Sunday, October 28, 2007

Self Help.

All throughout my 16 years on earth, i've realised that we people are a common bunch. We always want what we can't have, don't you agree? I hate to list examples but everytime you see the newest game in stores, don't you jump for joy and scream for your parents, begging them for every single penny they have worked hard for, just for your pleasure? what's worse is that you chuck the game away in some cupboard, leaving it for the moth and dust.

What's real funny to me is that we take pride in everything we have, say for example I have my guitar. I really do enjoy playing the guitar and all, but don't you realise something? Let me tell you a secret.Since i've learnt the guitar, at least 10 people have sprouted out, expressing an interest to learn the guitar. I've always given this face, =). I'm telling you now, i'm glad for my own influence, but it's getting out of hand! But i blame no one, it's a normal, human tendency. I've already explained it in the above paragraph.

As for myself, you might say, "oh, Phua's speaking nonsense, he is too 'humble' for himself". Truth is, i am being humble. I want to be humble because i never loved showboating. If you realised I never took "compliments" well, i would usually push them aside and say that i'm not that good, not that up-to-standard as you think. This is the way that i was brought up, never acclaim anything to yourself too much, always portray yourself as someone who is lower than the others. Being the normal,average guy.

You might say, "What on earth is phua rambling about?". All I can say is that this post is not more than just identifying human tendencies. It's also about the usual,normal way that a person will act.As i'm typing this, it's drizzling. You know what the normal human tendency is? You've guessed it, grab an umbrella and go or, brave the rain and step out of your house.

You might think,"i'm not this way"and all, but you have to examine yourself. I have creditablity as a human to say that this is a normal person's reaction.

Back to the topic(i think i got rather off the main topic), i realised that everyone in our community has a certain amount of "wants" and "needs". We clearly know what they are and how to distinguish them. BUT, our human tendencies get in the way. We always mix up our wants and needs. As a small child you go, "Daddy, i want this and that toy". And as a student you go, "Hey Dad, i need money for this weekend, I've got a date." As an adult you'll go, "Hey Honey, I need to show you this and that guitar, i think this could make a nice sixth guitar."

All these examples are very good in showing the misunderstanding of needs and wants. They usually start out as wants.But if they are allowed to grow and develop, our human mind will validate it and say that it is a need that we must have, no matter what. Your lunch might turn from a simple plate of fried rice, to keep you full, into an extremely expensive of crab that has little or no meat, costing up to 50-80 dollars.

I'm not saying that we humans indulge in expensive things, i'm saying that we should note our human tendencies and distinguish our needs and wants. We should be contented with what we have and not what we can't have.

What we have is what we deserve.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Hey guys, i decided to take a break from the issues of my mind and just post about the issues of my heart for this post today.

I was wondering how much our studies matter to us. No matter how we look at it, we never know that we are being stressed, or crushed, or brought to a point in our lives that we are changed. From what we are and into what we don't want to be. We can't control it but we know we can do something about it. We can take lemons and make lemonade.

Having found myself in situations that really push,pull and try to crush me, i have to admire my peers. They may seem stressed, but they don't show it. Not that this is a sign of strength. But this is a sign of strong willpower, tenacity and perserverance. I respect, envy and admire the faith, hope and love I see in the many friends that i have. Especially the people i study with almost everyday. You know who you are! I am supremely proud of you guys. It's not over but i have to say, whatever you guys have done has impacted my life, to a point where i know it's for the better.

Ups or downs don't ever make you guys falter and trials never make you discouraged. You lift up and encourage, you build up and create faith, hope and love. I am awed at the sight and i am very greatly encouraged.

So there you have it, my heart is at rest now. I am truly in debt to everyone who has helped me in my life.

Thank you all.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Slogans and their Retail value

Did you know that many of our beloved brands are heavy advertisers of their own products? It's a little rhethorical but yes, companies don't just make products for the fun of it, they want to make profits!(Who doesn't want to make money nowadays?)

I love observing examples of a person's daily life, filled with slogan after slogan. "Just do it, Nothing is impossible" are just examples of what people are facing everyday.

But are these things more than a slogan? More than that, are they just very smart marketing tactics? Do they
have the power to influence someone to buy or at least promote their products?

Nike. Everyone loves have a pair of sneakers from there. Well, it may be a personal choice, but I do not really like Nike sneakers. It's overrated. The important point, however, is to realise Nike's amazing marketing skills. They have had the slogan "Just Do It" for centuries now, it's so cliche and boring. So typical and predictable. You might think this way. But before Nike was born, no one dared to put slogans on and enforce them to such an extent.

Nike really emphasize their point when they have used the slogan to the point of negative impact. The "just do it, live today" craze probably came to the surface after Nike released their campaign. Nike's clear stand was against it, but when they saw that people were endorsing throwing away their money in return for possessions, Nike got pretty happy, and wealthy too. The side effects of this "revolution" of "live now, spend now than spend it for your funeral" mindset has placed an extremely high tension environment in our modern society, one where every man is for himself, one where selfishness and greed proclaim their authority.

No matter what happens, people will be this way. People are creatures of habit and their habits will not die down so easily. Unless, they are properly alerted to the situation. Unless someone makes a stand and says, "This is enough!". Nothing will change unless we, the makers of our own rise and fall, decide to change.

Our very decisions hang in the balance of whether society will continue to live in this very age, the age of greed and pride. The very Singaporean way to say this is that we will always remain "kiam siap" and "kia su" and obviously, "kia si". It's not official, but Singapore has become a prime example of a society based on habit. The old cultures, traditions and thoughts are kept in a way that sometimes calls for violence, political tension and much to our despair, internal meltdown. The latter of the situations may not be that imminent but trust me, if we decide not to change society, we will experience it one day.

What do I mean by the people keeping old cultures etc.? This is so very typical, especially from a Singaporean."Must be Multi-racial!, Must uphold Racial Harmony!". Let me rebuke this matter. What can I say about this?

The economy is very largely based on the Western countries. More recently, China and India have emerged as the bull market's leaders. The wealth is coming to Asia. But the thing that saddens me is that most of the time, Westerners prefer not to trade with the whole of Asia but only to a certain few "partners" that they have. How did they get these partners you might ask? This is a good example of being able to adapt to any situation. No doubt, China and India have strong cultural backgrounds. Their ideas and philosophies have a long, deep ancestry. But look at them today? China and India have broken into the American market by the very things they swore not to do, according to their cultural beliefs and religions. China is opening up large amounts of land, agriculture, mass media and so on and so forth to America. This is an act that you'll never see Mao or any of his followers do. This is an extreme cultural change that many Chinese reject, until they see the benefits of the American "power".

India, on the other hand, have always been very reluctant to open up trades in fear of the West breaking their religious roots. This day, however, Hollywood has indian-born film stars as well as a thriving trade business with India. No matter how you see it, there is no denying the economic growth they have enjoyed.

However, some laws should clearly be set. Boundaries must be made to ensure that the party involved in the trade does not get bullied and disrespected. America has been very careful so far as not to go and insult the Chinese or Indians in a way that will affect their economic ties. This is also a very good idea as this will strengthen diplomatic ties within the trading nations.

Clearly, nobody wants to see a failing economy. Nobody wants to live in poverty and suffering. So, if we must change society in Singapore to experience great growth as a nation, I believe that we should go all out to change it, making sure that everyone's welfare is not compromised due to disrespect. The supposedly insulted parties should also understand the other party's seemingly disrespectful views if the views can change the very situation they are in.

Therefore, we must strive to seek a balance in life and understand what and why something is said.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Take Away

Have you ever felt that you are going to fail? Feared the very swift destruction of the very thing you call life? Have you ever thought to yourself, "were my parents to blame?". "Was the way my parents 'protected' me the starting block for my rebellion, the one thing my parents dread?"

Is the Nature Versus Nurture issue still a big problem in your life? Do you truly understand the reasons behind teenage angst and anxiety?

Many parents have, over the generations, protected their young. These acts were simply "acts of love and mercy", a given for a child's parents. However, the parents never know this but the way they treat their child in the early development stage is crucial to their future. The parents should be informed about the risks of committing soul piercing acts on the children. These acts may consist of divorce, abuse and the mistreating of their very own flesh and blood. Some parents may argue that they are looking out for their children. But these parents never figure out the significance of the behaviour they have instilled in their children. Most children who live in bad conditions are the ones who will end up as the "baddies" of our generation. Examples of these children are Hilter, Mussolini and many others. The common factor between the first two examples is that they have changed the face of the world in their time. Unfortunately the change was negative.

The other point of view is that the Nurture process is the main cause of juvenile delinquents. This is especially true to me, as I have witnessed many cases with my own two eyes. The challenging part about this aspect is the unpredictability that the external factors will bring. The nurture process involves friends that are either good or bad in nature. If you end up with a person of good nature, you'll turn out good. And the result is the same likewise. This "Nurture" aspect is more believable as the factors cannot be controlled. And uncontrolled circumstances makes the case seem more realistic.

You've gotta know that whatever a person does has a ripple effect. If you pick out a book at the new book store, you'll probably see at least two people being interested in the exact same book. You'll never notice but the power of influence is always readily available in you, waiting for the perfect opportunity to either express positive views or the opposite. If a crook has a ripple effect, the amount of copycat burglars will be so huge that the neighbourhood will turn into a wasteland. This will cause a chain reaction that will start from the burglar and then to the shop keeper. The shopkeeper, being robbed, will look for revenue in cheating elderly ladies of their pension money. These ladies will then incur thousands upon thousands of debt on their children. These children, being parents, and bankrupt, will not provide a proper education to their children and under the right circumstances, the cycle will repeat with the children robbing anything in plain sight.

Yes, the example drawn maybe a little exaggerated but I find real meaning in the phrase, "Your friends make you who you are". It's so true that the Nurture effect has a large influence. However, everything on Earth is always balanced. For example, the crook might not have stolen anything if he wasn't born into a poor family. This proves the "Nature" point, a poor and lousy background. The "Nurture" point can be proven when suddenly the boy is pressured to steal a quick fix at the local 7-11, sparking off a theft spree. This might have all happened because of the boy's peers.

No matter which angle you analyse it from, you will see that the two are closely linked and every case must be handled personally.

Nature or Nurture?You decide.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Through Train

Have you ever thought about your significance? About how much you really mean to everyone that you know? It may seem pretty strange but the natural human desire to be loved is always the winner. You will wonder, at a certain point of your life, whether someone who performs "acts of kindness" for example really cares and loves you. You'll usually think to yourself "How much does he/she care for me? Am I really someone to anyone?"

I'm not talking about the love-y dove-y kind of relationship. You have to realise that I am talking about lifelong relationships that will shape and mould the way you are so significantly that you are grateful towards your friends. Do you have friends that will lead you to a stage where you always feared to enter? Do you have friends that will not only care for you, they'll be there physically to support. One who does not bring you down but lifts you up, one who you can truly say that you love. Love as in a love that is not compelled into you by the responsibility of family, but of true appreciation of that person/persons care and concern.

You've probably never noticed this but you always have a person who you can turn to or look up to. Those that you can turn to are usually the complain receivers that listen to every single rant you have. Those that you look up to are those who will bring you from a valley to a mountain top. No matter how you look at your own situation, you always have someone. Always.

You have to take into account the perspective of the third person. You must realise that as a third person, you can try but you can't ALWAYS be there for someone. You can be there at certain periods. But you're still only human, you can't be at two places at once! You must realise that if it seems that no one is there to help you, it's probably the fact that the people you turn to are receiving help themselves! Giving the benefit of doubt can sometimes benefit you.

As a young adult of the tender age of 16, I'm not going to tell you to invest in your lands and stocks. The simplest thing you can bring into the game, as a youth, is your time, dedication and love. You can't expect someone to love you without replying with an attitude of love to that person in return. You really shouldn't expect any appreciation if you don't do it yourself. It applies across the board. For example, you can't tell a person you hurt until you yourself really feel that exact same hurt.

No matter, I want to do a monologue. I really appreciate and love everyone who's shown concern for me, in whatever way that you did. No matter how big or small your act may seem, Phua is truly grateful. I really wish I could return everyone that's helped me. And I know this blog post is a far cry to the deserved honour you guys should receive. Even so, I want to thank everyone who's invested in my life and made me who I am today. I love you guys. Seriously, so much that I'll do the exact same thing to you, if ever we switched places.

Every moment of your life is precious. Don't waste it!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Nation or Monopoly? Country or Franchise? Island or Company?

This post is inspired by a true Josh Tan "Moment".


Is Singapore an example of nationalism? Nationalism, firstly, from what I heard, is basically a total change of a surrounding and can either be positive or negative. An example can be brought from Napoleon, where he showed nationalism and wanted to prove that his native French culture was the best. He wanted to make France and French tradition the only option. It was absolute dominance he was going for.

Singapore can be referred to Napoleon. BUT! Please Please remember that these are just my views. Not harm or malicious content is meant to put down any government figures. I Love Singapore, truly. This is just what I think about Her.

Don't you think that Lee Kuan Yew is just like Napoleon? He's not such a tyrant, but he has certain traits. Firstly, he changed the fate of his country forever. This is a good point. But secondly, don't you realise that he is doing all this by exercising his authority that is gained from a spark of history- changing? C'mon, it's a chargeable offense to speak against him. Isn't this a little familiar? Napoleon surely used force against those who objected to his beliefs.

Don't you realise that the PAP is running the whole country by themselves? The "opposition" are just figure heads. The Worker's Party hammer and the SDA's star will not beat the PAP's Lightning powers. I personally believe that the PAP is doing a good job. But are they so afraid of losing "their" Singapore? They have to bear in mind that the very opposition they oust out are the ones who live under their "rule". The public, which contains the past, present and future candidates for opposition parties should be allowed to speak up. This will present a balanced view on how Singapore is doing.

So therefore my point is rather clear. Though Singapore is thriving, something is lacking. The one lacking point about Singapore is that the leaders are just too "kia-soo", simply put. They just can't stand up to any defeats. They have to realise that we learn important lessons from our failures.

Singapore Boleh!
(boleh directly translates to "can"


Monday, October 01, 2007

Saturated? Unsaturated?

Have you ever thought what's on a mind of a sixteen year old, living in Singapore?
DISCLAIMER: this might seem to refer to teenagers nowadays, but any coincidences or references are purely fictional.

The mind of a teenager is filled with thoughts. It can be filled with so many things that at one time, their brains are dealing with at least 15 thoughts! Not healthy for a student who's only responsibility is to study hard and do well for their exams.

How hard is it for a person how is say, 15 to 16 to handle stressful situations is one of the greatest fears in their lifes. However hard they seem to avoid this, there's always an extra responsibility that, usually, their parents give to them. This duty, whatever it may be is either given to them consciously or sub-consciously.

Whatever the cause, we've gotta to realise that this is not just an extra "small" and "easy-to-handle" situation. The parents have to realise that not every child will grow up to be like them. Hence, the "faith" they put in their son/daughter should not be an amount in which they themselves cannot handle. It's just stupid if you chuck a matter into a child's hand when you, an adult, can't handle it in the first place.

For those who don't agree with me, all I can say is that you're not seeking the teenagers point of view. How on earth is someone half your age supposed to cope with things that are meant to be for their elders to worry about? What's more, additional stress and pressure will be added when they don't hit the criteria for "maturity" in their parent's eyes. This added pressure will not deem them any favors in their exams. No doubt, they should be allowed to focus, allowed to be freed in their thoughts and emotions, at least until they are rid of their study obligations.

I'm not defending the youths of today's society. I am begging for parents to make the right choices, make the wise decisions. The right step will give you stress, no doubt. But look ahead and press on, for your children's future is at hand.

To stress or not to stress? Ask yourselves.