Friday, June 29, 2007

The Story of 3 Divers & 2 Sea Urchins

Urchins are ... and they look like ... They are quite beautiful creatures, in fact! after I went to hte internet to find out what it exactly look like... Well, it's more colourful than just black (as I was told)... Hm... some people may not think so? I guess... at least someone told me, those are ugly spiky creatures... well, well, 个花入个眼 lah...

I've never bothered what sea urchins are and what they are like... except that they are some kind of sea creatures and seem to be edible, vaguely recall seeing the word in Japanese resturants... hey, a key of sashimi? hahaha... Thanks to BY... now know it is actually 海胆 (that I thought I heard about it) and there's this new interest in getting to know it more because of BY's story.

BY shared... In a faraway ocean... there came 3 divers... among them, the most skilful one went deep and near the seabed while the 2 others swim at swallow waters... There, on the sea bed are 2 sea urchins - one big one small... crawling around... very slowly... blocking the diver's exploration of the sea bed.. and the diver was unhappy because these 2 sea urchins were obstacles to his way and for certain, in general, divers hate to encounter sea urchins 'cos they are irritating and inflexible... and could sting them (irriating enough though not deadly) ... to further, BY asked: Why must it be the world of divers and sea urchins... can't it be all 5 divers? So BY has made an analogy of the little world around us... and to an extent of the mini-culture around us?

In fact, I have

  • one question... in the first place, why segregate the entities into 2 different types of 'creatures'? Is it necessary? In Chinese, we said, 一种米养百种人。So, in this world, one type of rice grain will feed hundreds types of people - there's much diversity in just one mankind.
  • next question... what's the thinking behind of turning the 'sea urchins' into divers?
Hm... my reaction...

  • Embrace diversity - The world is big - we are just 过客 (travellers) who rest at specific places for a specific period... nothing is permanent... in fact, we should embrace the difference we come across and see how much we can learn... from them, and through our interaction with them.. rather than hoping to get others to think, to behave like us... that reminds me of the story - Peacock in the Land of Penguins - On one hand, the penguins wanted to bring in new blood and new thinking, yet, all who come must put on the penguin suit.
  • Respect diversity - Of course, there are times when we cross path, unavoidably... everyone is unique... each comes with his/her own belief, own personality, and each has his/her own style of working... and we have to recognise that it is something beyond our influence and in fact, we should respect this individual's space. Having to work in the same space, we should understand these differences and see how we could best manage them... in an objective manner, keeping in mind we should respect others' perspectives. There is also no point criticising behind the back of others (if there is???). There is no point being unhappy with others just because they do not possess the 'like' attributes... Be patient, be forgiving - not just to others ('cos the other party seem unable to eye to eye with us), but also to forgive ourselves for not able to put ourselves in others' shoes or mode of thinking...
  • Cliques - There's this saying, Birds of the same feature flock together... but to put it more negatively, in chinese, there's this saying: 天下乌鸦一样黑。Oh yes, one could also argue - "Great minds" think alike. Just wonder, what positive energies do clinques contribute to the organisation's working culture? In fact, citing from my own experience, having been with a couple of organisation - I have yet seen any positive impact from cliques' behaviour to the organisation - in fact, time tells that it has a negative impact to others, to the environment... that I thought it was painful to see the changes it brought about... Observations also confirmed that, over time, cliques disintegrate... So, be it the "3 divers" clique or the "2 sea urchins" clique. Think about it? Which one exhibits the characteristics of a clique? When will a group 'qualify' for the title "clique"? I think, the most obvious is what one can see and hear... so, mind our language - not just the verbal language, but body language... That usually tells all...
  • Role - Our role in the organisation is to...??? and is not to...??? what's the way to work? Think beyond the task... it's not just getting the job done... it's more to it... it's about being able to work with others with an open mind... do not "frame" how others work or behaviour based on own's observation and perception... Think this is really important. I think, more importantly is the integrity - not just on work, but on what stirs the thoughts...

So, enjoy the diversity in the nature world... all are part of one whole - there's no intruders to the quiet and natural way of life... there's no obstructors around... admire and appreciate the beauty around... what made up the beauty? Every single entity... So, be thankful to this rich and enlightening world ^.^

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Saturday, June 23, 2007

When a break is needed, a break is needed!!!

What triggers this headline? Well, it all started off with, "When you think you are going on leave, make sure you work doubly hard before you go on leave..."

Hey, what is this? This is from someone in an organisation that has acknowledged "staff well-being" as one of the areas to be addressed to?

So, everybody is expected to be as productive and as efficient as someone... and share the same attitude towards work and vacation (????) regardless of one's work habit, and the state of physical and mental strength and health??? What kind of reasoning is that? When there is a need to, there is a need to...

Yes, I agree that when there is a need to, we should accommodate to the need of the organisation... For instance, how many of us will purposely go on leave when we have been scheduled for workshop? None... none of us!!!

Agree that the "low" period is the time to catch up with work and if possible start working on what's on the way... but mind you, there is no end to work! they simply queue up there... It's a choice of timing. No time is really a good time to recharge... When do teachers recharge? During the long holidays (at least, the rule of the thumb is 2nd & 3rd week should have minimum interpretation).

Now, I miss the school holiday more, not because it's an "official break" - in fact, it's not an entitlement and we can be called to school as and when needed unless we apply for overseas leave. What I miss is the thoughtfulness and understanding the school management give to the teachers! At least, the school management normally 'identifies' the 'untouchable period'.

At HQ, if I need to work doubly hard and clear everything (that are not urgent) like a madman with the tired body and mind, then what for taking leave to go for a break??? I must be crazy to "go crazy before seeking peace and rest". What kind of logic is that?

When I find my body and mind are tired, it's time to take a short break from work. No point dragging along and wasting unproductive time. To lose a little gains more in a longer run. Who knows myself better than myself?

I think is the level of Trust? Security? Undetstanding? Thoughtfulness? Certainly, I think Trust and Security are 2 main issues - these only come when all work is complete and done. Only then, it leads to the display of understanding and thoughtfulness... Well, I am utterly disappointed!

Trust me, we all know what has to be delivered, and the urgency of things... Yes, understand your intent of getting all deadlines met so that there's no chock-up of work - yes, yes, yes, we understand the good intent behind it... but, something is seriously missing to make things happening...

It's obvious... It's time to find other "motivators"?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Bangalore 之旅回想,回响

  • 虽然,到旅游展,曾拿了印度的资料;可是去印度,去Bangalore, 是我从来没想过的。至少,没这么快。
  • 近一事,长一智。确实,我这次感觉的到。 在这次的行程中看到的,其实,并不很惊讶。 是意料中的事。
  • 至少,到乡村学校,看到的环境,让我更坚信,作为新加坡人的我们,是多么的幸福。可是,很多时候,(是无知吗?)却把它当时理所当然的。真的很可悲。间接的,发现,其实我们才是容易知足的一群。不是吗? 看看孩子们的眼神,听听孩子的壮志。心里不仅惊讶。小小孩子,已不满现状。已懂得做出比较。知道要脱离贫困。


  • 这次我们有机会到乡村学校做拜访。看到那里的环境。其实,可说是在意料之内。
  • 看着孩子们赤着脚,三三两两挤在一张长凳上课。。。我们的新加坡孩子们,你们还有哪些可嫌的呢?
  • 看到每一寸的墙,都写满了字。。。到处都是书本,到处都是知识。。。哪怕孩子们买不起书本。
  • 看到高年级学生到低年级的班协助教朗读时。。。 心想:是为环境的需要,还是他们是真的那么有本事吗?那,他们来‘上课’,又究竟学到了什么呢?突然,想起有好些通行的朋友,当他们看到这种情景时,喊道“童工”。
  • 是的,我们的新加坡孩子们,你们是多‘宝贝’的,你们是受到这么多的呵护, 你们是多么的幸福呀!


  • 电脑室,和不丹的相同:大多是十多台电脑,课室中央是椅子或桌子。当然,可是都没有投影机 LCD Projector。
  • 有同僚问道:怎么电脑是没有冷气呢?在贫穷地区,没有充足的电源,能够开电脑已不是一件易事,更何况冷气呢?那是一种奢侈。 而且,接下来的维持费用,也是一笔很可观的开销。对于这些村民来说,是无底深井啊!
  • 其实,当孩子们有机会‘碰’电脑,对他们来说,是很幸运的一件事。因为,他们知道,那不是一件理所当然的事。因为,他们知道,还有很多孩子,还没见过电脑呢。


  • 有一个有趣的现象,每个孩子多有很大的抱负,不是当医生,就是电脑工程师等等。可是,在更深一层的了解后,发现他们其实不知道得如何达到目标。这些,其实,很多时候,都是父母,师长的希望。不过,他们知道,努力使必备的条件。


  • 其实,刚开始时,大伙都本着,这次的目标,是帮助那些毕业了,但无法找到工作的年轻人。可是,了解了当地的情况之后,我们的目标都改了。为什么呢?难道这批年轻人都找到了工作了吗?
  • 不!他们并没有找到工作, 他们也没有去找工作。只因为,买了地,他们的发了一笔‘衡财’,生活安逸了,也不必去苦干了。似乎,眼前的安逸,就足以满足他们的一生?天啊!那是什么生活哲学啊!或许,我们听到的,只是片面的。。。
  • 另外,我们也了解到,当地的安全措施也是一个问题。要做好,并不容易。虽然,学校有看更的,可是,仍有失窃事件。东西不见了,村民却不要追究,是为了不要连累周围的人。天啊!这样,如何维持次序呢?这种思想,也是我们无法了解的。教育他们,什么是对的,什么是不该做的,有用吗?
  • 这,不禁让我想起,不丹的那群学生:当一班测验后,全级都知道了考题。为什么?“因为朋友需要我的帮助,而且,对我也没有任何损失,卖个人情,以后,需要帮忙时,朋友也会帮我的!何乐而不为呢?”可是,他们却忘了,不劳而获并不是长远之计,同时,不但没帮助到朋友,而且是不老实的行为。 


  • 其实,不是‘怕死’,只是。。。(觉得自己)太小心了。很多时候,我们无法清楚了解到别人对我们的特殊‘身份’的了解。。。就是义工。也就是担心他们把我们和所属的工作机构联系起来。当成是机构的立场。同时,觉得也得很紧审的作出建议,批评。
  • 譬如说交流活动。某学校的处理方式,并不表示其他学校都是同个做法;凭着个人的体验而批评整个活动的形式,觉得,那是对活动有欠公平的。
  • 切记。。。

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Reading Newspapers

Was not a regular newspapers reader... somehow, till now, have not cultivated this habit of reading... maybe it's because I don't care too much was happening around me???

Well, since moved out from school, having to travel (at least 1 hour journey), have been pulling out supplements to the Straits Times like "Digital Life" to read on the train... yes, also have been picking up free copies of the "My Paper" and once in a while "TODAY" to read... In a way, have been more 'up-to-date'. So, it's a blessing in disguise???