1. An unexpected beginning. Three years ago, the decision to start guanyinmiao’s musings was a spontaneous one; a casual endeavour to pander to my nascent socio-political proclivities. July 6, 2009 (missed it by a few weeks here) was the date I decided to actively articulate my perspectives on issues.
Sustainability can be rewarding in overseas projects. Schools and organisations can help foster long-term commitment by encouraging individuals and teams to be “attached” to specific areas overseas, such that constant assistance can be granted to the beneficiaries.
The Case For Overseas Community Projects, July 6, 2009 (here)
The pragmatism to strive towards victory in the rat race throws students in the wrong directions with misguided intentions. They see the entire education process – from primary school to higher-learning institutions – as an extended scholarship and college application process. All the undertaken activities and initiatives are not without justification; all of them must contribute to the eventual goal of entering a prestigious institution for a future career.
PSC: For Public Service Or Personal Service, July 29, 2009 (here)
2. A wonderful journey. More than 150 letters and 450 commentaries on (please pardon the cliché), some things have changed, and some haven’t. The latter: my knowledge – and corresponding articles – of more technical concerns such as housing, wealth funds, healthcare et cetera remain sparse and not the most insightful; my interest in Singaporean affairs has not waned (though churning out articles independently can be draining); and my editorial predilection for concerns about community service and education remains unchanged.
And yes, my preference for semi-colons, “cognisant” and long sentences persists.
Yet, to consciously communicate one’s views to the penetrative glare of individuals requires more than just tenacity: it requires humility, to accept the limits of one’s knowledge. Through the years, I have learnt to be more nuanced, responsible and cogent with my presentations; interacting with various readers has made me more sensitive to differing opinions, and aware of how to manage criticisms (two minds are necessary for constructive discussion); furthermore, the website has also functioned as a gateway for valuable meetings and interactions with parliamentarians and policy-makers. Not to mention unplanned run-ins with the authorities (technically, just once).
3. A long road ahead. There are days – when the inspiration tank is empty and the motivation is running low – when I wonder why I bother (here). I suppose I really do care, and the website provides some form of a starting point for me to launch from. Writing is not the be-all and end-all for me; I’m always looking – and trying, failing and learning – to take the next step to effect tangible change within communities.
4. A new chapter in my life. I don’t exactly know what it is about the next phase of my life that terrifies me; after all, I thought I sounded pretty confident and all rationalising my decision to stay in Singapore (here). Delusion? Uncertainty? Lack of confidence? I don’t know. Turns out, I think I’ll never be able to shake away this feeling of having shortchanged myself by not even trying to apply overseas, even though I knew my chances were probably slimmer than slim. I’m really psyched about the public policy option though, but am less certain about me in business courses (doing a concurrent Bachelor of Business and Masters of Public Policy). Fluff is the buzzword, but isn’t it silly to judge even before I’ve experienced it?
So there you go, a man of contradictions is what I am (mind you, this person also said no to command school in the military – still feels great though). My friend reckoned that I should move on stoically instead of looking back all the time, but it has been – and will be – tough for me. That’s Kwan Jin Yao for you though; a conflicted soul, but still one who hopes to continue writing here for a long, long time.