Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What Goads Me On!


Si Yuan presenting his excellent speech on the "Potatoes".

Enthusiastic members and guests at Teach Me Toastmasters' Club. The lady in black and white striped T-shirt is bubbly Nur Shahidah, IPP and currently the treasurer of the club.

With charming Maximillian Tan on my left and pretty Stephanie Fam on my right, at the recent Christmas Concert at AWWA

Our foreign nationals having a wonderful weekend, chit chatting with friends under the shady trees
Posted by Picasa

After having visited over a hundred toastmasters' clubs the past two and a half years, I must confess that there were times when I was extremely lazy. It was thanks to my ex-president of DWG Toastmasters' Club, Vanessa Yong, that I was able to complete all my forty projects within 18 months. I am the quiet type who prefers to bask in the serenity and cosiness of my home. I have always been a "homebody" since young. As a student, I could never work in the library, where the silence in the library would soon serenade me to sleep. I must study with some music in the background. As a property agent I could work from home, and only go to my office when I need to search for information or submit my documents. Or when there are meetings and seminars.

I enjoy my work for it is so comfortable working at home in my pyjamas or shorts and T-shirt! I can always multi-task. I would turn on my cd player while I am typing a letter or cleaning the home or cooking in the kitchen. When watching the television programmes, I can simultaneously do some aerobic exercises. When I am tired, I can take a little break to play the piano, drum or violin. Frankly, I would rather type ten articles on the computer at home than to present a speech at a toastmasters' club.!

To overcome my laziness, I have chosen to live close to an MRT station, and what better location than the centre of the city! It takes me only about 30 to 45 seconds to walk to the Little India MRT station. I had moved to Little India when I was the Area Governor U3, so that it would be easy for me to zip around the island. Even when standing in the train, I would read to pass time.

I have often been asked to help out as a Language Evaluator by various clubs. There were times when I wished I had not promised and committed myself. Nevertheless I always remember that papa had always taught us to give our best in whatever we do. "Anything worth doing, is worth doing well!" he would say. Besides papa, there are also two groups of people that always goad me on!

When I am lazy, I think of the cheerful faces of the members of Teach Me Toastmasters' Club and the quiet fortitude of the smiling foreign nationals I meet on Sundays in my neighbourhood.

Each time I attended a meeting at the Teach Me Toastmasters' Club, I would go home, refreshed and uplifted. The joy and laughter of the members were truly infectious! When we volunteer our time and effort, we actually receive more than we give!

The first time when I visited the club, I was amazed by the tenacity of the members to do well. As I was walking back from the club to the bus stop at the main road, I met Si Yuan. He was struggling with his crutches even as he walked. Beads of perspiration filled his forehead, and I asked if I could help carry his backpack. Seeing him struggling with every step, I wished I was strong enough to carry him piggyback. I told him I would make sure he gets on the bus safely first before I boarded my own bus. As Si Yuan was in a hurry, we hailed a taxi instead.

This chance meeting with Si Yuan always looms before me whenever I am lazy. "Get up and go, Choo!", I would tell myself.

At the previous meeting, I was thrilled when Si Yuan was voted the best speaker. He made us laugh when he shared his research topic on "The Potatoes". He even shared with us what potatoes are called in Hindi, Malay and Chinese. I am nuts about potatoes and was surprised when Si Yuan shared about the danger of eating too much potatoes. The audience roared with laughter when he concluded, "So you see, it is better to be a couch potato than to eat too many potatoes!" During my language evaluation, I thanked Si Yuan for reminding us not to eat too much potatoes. No wonder I look like a potato and must now work my way to become trim like a stick of celery!

Every weekend I am reminded to be thankful for all that I am and have whenever I see our foreign nationals around Little India. They enjoy sitting under the shade of the trees in the fields, or just standing around and chit chatting with one another. Many of them work very hard under the hot scorching sun at construction sites, and even those with white collar jobs often work hard in their offices. I smile when I see them alighting their buses, excited like school children on an expedition. The happiest people need not be people with the most wealth and assets.

Thanks to papa; thanks to members of Teach Me Toastmasters' Club and thanks to our foreign nationals in Singapore - I am a slightly more diligent, grateful and contented person because of you!

Gan Chau

No comments: