Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Little Things That Make Me Smile!

"Choo, you seem to be writing almost everyday in your blog, eh?" asked Professor Saw, knitting his eyebrows. He has this habit, especially when he is puzzled. Professor Saw is one of the volunteers in our Speechcraft at Changi Prison.

"Yes, I do, for it takes only about 15 to 30 minutes to type an article. I thank God for my Pitman's typing skill".

"Of course," conceded Professor Saw.

Hence, when I posted my article, "If I Were a Millionaire", within 15 minutes, little did I expect it to generate so much interest and response. It is one of my most heavily googled articles. I guess, perhaps it is a topic which teachers tend to give to students in schools. But then, many non students seem to be googling the article too. Perhaps it is natural that everyone wants to be a millionaire.!!

Recently I smiled when I received some comments from a student called Kai:-

"12:28 AM
Kai said...
err nice essay im a o level student too and i need a good essay this one of them ,dont get the wrong idea , iwont copy it i just gonna make a similar one need for my exam hehehe....."

I am glad my article could be a blessing to my readers.! For those of you who have not yet read, below is the article. It is little things, like receiving readers' comments that make me happy.....even some nasty ones which means that my readers are really digesting and reflecting over my articles. So far, I have often received positive feedback, except for some readers who seemed to be angry especially when I gave kudos to the PAP. This is why I adopted some defensive approach, especially in my previous article, "A Warm Fuzzy Feeling at MRT Stations". My readers should not be afraid to beg to differ, for after all, it is the unique characteristics in all of us that make our world oh, so interesting and colourful!

Nevertheless it was lovely to receive some comments from my Canadian buddy, James Dunlap when he wrote in response:-

"At the end of the day I'm a lot like you, Choo Choo. Simple things make me happy. And I do like Singapore too. And having all the reactions you list is in your case not overly PAP but just you being you. And we know from other things you've written that you are critical sometimes too when that is called for.

My wife on the other hand is one of those people who is frequently annoyed and irritated by things that to me are not worth getting upset about. My kids just laugh at her as, for example, she drives our car and constantly scolds and curses at other drivers on the road. At least superficially she's that way. On a deeper level she's happy too.

James Dunlap"

What are the little things that make you smile, my dear readers?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

If I were a Millionaire....

If I were a millionaire...an essay topic that was often given when I was a student in Secondary School.

Now 4 decades later, I am still not a millionaire, but now I think I would like to be one so that I can dish out help to the poor and needy. If I were a millionaire
I would reach out to the family of 12 who cramp themselves in a small HDB flat. I would clothe and house the men who slept on the streets of World Class Singapore. I would go the extra mile to set up an emergency request centre, so that deperate people in need of help like Huang Na's mother could be accommodated. Her daughter would not be left to fend for herself while the mother returned to China for a short trip. I would dream of all the great works of benevolence .....

How many millionaires are like me, dreaming of all the great charitable works they would perform when they had the money.? Yet, why are there people still sleeping on the streets, and tons of people on welfare, receiving $290 a month for their monthly needs? More and more Singaporeans are joining the millionaires' row as announced by the Straits Times. Yet when these people achieve their dreams, why are some still as unhappy and dissatisfed as ever? What caused the late Howard Hughs to say, "If only I could turn the clock back, I was happiest as a shoe-shine boy!"?

Talk is cheap. When I really become a millionaire, would I still be as generous as I am now, even though my giving is little, like the widow's mite? For some strange reasons, the more we have, the harder it is to part with our money! We want to save more and more, and to accumulate more and more. Probably this is the reason why Jack Neo came up with the movie, "Money, no enough."

Very few millionaires are like Warren Buffet who lives in an old house, drives himself around without body guards and whose favourite pastime is to munch on popcorns and watch television after work! He does not care for branded items nor socialising with high society. If I become a millionaire, would I end up like Warren Buffet or like the late Nina Wang?

Mm... now I think I am happy to be where I am .... living a simple life, striking a balance between work and play, and doing my little part, to help make life a little better for those in need. I am contented to have time to smell the flowers; hear the birds sing and find joy in simple things. For I come into the world with nothing; and with nothing I will go back to dust.

Posted by The Oriental Express at 7:20 PM

Labels: Melancholy - coptentment

8 comments: Harro! said...
Hi Ganchau, it's never too late to get started.:)

2:33 AM
JerL said...
You are right about the part where richer people find it harder to part with their money. That's because they feel it's their hard earned money.

11:10 AM
JerL said...
And there are some poor people who is expecting the society to help them. Like the family with 4 kids which I wrote about, they expect society to cloth their kids, donate money for them to go to school. They claim to be poor, yet the wife still went ahead and become pregnant with a fifth kid. C'mon that's ridiculous.

11:16 AM
The Oriental Express said...
If the rich feel it is their hard earned $$, how about the poor, especially those construction workers who labour under the sun 12 hours a day. Does it not make their $$$$ appear even earned in a very hard way.

$ makes $, so they say. Initially maybe the rich works hard... but later their $ makes $.... but they become more stingy as their $$$ grows! Catching up with the Joneses.!

7:24 AM
Anonymous said...
omg!! i wuz just browsing thru the net 4 sum info on if i were a millionare coz i am an Olevel student and have my speaking xam nxt week but when i read this i felt so sad it wuz heart softning man i wuz about to cry especially when i read the last line.HATS OF TO THE PERSON WHO EVER WROTE SUCH AN AWESOME ESSAY!! dude ur kewl!

9:35 PM
The Oriental Express said...
I am really glad that you have been blessed by my essay.

This is my prayer. That I would use my gift of writing to inspire and encourage my readers.

All the best to you in your exams.

Gan Chau aka Kam Choo Choo

10:51 PM
The Oriental Express said...
Hi, just want you to know that it was a damn good essay - best I'd read on "Why I want to be a millionaire!"

You're right. $$$ alone does not bring happiness!



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