Birthday reflections

  • by 100 Good Things
  • August 5th, 2015
  • August

The story
of life is quicker
than the wink of an eye
The story of love
is hello and goodbye

So sang Jimi Hendrix. Whether as a Buddhist, yoga practitioner or social entrepreneur, the fragility and impermanent nature of life is not lost on me as I chat with producers I work with. They share with me their founding principles and tell me why they choose this challenge-fraught path, and I, having spent two decades in a publishing career wielding a pen, still relish a good tale or two. Their lives are interwoven with mine though we live thousands of miles apart.

How can it not be? We consume rice from Thailand, vegetables from Malaysia, spices from Indonesia, fruits from Vietnam. Every seed planted, every ounce of pesticide administered, every intention and action impacts a chain of life. Leaving the planet a livable place for our children should not be a lofty idea left to the territory of the wealthy and idealistic.

As Singapore celebrates 50 years of independence on August 9th, I am blessed to be able to reflect on the progress we have made and the road ahead. I am able to tell my children “You are lucky you never went through water rationing like your mother did!” as I struggle to teach them the value of water conservation.

Just a few hours of plane ride away, millions still do not have access to clean water, let alone one that comes straight out of a tap. Through no fault of his own, the guileless First World child deems it fun to line up with a bucket to collect water for the day’s needs.

The First World community, while caught up in the whirlwind known as Life, has the capacity to dig deeper and make a difference. Impermanence is a fact of life, as Hendrix so poignantly sang, but conscious commerce is one powerful tool that can leave a more enduring presence. Simply because our purchase decision impacts so many lives, many of whom reside at our backyard.

This National Day, we want to thump our hearts and tell the world we are privileged to be born in Singapore. We also want a more conscious and compassionate society because we the citizens of Singapore – as the Singapore Pledge goes – can build a society based on justice and equality.

Happy Golden Jubilee Singapore!

The ethically and sustainably produced merchandise at 100 Good Things are sourced with care and understanding. To purchase them, visit 100 Good Things store.

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