Photo: auws

Before you know what kindness really is
You must lose things,
Feel the future dissolve in a moment
Like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
What you counted and carefully saved,

All this must go so you know
How desolate the landscapes can be
Between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
Thinking the bus will stop,
The passengers eating maize and chicken
Will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
You must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
Lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
How he too was someone
Who journeyed through the night with plans
And the simple breath that kept him alive

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
You must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak it till your voice
Catches the thread of all sorrows
And you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
Only kindness that ties your shoes
And sends you into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
Only kindness that raises its head
From the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
And then goes with you everywhere
Like a shadow or a friend.

Naomi Shihab Nye

Ten Laws of the Modern World

1. Newton’s First Law of Motion
Bodies at rest, stay at rest. Bodies at motion, stay at motion.
(Substance of advice) x (velocity at which it is given) = impact of advice
What is the direction of your advice? Are you an Accelerator or Impactor?

2. Moore’s Law
The number of transistors on an integrated circuit for minimum component cost doubles every 24 months.

3. Metcalfe’s Law
The value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of users of the system.

4. Gilder’s Law
The best business models waste the era’s cheapest resources in order to conserve the era’s most expensive resources.

5. Ogilvy’s Law
If each of us hires people who are smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. But if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we shall become a company of giants.

6. Laffer Curve
Cut taxes at the margin, on income and capital, and you’ll get more tax revenue, not less.

7. Murphy’s Law
Things will go wrong in any given situation, if you give them a chance.

8. Wriston’s Law
Capital (meaning both money and ideas), when freed to travel at the speed of light, will go where it is wanted and stay where it is well-treated.

9. Ockham’s Razor
All things being equal, the simplest solution tends to be the best one (entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem).

10. Ricardo’s Law
The natural price of labor is that price which is necessary to enable the laborers to subsist and to perpetuate their race, without either increase or diminution.

See also:


You say yes. You say yes to everything. You need not fight, you need not even swim – you simply float with the current. The river is going by itself, on its own accord, everything reaches to the ultimate ocean. You simply don’t create any disturbance, you don’t push the river, you simply go with it.

That going with it, floating with it, relaxing with it, is tantra.

Singapore Girl

ST, 11 Feb
Original Singapore Girl defends the kebaya
SIA girls are globally recognised, says ex-stewardess who was model for uniform

By Nur Dianah Suhaimi

WHEN former Singapore Airlines stewardess See Biew Wah was sent to Paris in 1972, she had no idea that she would be shaping history.

Tasked to be the model for a new cabin crew uniform, Madam See became the mannequin on which French haute couturer Pierre Balmain perfected the cut and look of SIA’s famous sarong kebaya.

Now, 62 years old and a housewife, Madam See has joined the chorus of voices defending the SIA girl. She wrote in to The Sunday Times to say that the iconic uniform has always been the source of her strength and pride.

She was responding to last week’s column, Of Singapore Girls And White Men, which, among other things, made the point that the Singapore Girl deserves to be heard.

Since the national carrier announced last month that it would tender out its advertising account for the first time in 35 years, there has been public debate on whether the Singapore Girl should stay or go.

‘As one of the original Singapore Girls, I feel I have earned the right to speak up on behalf of her,’ said Madam See.

Twenty other readers wrote in sharing the same view.

Said Madam See: ‘The first time we wore the kebaya in Europe, several pedestrians walked into lamp posts because they were so engrossed. It’s a beautiful uniform which brings instant recognition.’

Because Europeans tend to be bigger than their Asian counterparts, SIA was asked to send a stewardess to Paris to model for Balmain. So for a week, Madam See posed for him.

Said Madam See: ‘He was extremely particular. If he didn’t like something, he’d just rip it off.’

Madam See has long given up her kebaya when she left SIA in 1980. But she claims she now has an ‘invisible uniform’ which has kept her strong and confident. ‘Once a Singapore Girl, always a Singapore Girl,’ she said.


Straits Times. 11 Feb
By Nur Dianah Suhaimi

WHEN Ms C.F. Chen set up her organic food shop Supernature in a quiet corner of Wheelock Place 10 years ago, she had only five items sitting on the shelves and even fewer customers coming through the door.

When they did, they cringed at the prices and complained about holes in the apples and less-than-pristine vegetables.

Her friends thought she was crazy to have given up her $2,500-a-month job at the now defunct Telecommunication Authority of Singapore to sell ‘rabbit food’.

Today, the 37-year-old is having the last laugh.

Her two Orchard Boulevard shops are among more than 40 organic stores, cafes and warehouses in Singapore, all part of an industry estimated to be worth between $6 million and $10 million a year.

Organic food is produced without artificial pesticides or fertilisers. It is also free of additives and, in the case of organic meat, growth hormones.

Last week, Club 21 founder Christina Ong’s COMO Group bought over the two shops for an undisclosed sum, leaving Ms Chen in charge of the day-to-day operations.

Continue reading Supernature


There are many ways in which speculation may be unintelligent. Of these the foremost are:

(1) speculating when you think you are investing;

(2) speculating seriously instead of as a pastime, when you lack proper knowledge and skill for it; and

(3) risking more money in speculation than you can afford to lose.

Benjamin Graham

Please take good care of yourself

One day when Ch’an Master Ling-hsun was studying with his Master, Kuei-tzung, he suddenly decided to leave and went to his Master to say goodbye.

Kuei-tzung said, “Where are you going?”

Ling-hsun answered, “Back to the mountains.”

“You have studied here for thirteen years. Now that you are leaving, I should tell you the essence of the Dharma (Buddhism). When you are finished packing, come and see me again.”
Ling-hsun followed his Master’s instructions, leaving his luggage outside the door as he went in to see Master Kuei-tzung.

Master Kuei-tzung beckoned to him, “Come over here!”

Ling-shung did as his master said.

The Master said gently, “The weather is cold. Please take good care of yourself during the journey.”

Upon hearing this, Ling-hsun became enlightened.