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Sunday, December 22, 2013

It is a small world

The world is actually quite small

EVERY week, I go to the nearby wet market to stock up on provisions. One of the stalls I have to stop by is run by a young man who knows that I am there to collect my weekly quota of 20 kampung eggs.

Recently I asked him if he might want to consider starting up an online service to provide home delivery to his regular customers. After all, even the major hypermarkets are going big time in providing such a service to tap into the trend of people being so busy that grocery shopping needs another approach.

His reply tells me once again that true wisdom rests among ordinary people who truly know what the real world is all about. You can grab quotations from wise men and manage­ment gurus but sometimes the real gems are from people like my egg seller.

He basically told me that it is better for me to come out and get the chance to meet people rather than stay in the house. Every moment in any public area, he said, is fresh and unpredictable.

“You can bump into people you have not met for a long time or come across something interesting that cheers you up when you are feeling down,” he said.

The egg seller is correct to say that every moment in public is fresh and unpredictable. I have always believed that nothing happens by chance. Some call it divine appointments but it is this connection of one human to another that opens up a myriad of possibilities.

Through such encounters, we learn that the world is actually quite small once we start connecting the dots and learn that the person we have just met is actually not quite a stranger after all.

As much as I love the written word, I find that it is the spoken word, with all the body language appended, that conveys the true meaning of what we want to say.

To tell someone you are sorry through a card is easy even if you do not really mean it. But to say you are sorry up close and personal, you’d better mean what you say or else.

Those who are less socially inclined than I am will disagree when I say that we are not created to be solitary beings. We need company to flourish in thought and in deed.

We can talk about feeling the pulse of the people and of being connected to the grassroots, but if we are only doing so from the comfort of our living room or office, we will never get the real picture.

Some of the things I read online will make me think there is absolutely no hope left in the country, but when I am out there, I realise that this is just not the case.

Take a ride on the bus or the LRT, drop in to see a friend at the hospital, take a walk around the neighbourhood, have a chat with the grasscutter ...

Then you will learn that the world we live in is a wonderful place because the people make it so.

And we do so by not merely looking out for our own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

In this season of Christmas, it is my hope that we do our part to reach out and love one another. We can, and we will, make a difference.

Contributed by Soo Ewe Jin. He wishes all Christian readers a blessed Christmas with a gentle reminder that this is the season not only for giving but for forgiving as well.

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