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The Early Development Of My Social Consciousness

The Early Development Of My Social Consciousness

The Sub-Consciousness Is The Connection With GOD

As a Singaporean, during my younger days, when my lessons of history began, I was dreaming more often than listening, especially when I heard about the unhappy events occurring around the world. How Palestine did become Israel? Why can’t the Arabs and the Jewish people live happily together just like us Singaporeans? Why were people killing each other in Vietnam? What was a communist, and why were they evil? And, why would anyone attack Singapore when we don’t have any natural resources? Why weren’t we given a chance to understand others, when, instead we were encouraged to fear them like the Russians? Who had created this enormous fear of the whole world? Why were we afraid of the Russians and not be allowed to build a friendship with them?

I think I might have the answer because at the age of 16 years old, I was working for Cockpit Hotel as a receptionist and I had the opportunity to meet many Russians, the so-called enemies of the free world. The owner of the hotel, Mr. Ho Leong Ting, liked me very much and when his friend from Hong Kong visited and needed a translator, Mr. Ho asked me to help. My job was to convince the Russian businessman who was selling the deer roots to the Hong Kong businessman that they were promoting the Russian deer roots as it was and not from Korea, as Korean roots fetch a premier price. But, in actual fact, all along the Chinese businessman was selling the Russian roots as Korean ones. Instead of focusing on getting more business on behalf of this businessman, I decided to focus more on understanding more about the Russian people. When the day came for me to meet up with the Russian, I was very curious, scared and, at the same time, excited because the Russians were known to us as evil people. I was so interested to learn more from him about the Russian people, that on the business front, I failed the Chinese businessman by speaking the truth that they sold Russian deer roots as Korean roots! I told the Russian that the businessman had lied to him and then I broke down and cried. (From this experience I knew I would never be a successful businesswoman!)

My curiosity took over and I asked a lot of questions about life in Russia, who they were, and what was the difference between communists and people like us in Singapore? He told me they were human beings just like us; it was the American propaganda machine that had painted them as evil people. Therefore, the whole world was fearful of them because the American idea was to control the whole world for their economic gain. Oh! I see now, it was the Americans that made us believe that in order to have a better world, the whole world must keep the communists out because they do not follow the policy of the America. I asked the Russian if I could touch his hand because I wondered if they were really human like us. I did touch his hand and it was warm like mine, so they were the same as us. So from then onwards, I didn’t trust the American government because everything they did had a hidden agenda. (Therefore, when they wanted to go to war with Afghanistan, I felt the need to try and stop them.)

Anyway, at that young age, the more I tried to reason it out, the more I became confused. I was really at a loss and searching for answers to all these complex questions that I had. Could it be that I was too inexperienced and naive to tackle all these complex and many-sided problems satisfactorily. This world and life itself was indeed complex in my young and hungry mind. I wanted to learn so much, and most of all, to understand everything that was happening around me. But I realized it was almost impossible, because the adults just wanted us to study the subjects which normally were not really connected to life learning! They did not have the wisdom to see that it was much more important to prepare us for the New World that was developing around us, than to protect and shield us from the reality of life and studying mundane subjects. So, I often asked the question WHY!

TELL ME WHY

Tell me why this world has changed
Can it be that we’re insane?

Tell me why too I have changed
With unknown words they came

Tell me why we have lost faith
With people we have to live

Tell me why I still have faith
Or am I that naive

Chorus:

Am I just a little girl?
Who believes love will stay

Or am I just a little fool
Who dreams of love today?

Tell me where is hope and faith
For people with strength to live

Tell me can you join my hand
For love to be in this land

– A song I have composed – Sunflower 1983

Though I am older and wiser, it doesn’t mean that I have all the answers. Instead, my fear for this world is increasing, not decreasing. I realized this world was controlled by strong powers in the West. What was going to happen to us when we were considered so backwards by the West? If you were economically still developing, you were backwards. Who said so? I guess it must be the evaluation of the West and we in the East just accepted it whole-heartedly without question. So much so that my teacher told us that Singapore, with only 2 million people, will not be able to find the talent like people in the West. Gradually, all these beliefs were ingrained in our minds from a very young age.

Even now I can’t understand the structure of becoming, but I only know that everyone is reaching out for more power, instead of love. Reaching out for over to control people and to control the world, where human conflict will be a normal sight. And it is so dangerous because we will be at the edge of self-destruction. This discovery was more frightful than ever to me.

I realized a leader governs each country with so much power in their hands. As the saying goes, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely”, and that was my greatest fear. Our lives and future were at the mercy of these leaders. It seemed like they were playing a game. They were like children, one minute they were friends, and the next minute they were enemies. They seem like actors and actresses that when the show was over, they just prepared for the next show. Was it Shakespeare who said, we are actors and all the world is but a stage”… or words to that effect? But do these leaders realize it is our lives that they are playing with!

I have imagined, with horror, what a hundred or a thousand Hiroshima’s at one time could do to this planet! Imagine a world with nowhere left to hide, and perhaps even with NO One left to hide. There will be no winners, only losers. We can only survive if we all struggle for WORLD PEACE & HARMONY.

At times, I felt that no matter what I tried to accomplish, in the end, I would turn out to be the loser. Am I a born loser, especially being a woman? I have often said that since we all must die, why can’t I take my life now, instead of going through all this unnecessary suffering? My teacher said that God gives us life and only He can take it away from us, not the other way around. As humans, we must value life and do our utmost to treasure every life as one of God’s gifts to this world. This revelation scared me, and I almost lost faith and hope in my struggle to help build a better world. How could I begin to make the world a better place when I saw the world being more and more corrupted by the power of Money and not Love. Often, I felt so weakened in my struggle for answers, yet deep down I knew I must go on searching. The only comfort I had was the realization of the philosophy of Buddha – after suffering, we will receive enlightenment. Will I be enlightened one day if I keep on striving for a greater level of humanity?

How I wish we could all strive to be Buddha, because in the philosophy of Buddhism, it preaches goodness, kindness and fairness, and strives for happiness and achieving inner peace. At the age of 10 years old, I decided I wanted to be a Modern Buddha. I told my teacher I did not want to be Buddha sitting under a tree, I wanted to be a Working Buddha. I wanted to embrace all the great Buddhist values and make them work for the other people.

I often prayed at night to seek from God an answer to all the world’s misfortunes happening around me. Can we help this society to live in fairness and kindness? The least we could do is to teach them to learn how to share? At the very best, we could strive to stop them from fighting for power and greed! This would be the first step in building a better world for our children.

Let me share with you this experience that was taught to me when I was in primary school during an ethics lesson. During this lesson, my teacher took a red apple and cut it into eight pieces, and then she held it in her hand, and called out each of our names to have a piece of the apple. After the eighth student had taken the last piece of apple, this was what she said, “Children, this action is called sharing, and we need to share to have harmony.” That was such a simple act, but so symbolic. This simple act was enlightening to my soul and affected my beliefs that until that day were based on the values of my upbringing.

I often wonder how many houses people need in order to feel happy and secure. How many diamonds and riches they need before they think this world has been fair to them? How many cars do they require before they feel they are ahead of all the others? Why are people not happy and contented with all their material possessions, and yet they still want more? At times I have felt that there was no meaning in fighting on, or to keep on searching for answers in this life. Because as an ordinary person, there was nothing much I could do to make things right or better for other people. Somehow, I almost could not find the strength or the courage to go on with my struggle. I knew that my thoughts and beliefs might seem weird to others and even that I might be called a crazy girl, and yet I have persevered. I believe it must be for the Love of God.

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