as wide as the pacific ocean. The abyss cannot be fathomed.
Where are we heading from here? Are we not waiting for a new government to emerge?
Not with the strategic foundation of the present government. Every sectors of organisation
are the government's men. We are been curtailed by the very government we voted in.

Is there a deliverance?

patrick lee s j

Health is wealth. Knowledge is wisdom.

Our Public Transport

Hello Bharati and Keith (Talkback 93.8 FM )

Singapore's public transport is one of the world's most efficient. And it come with a price. With it it has always become one of the most expensive transport system compared to other parts of the world. It makes good profit each year, and keep on increasing its fare. Credit goes to our SMRT and SBS Transit.

Most human are born with an innate nature to be ostentatious. Many owned a car not out of
necessity but a kind of status symbol. In this modern context, a cheap status. With the hire purchase tuned to the consumer with zero downpayment and 7 to 10 years instalment of maybe as low as $500/- per month. Any Tom, Dick and 'Mary' can own a car. The unrealistic world of consumerism.

The government failed in this aspect to curb the increase of the car population, by not restricting the issue of COE to the minimum. The only reason is the government reaped millions in COE collections. And also the road tax on car's capacity, one of the highest in the world. So, is there a reason for the government to reduce the car population? They can if they wanted to. There are always choices in life. It is a matter of making the right conscientious choice. Is the government doing it?

Singapore has become a seemingly first world country, but the mentality of the ruling elites regressing to care more about the facade than the substance of truth.

patrick lee s juan

Health is wealth. Knowledge is wisdom.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Death Penalty

Today I attended the world day against the death penalty forum organised by a group of activist
against the Death Penalty.

Though 139 states around the world had abolished Death Penalty, Singapore is not. Drug trafficking to a minimum gms is a death penalty. Through the years many mules and drug traffickers were caught in Singapore. They were all hanged. The mandatory death sentence for
drug trafficking is death above the minimum amount.

Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand being the crossroad to the Golden Triangle where most of the drugs are produced cannot afford to do away with the death penalty for drug trafficking. It acts as a deterrent to would-be drug traffickers to face the consequent of death if they do. It also acts as a psychological factor of sort.

Even with the mandatory death sentence, many people still try their luck to traffic drugs as
a transit point to other countries. Some landed here. What about those who were not caught and brisked through the customs?

The forum was an emotionally charged, appeal for the abolition of the death penalty. One speaker that stood out was Alex Hu, articulated and at times injected some humour into the otherwise sombre proceedings. A social worker also spoke up against the death penalty and appealed to the President to commute the death penalty on Yong Vui Kong, facing the gallows to life imprisonment. The last appeal to the President S R Nathan for clemency.

A young man, Yong Vui Kong, age 21, first offender, is facing death. His family is in Malaysia.
The social stigma and the agony of death facing the young man and his family is heart-shattering. His elder brother Yong Yun Leong spoke and also appealed to the people of Singapore and the President for clemency.

Life is only lived once. When a second chance is not given to a wrongdoing, especially a death penalty, there is no way to ascertain how remorseful a people is because he is already dead.
As it is Yong Vui Kong, is "thoroughly enlightened and abstained from fish and meat and chanted Buddhist scriptures. He is now completely different from the naive and ignorant person" as spoken by his brother Yong Yun Leong. No one knows Yong Vui Kong better than his brother, especially now facing the tragic moment of death anytime.

Buddhism is a compassionate and benevolent practising religion. One of the precepts of Buddhism is to abstain from killing any living beings. Cultivate morality in the process.

I sincerely appeal to the President as a citizen of Singapore, on behalf of YongVui Kong to commute his death sentence to life imprisonment. He is a young man of only 21 year old, full of life, remorseful and if given a second chance will do society well with a dead man walking alive
because a SECOND CHANCE is given for him to live again a life of true meaning.

Nothing is of significance if you are dead. His traumatic death experience may also bring life to others.

Please let Yong Vui Kong live.

patrick lee s juan