Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What's your pet peeve?

An article which caught my eye - makes me wonder if Sporeans are nit-picking on each other, whether these actions are justifiably bad, or are we just a bunch of control freaks?? Perhaps this contest brings out the worst/best in us instead of the other round. :)

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MediaCorp’s Class 95 lists best, worst habits of Singaporeans

Channel NewsAsia - Wednesday, July 30

SINGAPORE: The verdict is out on the best and worst habits in Singapore — at least according to MediaCorp’s Class 95 presenters who had challenged listeners to post videos of Singaporeans’ good and bad habits on podcast.sg.

The entries were judged based on these criteria — Are the habits growing? Are they unique to Singaporeans? Are they compelling enough to effect change?

A Class 95 listener, Ariel Fernandez, won the Bad Habit prize for posting a clip showing masses of people jaywalking.

Presenter Mark Van Cuylenberg, who is widely known as The Flying Dutchman, said: "We really need to get a campaign out that teaches pedestrians how to use the roads. We’ve done it with drivers, now let’s do it with pedestrians. We need it desperately."

Other pet peeves that were featured in short clips include people reserving tables with umbrellas and indiscriminate littering.

On the other hand, in the Good Habit category, a clip showing courteous people on escalators was awarded the top prize.

"Everybody follows and stands on one side of the escalator, so that people who are rushing to work can just run up," said Chee Ling Fei, who posted the winning clip.

The two winners walked away with cash prizes of S$950 each.

Benefits of Failure

Came across this in my email last week; I feel that it's pretty meaningful, coming from someone who's overcome so much to become one of the richest woman in the UK. Friends have found this meaningful and I have also drawn inspiration from this, which is a very down to earth, no fluff kinda approach to failure. I esp found myself relating to the end most: "Life is difficult, and complicated, and beyond anyone's total control, and the humility to know that will enable you to survive its vicissitudes." I do hope I'll be able to overcome what's to come in the next couple of months.

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JK Rowling's commencement speech at Harvard
http://harvardmagazine.com/go/jkrowling.html

"[...] I am not going to stand here and tell you that failure is fun. That period of my life was a dark one, and I had no idea that there was going to be what the press has since represented as a kind of fairy tale resolution. I had no idea how far the tunnel extended, and for a long time, any light at the end of it was a hope rather than a reality.

So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had already been realised, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.

You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all - in which case, you fail by default.

Failure gave me an inner security that I had never attained by passing examinations. Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will, and more discipline than I had suspected; I also found out that I had friends whose value was truly above rubies.

The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more to me than any qualification I ever earned.

Given a time machine or a Time Turner, I would tell my 21-year-old self that personal happiness lies in knowing that life is not a check-list of acquisition or achievement. Your qualifications, your CV, are not your life, though you will meet many people of my age and older who confuse the two. Life is difficult, and complicated, and beyond anyone's total control, and the humility to know that will enable you to survive its vicissitudes."