I have been told that the last thoughts one has before going to sleep sets a stage for one’s dreams and the dark night.  Having no evidence outside of my experience to support the theory, it is interesting to consider how many answers to lingering questions are answered with the dawn.  In my experience, the cause and effect correlation drives a habitual desire to be intentional, even when I sleep.

There are two warnings I would share with anyone thinking of being intentional with one’s mind when you are in control. First, be careful what you ask your mind to think about because it will!  Second, have a double think about one’s choice of topics.  The mind has a bad habit of giving you honest answers to your questions.  When you wake up knowing the answer to a question that you have been comfortably living with in denial, it is hard to ignore what you already know to be true. read more

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The music on my iPhone is set to shuffle all.  With shuffle, one has no idea what is coming next!  The only detail from the list of four thousand songs is a lack of a single pop song, unless you consider the songs from retrospective albums from the 60s as pop.

As I listen, especially when riding a motorcycle, I find that my riding changes with the music and artist.  As I shared the observation with a friend, our conversation got into various genres and within the genres, specific artists and the songs they were playing and or singing. read more

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As I people watched, each image and combination of images created an experience with a range of emotions.  From stunned silence to awe, from “really” to a stunned feeling, from intrigue and curiosity to ambivalence and definitive no interest, the act of watching came with an emotional roller coaster ride.

I love this experience.  It is as if I am walking through a doorway into the unknown.  While safe except for the danger of my own thoughts, each experience is an opportunity to look at life through very different eyes!  While much of it plays out in my imagination, when spontaneous conversations present themselves, it is a perfect time to step back and let others take the lead in sharing their stories in a manner and method of they prefer. read more

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Reference Points

Singapore continues to evolve, especially physically.  The island is more than 25% bigger than it was during my high school years.  You see changes every day.  New landmarks emerge with fresh construction of new homes, office buildings, and transportation related infrastructure.  When you add this to the ongoing rebuild of old office and residential buildings, it seems as if the country is superficially redefining itself every three to five years.

As I compare high school with now, what used to be the bay is a mix of new heart of the financial district, one of Singapore largest casinos, and a massive convention and shopping center.  The four lane roads are now six and eight lane expressways.  Limited bus lines are now complemented by a robust transit network and relatively inexpensive taxis. read more

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I listened to the scoffers at the table next to mine with interest.  While they did not recognize me, I knew the people and context of their ridicule.  If one only heard their perspective, it is hard to imagine anyone stepping up in defense.  Their words painted every detail and individual in black and white.  There was no expression of doubt.  I could not sense any uncertainty.  Every point was clear, concise, and a stepping stone that led a rationale thinker to a conclusion.

It was a black and white picture, understandable except for a reality; I had access to the greater picture.  The missing pieces brought color, context, and depth.  The greater story was filled with compassion, mercy, and charity.  It even had a bit of tension that comes when balancing and applying one’s principles in the chaos of living. read more

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Families get into and end up having food fights.  Usually, the mess happens behinds close doors.  Over the past week plus, Singapore has been watching a very public one play out.  It is not pretty.  By most accounts, it is not that important.  In short, it is a debate that could and should have been resolved amicably between brothers, sisters, and kids behind closed doors.  Instead, everyone seems to have a view

In this case, I do not have anything that I want to say in addition to what is already being said.  Like a lot of things in life, it is hard to those stones at the glass house in which I live.  My memories of conversations and the lack of, words used and not, expressions of intent and of ignorance from days gone by remind me of how human I am. read more

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It would be fun to be able to compare how much one remembers now versus in the day of what another said to you.  In my case, there are two extremes.  First, those I did not get along with.  When I think back across the decades, it is hard to recall what we spent too much time debating.  I remember a few snippets, but nothing particularly negative.

The second comparison would be with the friends and family who were a positive part of my life.  I do not think I remember more of what they said than I did then.  I am confident that I remember what they said more often!  It is as if they have become imaginary coaches and mentors.  Their words push and call me to account, remind me of hope, and gift me with courage. read more

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I sat down yesterday with a good friend over an ice tea and latte.  As we talked for more than an hour and a half, I found myself reconnecting with the heart and mind of an individual I feel privileged to know and honored to walk together with.  While there are many sides to how others know him, the characteristics in his life that stand out to me include the following.

Life and individuals are seen though a lens of hope.  In weakness and strength, in capabilities as well as the absence of, the lens he sees life is filled with possibilities.  The question is never of failure; what matters is what he can do to help take things forward. read more

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The discussion in the meeting had wrapped up and everyone sitting around the table was in bi and trilateral conversations, often across the other’s line of sight.  Initially it was not planned or intentionally rude, but the unintended consequence was an offense to words in one conversation that were taken in another.

“How could you say that?”

“Say what?”

“That some throw the analysts under the bus.”

“But it is true.”

“Maybe, but I do not.”

“I did not say you did.”

“You just did!” read more

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Grandparents and children are fun to watch anytime.  As I watched two unrelated grandparents in different settings deal with the struggle for emotional wrenching efforts control, I was struck by their patience, endurance, and ability to stayed focused.

In the first, a young boy did not want to let his grandfather leave.  It was morning commute time.  The usually busy elevator was filled with just one, me.  Given there are not many westerners in the building (I think I am the only one), when a child sees me, s/he is usually distracted for a time.  Today it was as if I was not there!  It was as if the child had heard the psalmist calling, “Divert my eyes from toys and trinkets, invigorate me on the pilgrim way,” (Psalm 119.37) and was committed to the course. read more

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