Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Life Made Simple

I eat to live, not live to eat...

We are born different, made differently and have different paths in our journey
Our roles are so different yet we will cross each other's paths one time or another
Nonetheless, nothing will be too dissimilar nor homogeneous

Your Truth is not my Truth and my truth is not your Truth. Water gives life but not form - Bruce Lee

The bondage that we have and carry will lessen as we give up humanly desires and belongings
When the Mind is clear, the Soul is enlightened

You will see clearer and attain inner peace when you give, forgive and deliver without motives nor asked

Motherly love is saintly
When Mother Earth roars and pours, misery abounds
Death is the Leveller - rich, poor, emperor or pauper, young, old, powerful or lame
From dusts to dusts

Like water, our Providence has no definite paths nor form

I like to be alone but loneliness is fearsome
I want to give up materialism but I fear hunger
I want to retreat and reside within my Beliefs/Religion away from humanly distractions but ... alas! Life is so simple yet complex

I am the Simplex - a simple person with simple wishes and earthly needs but caught in a complex world order

Live & Let Live

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

When You Are Emotionally Charged

Emotions know no boundaries...

When you are angry, walk away
Never reply when provoked; nothing good can come out of it
Finish your draft reply, saved it and re-visit it a day or two later; it will save you alot of agony trying to do damage control

A gambler will bet his fortune, including his last dollar
A garbled mind cannot reason so how can it ever win? A fool and his money will soon part

A dead drunk may find his way home but he will never know how he manage to get home nor which route he has taken

In a quarrel, nobody speaks well of the other party
If you can separate the 'goodness' and doubts in the other party, a quarrel is as remote as finding the needle in the haystack

Why are divorces bitter and marriages sweet? When marrying, you are blinded by love. When divorcing, you are all rage... alas!
If you don't marry, how to divorce
If you don't taste sweetness, you can't tell what's bitter

When the heart rules, its emotion multiplied
When the brain rules, its logic ad infinitum

There is no Right or Wrong answers and reactions

You just have to be prepared for, and to bear, the consequences of your actions ... and the reactions

The greatest goodness is a peaceful mind - Buddha

Never get Mad, get Even

Monday, March 28, 2011

"The road to Hell is paved with good intentions"

Man proposes; GOD disposes...

Nuclear power is clean and lasting but when it blow its top, it maims and kills

Consumerism stirs demand but Consumer Credit creates debts

Immediate gratification is satisfaction numero uno but wastes and side-effects are seldom thought through

Biofuels are ecofriendly but huge tracks of land and forests are cleared to plant the (raw material) supplies, making scarce of land that plant edibles

Disposables are useful but wasteful

Computerisation supposedly saves trees but scores of records are printed and safely stored

You use your Youth to pursue wealth and your wealth to pursue health

Youthful capital is expended to built a nest but most end up with the 'empty nest' syndrome

The heart drives a good intention, the brain is poisoned with greed and selfishness, hence Society perishes

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Survival Of The Fittest, is this what we want?

I am not asking for handouts but as a matter of evolution and aging, most remain as 'fit as fiddle', able and capable whilst some aged, fall ill and become dependent.

Its a natural progression and definitely nobody's fault.

The young are dynamic, energetic, work hard, oblige the Laws and Regulations to serve the country and the economically able contributes to the national coffers in the form of taxes.

Subsidiary contributions come from GST, indirect taxes and other schemes in place.

All policies, likewise Communism, Capitalism or Socialism, when taken to extreme will have adverse ill-effects. It is imperative that constant monitoring, review, re-evaluation and  adjustments be made to make them relevant. Some re-tooling is necessary in the following:

1. Declining birthrate - The reality is that when the females are more educated, they are economically more mobile and independent and having more babies become secondary as time become scarce. You cannot turn time backwards nor forbid them to better and higher education.

Make medical and education free for children. In Dan Ariely "Predictably Irrational", it is empirically proven that charging cheaper does not always entice result against charging nothing at all, that is, when things are given free, the desired result is almost certain. This lessen the pressures in child upbringing yet produced a desired result.

2. Rising property prices - I agree its a function of demand and supply but the earlier benevolent practice of making affordable HDB homes available to first time, newly weds should continue. How can HDB prices be affordable if the tender for land is at or near market prices. If the cost of the factor of production is high, the end product has to be priced higher.

Make land available for low-cost (doesn't mean low class) public housing for first time, newly wed couples. A vibrant enclave can sprout out of this new town, laden with energetic, care free (read 'stress free') and ideals/ideas- filled citizens to experiment and create a world of their own base on their inspirations and forethoughts. Old and/or existing solutions cannot be applied; if it worked, the problem would not have existed!

3. Challenges from foreign workers and talents - When there is a sudden jump (from 3mil to 5mil) in population in a short period of time, problems inevitably arise. Humans are emotional animals and it takes awhile to adjust to changing environment. There will always some pockets of resistant and resentment especially those who find difficulties adjusting. Do not dismiss them as minority nor troublemakers. They have a belonging and a stake in the motherland too.

When animals in the wild find their territory encroached, they fight back. When humans find their territory infringed, they try to adapt. But, like in all society, some needed help to adjust.

It is also natural that when migrant workers/talents lay roots, they prefer people of their 'same kind'. Inevitably, some jobs will be given to their 'same kind' although there are relevantly qualified locals. These are not unfounded screams of the locals; it is a reflection that the societal fibres is under stress and snapping. Coping with changes can be scary at times.

Slowing down the intake of foreigners is only a fractional solution. There is a need to manage and prioritise employment. This is not protectionism neither is it a sign that we are weaklings! It is to demonstrate , in kind and in action, that ALL citizens' concerns are addressed and resolved first before others. Like any wholesome family, family members' well being come first; who wouldn't?

4. Greying population - Aging is as natural as day and night and it will happen to all; Japan, China, Singapore and others. Why call an aging population the 'silver tsunami' or equates aging to some negative pixel or likening it to a burden to society?

The elderly have contributed to the country and society, in one way or another, be it taxes, in kind or efforts, during their 'youthful' and healthy years. If nothing else, the elder countrymen have collective wisdom and experiences to share with their younger fellowmen.

It is my suggestion that the elders need to be taken care of (if not capable of taking care of themselves) and provided for in tax allowances (free from direct taxes if still gainfully employed) and enjoys free medical treatment. It is not to be viewed as welfare nor sympathy. It is to show appreciation and comradeship for their years of being with their motherland, for the better or worse. Will you leave your aged parents to weather in the wild? Filial piety extends to the State too.

Some may look at above as welfarism or with negative vibes, but allow me to say this; "the State and Society have roles to play and taking care of our fellowmen is not a choice but a necessity. If our fellowmen is as disposable as the plastic cup, then sooner, rather than later, we will disintegrate and disappear".

I have faith in our country and our leaders and I believe our fellowmen can distinguish between the 'empty promisor' and the 'deliverer'. Thinking out of the box is something, actioning it is quite another.

In closing, allow me to share this statement; "A State must act like a knife(), with the sharp end facing outwards and not like a sword(), cutting both sides".


Monday, March 21, 2011

Stockmarket & Calamities

Long after we are gone, Capital markets will still be around...alive and kicking

If you choose to change, you manage Providence
If Fate changes you, life is alittle more uncertain, not necessarily more miserable

Capitalism fuels stockmarket and materialism fuels consumption
Growth and the anticipation of better times spurs consumers demand whereas wars, calamities and social disorders cap the binge

Did the earthquake and tsunami cause the drop in stockmarket? Probably, but it is not a direct causation; it accelerate the corrective phase of an otherwise slow lengthy process

Events like 9/11, Chernobyl and Gulf wars are not unlike natural disasters

After the destruction and damages, come rebuilding, rehabilitation and growth. Corrections are necessary pixels that adjust for, and capture reality of life. . . since the dawn of mankind, Man has always been predictably irrational

It will take sometime to assess the extent of damages of recent time; the floods in Australia, earthquakes in New Zealand, Yunnan and Japan, social disorders in Middle-East ... Markets - insurance, equities, bonds, property - will adjust for/to the events

It is naive to think that Man will be rational and moderate in actions
History is filled with examples of great nations and civilizations rebooting and 'self-destruct' and starting with a new lease of life, not necessarily bad though

Boom, bust, recovery is as normal as Day & Night
Mis-alignment of economies, greed, suspicion, selfishness,  superior self-worthiness and 'to each his own'  prevented markets from functioning efficiently, sanely and in an orderly manner

Between now and the next couple of months, market will factor in above and adjust
For those who have exited the markets around November 2010 or about February 2011, well done and a well deserved 'rest'

For those who are licking their wounds, be well, alive and be prepared when the corrective phase ebbs

A Fool And His Money Will Soon Part

If luck is a market order, then being prepared is definitive

Sunday, March 20, 2011

What's done, cannot be undone

But, it can be improved, remedied, altered or tempered ...

When Mother Nature roars, the earth shakes
All the intelligent planning, precautions, calculations and smartness in/of humans cannot match nor anticipate Mother Nature prowess and intent

Man can manage and anticipate all things artificial and thought-out by fellowmen

If land is limited, we built upwards
If the train is crowded, we increase the frequency of trips and use larger trains
If the road system is inadequate, we built underground, overhead, multiple rings and layers
If water is scarce, we 'manufacture' and recycle
If prices of factors of production go up, if 'importable', we import

Problems can be solved
Time is the essence

Foreign workers, foreign talents, foreign investments... foreign wealth - All are welcome
We can have them, do away with them or restrict their flow

Whether its Capitalism, Communism or Socialism, each is as distasteful as the next at extremes

When leaders care and share, its harmony
When leaders share but don't care, its discord and brews suspicion and disunity
When leaders grab all and crumbs are shared amongst all, change is overdue

All religious beliefs teach good
The World is big enough for all to share; We (all) pass this place (Earth) but once
Greed may finds you rich but it will never find you happiness

Help your fellowmen and share
Live healthily and happily, today and always
Death the leveller; be it King, pauper or layman

The World is not made for you and/or me
Its made for us/All... our roles may be different, our destination is always the same... from dusts to dusts

The rich cannot sleep well if surrounded by poor
The poor cannot sleep if hungry
The famous cannot enjoy fame if there is disharmony and social unrest
Each has a role, the decider is Fate, Providence and/or, if you belief, GOD

Friday, March 4, 2011

What's Sufficient & What's Luxurious?

Man Will Never Have Enough Of ...

We eat to live and not live to eat
Enjoying food is not a sin; gluttony is

When you pay, how much is too much? Is there a limit that above which the person will turn down your payment and do it just as effectively and with unquestioned commitment

According to Dan Ariely, in his book Predictably Irrational, a person is more productive, if not as productive, compared to a paid person, when he helps/attempts a social issue. However, if payment is involved, the productivity varies according to the rewards.

Social norms almost always clash with market norms

If you pay your employee sufficiently, he is committed and motivated
If you pay him luxuriously, he is probably motivated more by money than his love for the job; the underlying fear that "if I commit an error, I may be asked to leave"! His motivation will shift from doing his work well to protecting his turf

When the poor spends on living, its 'every cents count'
When the rich spends, its fractional
Will the rich bothers about the poor? Less likely except for those whom they deem of use; the poor is a means to an end

Will those who are born with silver spoons empathise with the poor? Less likely
Not that they don't want but its like 'the soldiers in the trench and the General in his air-con office during Vietnam war'

How to relate and empathise? If the pay is good, the risk is minimal, the job is cosy and the position is respectful, it pays to indulge and shift responsibilities

Like the oft mentioned, "Its good to have a nuclear power plant so long as its not near my neighbourhood" ...

Everyone needs to be rewarded
Over-rewarding kills positive motivation and brews desertion of responsibilities; all else is a charade

If your maid is worth $500 and you pays her $3000, she will employ someone to do the job and slack!!!


Money alone does not guarantee optimal results ... Dan Ariely

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Be Encouraged

Back to the future...

The young hurries to grow
At mid-age you can only reminisce
When the sun set on us, we can only look back and take stock

Do all you can and all you want now
While the body is able and the mind capable

You must not wait until tomorrow to climb the mountain or to swim in the ocean
Like the lightning bolt hitting you, when your body fails, all possibilities become a greater challenge

When fortune smiles at you, make good and grow with it

Your parents are there to provide everything, you just need to excel in your studies; NO excuse for slacking
When your bosses trust and leave you to do a task, it's because he knows you can; incomplete work and half-commitment is self-destruction

Many ask for independence and freedom
But few accept responsibilities...omigosh

Luck is where preparation meets opportunity

Ask all that you want
Take responsibility for your action
The better tomorrow comes today if you are committed and take responsibility for your actions

The hard truth remains: you are responsible for all outcomes, like it or not
You can't plant apple seeds and expect durians! An action will cause a reaction -in short KAMA

A successful man never blame his tools

Go for it; if you fail today, make up and chase your dreams
One swallow does not make a summer
Do not let a single setback drowns you

Follow your heart and live your life to the fullest
Be it a mason, professional or a monk