Another year gone by. Feels like it was a daze. Spent the last two weeks of the 2014, clearing up stuff at work and doing repairs. My Moto-Saw, Rotary Tool, drill and all the other tools came out to play. Did stuff which I normally don't do or would be too lazy to begin. But I learned plenty in the process.
Tools are important. The right tool affects the ability to get things done, qualilty of finishing and speed of work. Without the right tools many of the tasks would have either not been possible or taken a very long time to complete. Quality of work would have been greatly affected too.
That's life too. We need the right tools to get by and get ahead. EQ, IQ.... The right amount of each is needed. For some, the privilege of pedigree birth gives a distinct advantage over the rest. This has often made me wonder whether life is really fair. One who is born in a family with wealth or even just relative wealth immediately has a headstart. On the other spectrum, one born in the third world country into great poverty would most probably be destined to roam the bush or the slums to which he was born. The abject poverty would make it an gargantuan uphill task to get out of the cycle. Likely that he'll be stuck there. The unfair advantage always exists.
Year end flood. Another plane crashed. I was struck by the number of seven helicopters available during the early days of the flood. Only seven. A plane crashed and multiple governments came out with pledges to do all they can. I wonder too how much it'll cost. I don't know what the exact amount is but the cost for the of MH370 is running into the hundreds..... and that's in millions. And still counting too...
I had an interesting conversation with someone on the last day of the year too. She talked about how the king has directed that flood mitigation projects be carried out in her village in Thailand. During our conversation which crossed many boundaries, I asked her if the monarchy was really needed. I said history has recorded that the lavish lifestyle of King Vajiravudh was one of the reasons for the creation of constitutional monarchy in the country which brought about the 1932 Revolution. The maintenance and running of the monarchy.... It costs money which is borne by the taxpayers. So do we need the monarchy? Her answer was yes because she said the present king is a wise man. But it remains to be seen whether his heir apparent can fit into his father's shoes. Our conversation soon drifted to other things.
A new year. My kids said it is just another day. I tend to agree with them. I asked them to stay up with me to herald in the new year. But they were in their room before the clock struck 12. I fell asleep too. They were right. It is just another day. Heralding the new year becomes meaningful, I think mostly in a social context. I read about how an old friend would make a trip to Singapore to greet the New Year for the last 10 years. Many people I know would spend the last hour at church for Watch Night Service. New Year celebraion is always done in groups. It's more fun, I think.
I stopped making resolutions years ago. Instead of making resolutions which I will break anyway, I went on an ad hoc approach and try to maintain whatever I have decided to do for as long as possible.... and pick up from where I failed each time I fail.
Maybe we celebrate New Year cos we have been conditioned to want new things. New clothes even when the old ones are still perfectly good? New cars cos they give one new prestige? New gadgets cos they promise more features? New friends cos they show our social prowess? New places to visit cos they allow us to highlight on Facebook?
Yet newness is not about all those too. New is about rejuvanation too. The new comes to enhance. It replaces the old. The old has to make place for the new to take over. The cycle is repeated..... new will turn to old too. Compassion, generosity, humility, kindness are needed to make life more meaningful.
Many say 2014 has been a difficult year. Was it? Or it's just another year.... one of many years. Anyway, 2015 is here. Happy New Year!