Lessons from Ho Kwon Ping 

LIFE IS not a walk in the park, not lost in a maze, not towards a peak of excellence. Life is in search purpose….. and we encounter many turning points.

This is my write-up as a participant of a recent dialogue. 

Kudos to Central Singapore Community Development Council for inviting Mr Ho for the eighteenth session of “In Search of Purpose’ talks. It was definitely an evening well spent. Mr Ho spoke about his life and he chose the theme “Turning Points”. 

The reason? 

Turning points because at every turning point, one is presented a choice and must make a decision; a choice between A or B. For instance, a person at age 21 can choose to pursue undergrad studies or proceed to work. The decision to choose at the stage is a turning point. Life is about turning points and there are full of turning points. Mr Ho shared various turning points with the audience and also indicated that back then, he does not know the “turning points” in his life. 

Lesson 1 – No time for regrets 

There is NO TURNING BACK, there is no time for regrets. One cannot turn back time and can only move forward. While moving forward, it is not just a straight line, one can move in different directions. The WORST thing you can do is to waste your life. Do something with it that can make a difference.

Lesson 2 – Don’t compare 

Familiar lesson? One should find his or her own happiness and never compare. Why? Because there is always someone better or worst than you. We tend to ask the question: “Why me?” when there is a problem. How about asking “Why not me?” 

Lesson 3 – Understand and react 

At any dialogues, there will always be this idiot. Yes, that person that will ask a stupid question/questions or hog the bloody mic. That evening, this dude went ranting for almost 4 minutes and my switch off mode was on. He was going on about how university was evil and has ‘created’ personnel that do harm to the world and blah blah blah. What the fuck man, can’t you be succinct? The moderator informed the audience to ask ONE question, ONE FUCKING QUESTION. The moderator even reminded you.

Anyway, what Mr Ho elegantly did was to summarise his question and linked it to a macro scenario. Mr Ho shared that a lot of things were going bad in this world and what the role of universities is to teach. He added that universities are like a double-edged sword, responsible for the good and bad in the world. Mr Ho also felt that university should promote thinking and thought leadership. Impressive. 

Lesson 4 – Racial Harmony  

Racial harmony is hard to build but easy to break. This is also the worst part of Trump’s presidency. Trump has effectively fractured racial harmony in US, which will be difficult to heal. 

What I have written were some food for thought and if this write-up does not do justice, fault is entirely mine as Mr Ho gave a fantastic sharing. Oh, he almost became a politician but….

Joe

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