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Archive for the ‘Quotes/Thoughts of the Day’ Category

An insight into Prince Philip’s Personality when interviewed by BBC News on turning 90 in June 2011:

“His mind is so together and he wants to know about everything.  He has that kind of mind that has kept him going.” – by Royal Biographer Ingrid Stewart.

“I reckon I’ve done my bit so I want to enjoy myself a bit now, with less responsibility, less frantic rushing about, less preparation, less trying to think of something to say. On top of that your memory’s going, I can’t remember names and things,” “It’s better to get out before you reach the sell-by date.” – by Prince Philip

“My father plain and simply is very modest about himself and doesn’t believe in talking about himself. One of his best pieces of advice he gives to everybody is talk about everything else, don’t talk about yourself – nobody’s interested in you.” – by Prince Edward

“Meeting him is rather extraordinary. You get the impression of meeting a bird of prey, a hawk or an eagle, there’s something absolutely penetrating about the eyes, you feel like you’re being scanned. You raise your game, you rather hope he’ll like you.” – by Actor Joanna Lumley

“He’s formidable, he’s daunting, partly because of his position, but also because he is a very considerable intellect. The first time I met him, it was absolutely clear that if you turned up and you hadn’t mastered the papers, he would detect it very quickly and you would be in trouble.” – by  Broadcaster David Attenborough:

“Get him on a bad day and it’s quite hard work. Get him on a good day, and you really don’t want to be with anybody else.” – by Theologian Martin Palmer:

(Source:  BBC News)

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May all visitors to this site be blessed 🙂

The place to be happy is here,
The time to be happy is now,
The way to be happy is to
Make others so.

May your troubles be less,         
Your blessings be more,
And nothing but happiness
coming through your door.

(Source:  Unknown )

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Amanda Chong Wei-Zhen, a 15-year old Singaporean from Raffles Girl’s Secondary School competed in The annual Commonwealth Essay Competition under the 16-18 years old category and won top prize in her short story titled “WHAT THE MODERN WOMAN WANTS” depicting the Restlessness of Modern Life that drew 5,300 entries from 52 countries.

“What The Modern Woman Wants”, focused on the conflict in values between an old lady and her independent-minded daughter.

‘Through my story, I attempted to convey the unique East-vs-West struggles and generation gaps that I felt were characteristic of young people in my country,’ said Amanda, who likes drama, history and literature and wants to become a lawyer and a politician.

Chief Examiner, Charles Kemp called her piece a ‘powerfully moving and ironical critique of modern restlessness and its potentially cruel consequences’……..

The writing is fluent and assured, with excellent use of dialogue. A great story which carries the good meaning of life for senior citizens.

Please read on :

The old woman sat in the backseat of the magenta convertible as it careened down the highway, clutching tightly to the plastic bag on her lap, afraid it may be kidnapped by the wind. She was not used to such speed, with trembling hands she pulled the seatbelt tighter but was careful not to touch the patent leather seats with her callused fingers, her daughter had warned her not to dirty it, ‘Fingerprints show very clearly on white, Ma..’

Her daughter, Bee Choo, was driving and talking on her sleek silver mobile phone using big words the old woman could barely understand. ‘Finance’ ‘Liquidation’, ‘Assets’ ‘Investments’… Her voice was crisp and important and had an unfamiliar lilt to it.

Her Bee Choo sounded like one of those foreign girls on television. She was speaking in an American accent.

The old lady clucked her tongue in disapproval. ‘I absolutely cannot have this. We have to sell!’ Her daughter exclaimed agitatedly as she stepped on the accelerator; her perfectly manicured fingernails gripping onto the steering wheel in irritation.

‘I can’t DEAL with this anymore!’ she yelled as she clicked the phone shut and hurled it angrily toward the backseat. The mobile phone hit the old woman on the forehead and nestled soundlessly into her lap. She calmly picked it up and handed it to her daughter.

‘Sorry, Ma,’ she said, losing the American pretence and switching to Mandarin. ‘I have a big client in America. There have been a lot of problems.’

The old lady nodded knowingly. Her daughter was big and important.

Bee Choo stared at her mother from the rear view window, wondering what she was thinking. Her mother’s wrinkled countenance always carried the same cryptic look.

The phone began to ring again, an artificially cheerful digital tune, which broke the awkward silence.

‘Hello, Beatrice! Yes, this is Elaine, Elaine!? The old woman cringed. I didn’t name her ‘Elaine’. She remembered her daughter telling her, how an English name was very important for networking’, Chinese ones being easily forgotten.

‘Oh no, I can’t see you for lunch today. I have to take the ancient relic to the temple for her weird daily prayer ritual.’

Ancient Relic. The old woman understood perfectly it was referring to her. Her daughter always assumed that her mother’s silence meant she did not comprehend.

‘Yes, I know! My car seats will be reeking of joss sticks!’ The old woman pursed her lips tightly, her hands gripping her plastic bag in defence.

The car curved smoothly into the temple courtyard. It looked almost garish next to the dull sheen of the ageing temple’s roof. The old woman got out of the back seat, and made her unhurried way to the main hall.

Her daughter stepped out of the car in her business suit and stilettos and reapplied her lipstick as she made her brisk way to her mother’s side.

‘Ma, I’ll wait outside. I have an important phone call to make,’ she said, not bothering to hide her disgust at the pungent fumes of incense.

The old lady hobbled into the temple hall and lit a joss stick, she knelt down solemnly and whispered her now familiar daily prayer to the Gods.

Thank you God of the Sky, you have given my daughter luck all these years. Everything I prayed for, you have given her. She has everything a young woman in this world could possibly want. She has a big house with a swimming pool, a maid to help her, as she is too clumsy to sew or cook. Her love life has been blessed; she is engaged to a rich and handsome angmoh man. Her company is now the top financial firm and even men listen to what she says. She lives the perfect life. You have given her everything except happiness. I ask that the gods be merciful to her even if she has lost her roots while reaping the harvest of success.

What you see is not true, she is a filial daughter to me. She gives me a room in her big house and provides well for me. She is rude to me only because I affect her happiness. A young woman does not want to be hindered by her old mother. It is my fault.

The old lady prayed so hard that tears welled up in her eyes. Finally, with her head bowed in reverence she planted the half-burnt joss stick into an urn of smouldering ashes.

She bowed once more. The old woman had been praying for her daughter for thirty-two years. When her stomach was round like a melon, she came to the temple and prayed that it was a son.

Then the time was ripe and the baby slipped out of her womb, bawling and adorable with fat thighs and pink cheeks, but unmistakably, a girl. Her husband had ticked and punched her for producing a useless baby who could not work or carry the family name.

Still, the woman returned to the temple with her new-born girl tied to her waist in a sarong and prayed that her daughter would grow up and have everything she ever wanted.

Her husband left her and she prayed that her daughter would never have to depend on a man. She prayed every day that her daughter would be a great woman, the woman that she, meek and uneducated, could never become. A woman with nengkan; the ability to do anything she set her mind to. A woman who commanded respect in the hearts of men. When she opened her mouth to speak, precious pearls would fall out and men would listen. She will not be like me, the woman prayed as she watched her daughter grow up and drift away from her, speaking a language she scarcely understood.

She watched her daughter transform from a quiet girl to one who openly defied her, calling her laotu, old fashioned….. She wanted her mother to be ‘modern’, a word so new there was no Chinese word for it.

Now her daughter was too clever for her and the old woman wondered why she had prayed like that. The Gods had been faithful to her persistent prayer, but the wealth and success that poured forth so richly had buried the girl’s roots and now she stood faceless with no identity, bound to the soil of her ancestors by only a string of origami banknotes.

Her daughter had forgotten her mother’s value. Her wants were so ephemeral, that of a modern woman. Power, wealth, access to the best fashion boutiques and yet her daughter had not found true happiness.

The old woman knew that you could find happiness with much less. When her daughter left the earth, everything she had would count for nothing. People would look to her legacy and say that she was a great woman but she would be forgotten once the windblows over, like the ashes of burnt paper convertibles and mansions.

The old woman wished she could go back and erase all her big hopes and prayers for her daughter now that she had looked out of the temple gates. She saw her daughter speaking on the phone, her brow furrowed with anger and worry. Being at the top is not good, the woman thought, there is only one way to go from there – down.

The old woman carefully unfolded the plastic bag and spread out a packet of beehoon in front of the alter. Her daughter often mocked her for worshipping porcelain Gods. How could she pray to them so faithfully and expect pieces of ceramic to fly to her aid? But her daughter had her own gods too, idols of wealth, success and power that she enslaved to and worshipped every day of her life.

Every day was a quest for the idols, and the idols she worshipped counted for nothing in eternity. All the wants her daughter had would slowly suck the life out of her and leave her, an empty souless shell at the alter.

The old woman watched the joss stick. The dull heat had left a teetering grey stem that was on the danger of collapsing.

Modern woman nowadays, the old lady signed in resignation, as she bowed to the east one final time to end her ritual. Modern woman nowadays want so much that they lose their souls and wonder why they cannot find it.

Her joss stick disintegrated into a soft grey powder. She met her daughter outside the temple, the same look of worry and frustration was etched on her daughter’s face.

An empty expression, as if she was ploughing through the soil of her wants looking for the one thing that would sown the seeds of happiness.

They climbed into the convertible in silence and her daughter drove along the highway, this time not too fast as she had done before.

Ma, Bee Choo finally said. “I don’t know how to put this. Mark and I have been talking about it and we plan to move out of the big house. The property market is good now, and we managed to get a buyer willing to pay us seven million for it. We decided we’d prefer a cosier penthouse apartment instead. We found a perfect one in Orchard Road. Once we move into our apartment, we plan to get rid of the maid, so we can have more space to ourselves….”

The old woman nodded knowingly. Bee Choo swallowed hard. “We’d get someone to come in to do the housework and we can eat out – but once the maid is gone, there won’t be anyone to look after you. You will be awfully lonely at home and, besides that the apartment is rather small.
There won’t be space. We thought about it for a long time, and we decided the best thing for you is if you moved to a Home. There’s one near Hougang -it’s a Christian home and a very nice one.”

The old woman did not raise an eyebrow. ” I’ve been there, the matron is willing to take you in. It’s beautiful with gardens and lots of old people to keep you company! Hardly have time for you, you’d be happier there.” ” You’d be happier there, really.” her daughter repeated as if to affirm herself.

This time the old woman had no plastic bag of food offering to cling tightly to, she bit her lip and fastened her seat belt, as if it would protect her from a daughter who did not want her anymore. She sunk deep into the leather seat, letting her shoulders sag and her fingers trace the white seat.

Ma, her daughter asked, seaching the rear view window for her mother. “Is everything okay?

What had to be done, had to be done. “Yes” she said firmly, louder than she intended, ‘if it will make you happy,’ she added more quitely.

‘It’s for you, Ma! You will be happier there. You can move there tomorrow, I already got the maid to pack your things.’ Elaine said triumphantly, mentally ticking yet another item off her agenda.

‘I knew everything would be fine’ Elaine smiled widely; she felt liberated. Perhaps getting rid of her mother would make her happier. She had thought about it. It seemed the only hinderance in her pursuit of happiness. She was happy now. She had everything a modern woman ever wanted; money, status, career, love, power and now freedom without her mother and her old-fashioned ways to weigh her down……

Yes she was free. Her phone butted urgently, she picked it up and read the message, still beaming from ear to ear. “Stock 10% increase”

Yes, things were definitely beginning to look up for her and while searching for the meaning of life in the luminance of her hand phone screen, the old woman in the backseat became invisible and she did not see her in tears.

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To the ARTIST He is the One Altogether Lovely.
To the ARCHITECT He is the Chief Corner Stone.
To the BAKER He is the Living Bread.
To the BANKER He is the Hidden Treasure.
To the BIOLOGIST He is the Life.
To the BUILDER He is the Sure Foundation.
To the CARPENTER He is the Door.
To the DOCTOR He is the Great Physician.
To the EDUCATOR He is the Great Teacher.
To the ENGINEER He is the New and Living Way.
To the FLORIST He is the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valley.
To the GEOLOGIST He is the Rock of Ages.
To the HORTICULTURIST He is the True Vine.
To the JUDGE He is the Righteous Judge, Judge of All Men.
To the JEWELER He is the Pearl of Great Price.
To the LAWYER He is the Counselor, the Lawgiver, the Advocate.
To the NEWSPAPER He is the Good Tidings of Great Joy.
To the OCULIST He is the Light of the Eyes.
To the PHILANTHROPIST He is the Unspeakable Gift.
To the PHILOSOPHER He is the Wisdom of God.
To the PREACHER He is the Word of God.
To the SCULPTOR He is the Living Stone.
To the SERVANT He is the Good Master.
To the STATESMAN He is the Desire of All Nations.
To the STUDENT He is the Incarnate Truth.
To the THEOLOGIAN He is the Author and Finisher of our Faith.
To the TOILER He is the Giver of Rest.
To the SINNER He is the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the World.
To the CHRISTIAN He is the Son of the Living God, the Savior, the Redeemer and the Lord.

(Author – Unknown)

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Good Morning My Dear Friend,

HAPPY NEW YEAR !!

As we begin our last Thursday of this year,
here is a fantastic show on how to live in truth.

Never mind criticism.
If it is untrue, disregard.
If it is unfair, stay calm.
If it is ignorant, smile.
If it is justified, learn from it.

But let us bear in mind always that our future depends on what we do in the present.

Have a great day dears.

(By Ramakrishna of the Nubia Group)

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Did you greet your day with a smile or with a frowning face?

Our day is dictated by how we welcomed it with.
And the magic formula is to SMILE .

“A smile costs nothing but gives much. It enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give. It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever. None is so rich or mighty that he cannot get along without it and none is so poor that he cannot be made rich by it. Yet a smile cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is of no value to anyone until it is given away. Some people are too tired to give you a smile. Give them one of yours, as none needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give.”

“A smile is a very simple and easy thing to do. It not only makes the person in front of you better, but it also makes you feel better as well. Let your smile be an invitation for others to get to know the great person behind the smile. Then let people see that your smile doesn’t stop at your mouth. It goes all the way to your heart. Smiles are free – don’t save them. Someone might smile back.”

“You’re never fully dressed without a smile.” – Martin Charnin
” A smile is a light in the window of the soul, indicating that the heart is at home.”
” Smile, it’s the second best thing one can do with one’s lips.”
” Brighten the world with your smile.”
” A smile can open a heart faster than a key can open a door.”
” Smiling makes you feel better about yourself, even if you don’t feel like it. ” – Lauraine Snelling
” Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
“People seldom notice old clothes if you wear a big smile.” – Lee Mildon
” A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.” – Phyllis Diller
” The world always looks brighter from behind a smile.” – Author Unknown
” Start every day with a smile and get it over with.” – W.C. Fields
” A smile is an inexpensive way to change your looks.” – Charles Gordy
” If you smile at someone, they might smile back.”
” Everyone smiles in the same language.”
” I’ve never seen a smiling face that was not beautiful.”
” Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” – Mother Teresa
” A friendly look, a kindly smile, one good act, and life’s worthwhile.”
” A smile is the universal welcome.” – Max Eastman
“· It takes seventeen muscles to smile and forty-three to frown.”
” Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important.” – Janet Lane
” Peace begins with a smile.” – Mother Teresa
” The face is the mirror of the mind, and eyes without speaking confess the secrets of the heart.” – St. Jerome

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The thing that goes the farthest
Towards making life worthwhile,
That costs the least, and does the most,
Is just a pleasant smile.
It’s full of worth and goodness too,
With manly kindness blent,
It’s worth a million dollars,
And it doesn’t cost a cent!

– Wilbur D. Nesbit –

“Life hugs us all. The problem is that it can’t tell if it’s hugging us with clouds or thorns. It hugs us with beauty, and all are beautiful.”

A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance – Proverbs 15:13

The world is like a mirror: Frown at it, and it frowns at you; smile at it and it smiles too – Herbert Samuels

Most smiles are started by another smile – frank A. Clark

If you’re not using your smile, you’re like a man with a million dollars in the bank and no checkbook – Les Giblin

A smile is the lighting system of the face and the heating system of the heart – Barbara Johnson

A smile is a light in the window of the soul indicating the heart is at home – Author Unknown

Wear a smile and have friends; wear a scowl and have wrinkles. What do we live for if not to make the world less difficult for each other? – George Eliot

Smile – It’s free therapy – Doug Horton

Nobody needs a smile so much as those who have none to give – Author unknown

What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity – Joseph Addison

A smile is worth a thousand words – Author unknown

When you smile at someone, nine times out of ten the other person will smile back and you’ve made two people’s days brighter and better – Author Unknown

Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been – Mark Twain

Smiles are the language of love – David Hare

Smile at each other, smile at your wife, smile at your husband, smile at your children, smile at each other—it doesn’t matter who it is—and that will help you to grow up in greater love for each other – Mother Teresa

There are hundreds of languages in the world but a smile speaks them all – Author Unknown

A winning smile makes winners of us all – Author Unknown

“It took me quite a while to realize that a simple smile and short greeting could truly make a difference in people’s lives. I did not smile much as a teenager or young adult. Once in a while someone would say, “Smile”, and I would want to tell them to mind their own business. As I grew up and was able to get out of my own head , I began to realize that it was not what I got but what I gave that would ultimately make me smile with autenthicity. Even when life is rough, I remember that others might be having a tough time too and I always try to rise to the occasions and brandish a smile.” – Author Unknown

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