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The Silent Humanist – The Great Dictator by Charlie Chaplin April 2, 2013

Posted by @Karen_Fu in change, ethics, faith, human quality, life challenges, real power.
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Charlie Chaplin is not just a great comedian, he is a great humanist. Don’t think I need to write anything as I paste the video here for your viewing pleasure. This video has some of the most pertinent issues for us to reflect on what have been done and are still continuing.

Elfin’s wishes about Leaders & The Innovative Business of Harmony (for everyone) March 24, 2011

Posted by @Karen_Fu in creativity, design, Economy, education, human quality, Singapore.
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Rubberband connection just snapped; post gone into oblivion-space. This is my n-th attempt connecting to the internet. It often makes me wonder about quality. Small things such as a broadband connection does offer one an inherent idea into how a business is run. And definitely businesses, for that very matter, is very dependent on small things like product and service quality. We can’t run away from the usual consumer expectations. The same could be said about leaders. They cannot overlook small issues. They all add up and it shows by the end of the line. People’s needs come from the tiniest of things. The same applies to designing any product or service. The idea is very much similar.

Been looking around on the internet and read the papers. Not that I enjoy politcs that much but because it hangs on to everything one does in an urban place and indeed in any part of the world. I can’t run away into an no man’s island and dream all the ideas without knowing the practical facts of politics, no matter how much I dislike it. So I have been dwelling in it in a diplomatic way, asking questions.


The problem of politics in the way of innovation 

In every part of the advanced world, the world ‘innovation’ has become even a larger buzz word. Talk is easy, but where is the nice cosy dinner? I often thought our innovative ideas must come from people serious in true designs in different aspects of thought, service and products.

Idealistically, I do not want any part of politics to run in any innovative endeavours. I believe it spoils both time and effort which could have been better placed for designing up policies or products for a better lifestyle. Something that is comfortable, sustainable and doesn’t waste resources. Such ideation of concepts can only come in free when the mind is pure and free. I don’t see original design solutions coming from a corrupt mind, because a messy mind cannot solve problems.

The problem with many innovators, I find is socialising. Quiet innovators simply suffer. Quiet innovators who are short of politicking skills suffer more. But ironically very good innovators are usually born introverts. So this could be a great loss not only to such innovators but also to us too. No one benefits from this kind of loss.

Leaders around the world have changed faces these few years. With constant natural calamities happening these months, I cannot but think that leaders need a new set of qualities to keep different social economic factors in good balance. To add on, the general election appears to be around the corner makes me think about leaders. Not just leaders of political parties but more so on leaders in general ‘cos every line of industry plays a part in designing a harmonious, interesting and positive world.  Certain traditions are worthy to keep while certain areas needs to be changed depending on the culture and the current situation. One group of thinking may not run feasible in another. But there is always a general rule that works for all. But somehow there are always leaders who choose to sacrifice certain areas.

Honestly, I have only recently catching up with the latest events and candidates. I do not have any political preference. i only want good leaders lead by a great leader. Someone who has an impeccable logic, innovative ideas, dare to spit guts into the face of obstacles of any kind and deliever us a sustainable life without having to worry about any kind of problems pertaining to life. We do need people with the creativity and the depth to produce innovative solutions, not to merely follow what others are doing. We need experts in the right ministries and I am hoping we have these leaders standby. Not just academically bright, its about being brilliantly talented. In dire times, the great leader must be able to deliver the chops against deals that do not benefit citizens. We are a tiny city state. And by that the leadership character cannot be as small as the size of our country (Singapore).

Social-economic cohesion :

From transportation to medical; from education to entertainment; from business to commerce and other social economic problems pertaining social cohesion that keeps every race sane are only some of the major issues. Ignore this at one’s own peril. Racial harmony, national harmony as well as keeping social status of various groups democratically are just some of the major aspects. I was told at some point that I overestimate the power of education that it could control social minds. Frankly I still couldn’t understand how education could not do so. I have always thought that education can control minds and the way a society functions. Education can also make or break social cohesion amongst different peoples, race, economic status and all. Education includes not only the learning of skills but also moral character and the formation of one’s mind. Education may not necessary be from schools, colleges and universities. It could be your social environment. They all contribute to how a mind works. It is, in my opinion, the greatest tool to handle any problems.

What would be horrifying is to allow the wrong education system in place that brain washes people into dogmatically stuck onto one form or regidly believes in only one line of thought about what success is. For example, a society that only focuses on materialism and financial success usually hinders other beautiful thoughts of wonder such as innovation in other areas in the arts, humanities etc in the purest form. The idea of putting money as the centre of the success universe has potentially dire consequences; usually results in the form of social unrest in the form of meanacing fight for money and status. Other breeds of hypocrisy might emerge.


Branding is vital for you and me; branding is vital for every establishment.

The same could be said of any organization. You read the face of the business, and you set an image. That image is sustained by yourself,  your colleagues from your business partners down to the your pet dog that runs the business logo image. The fact is, if you don’t deliver to what you’ve promised, then your customers will go.  And you have to please people. You can’t do it for all, but at least you must do it for a large majority. If you can’t, then its time to change business whatever business you are in.Or you will be out.


‘Swarm of flies’ can kill your image. Certain risk-taking is simply not worth it.

Sometimes problems could smell from afar before they start to stink. Sometimes we need to let in a swarm of flies because the climate has changed and we need a huge swat to swat them after they fly in. Hell is when and how much can we tolerate flies. Problems sometimes can be sorted out by allowing the problem to grow a little bigger before solving them. It can sometimes be eradicated better since all the baddies have been lured out to the open. I notice that some policies are done this way.

However it really depends. Certain risk taking may not be well worth the swat. Your swat may not be big enough or your force is not huge enough. Then all the flies will fling in and before you know it, they breed and just gotten bigger. In this case, you’ll have a looming problem that is almost unstoppable.


Better network for assistance.

We will always have problems. Large or small, national or international. We will, at certain points in time, need help. When help is offered, and problems solved, then will there be less loopholes for pending trouble to appear. What I would like to think is that there are leaders who could make sure that help is available when we need one. Designing such access to assistance without any sort of red tape needs creativity. When we do not find a good leader in our area, there should be an alternative for us to move across the restricted boundaries to seek remedy beyond boundaries of any kind.

Impending problems would be the further widening of the rich-poor gap due to the global inflation as well as a large disparity in educational qualifications and wealth. When the poor fails to make ends meet despite hard work, and when policies don’t work to bring in jobs; then we will have a mess. It is already happening everywhere and the trend is towards chaos. Many areas of chaos comes from the point of misunderstanding cultures. Yet we still do it. I find that such mistrusts and disappointments can raise to the kind of hatred that is often being underestimated. And that is really being shortsighted.

I’ll stop here for now. — Karen Fu

4 elfin lessons learnt from Teresa Hsu Chih March 9, 2011

Posted by @Karen_Fu in change, ethics, faith, human quality, life challenges, Singapore.
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I’ve just introduced Hsu Chih to an overseas student and I got terrified by the reaction. Apparently, she thinks Hsu Chih has wasted 100 years in hard work and that may well be the result from bad karma from her previous life. I wonder how she thought but I had the intention of ‘brainwashing’ her to think more about sharing. Not that I expect this student to follow all the virtues of giving all to the poor; but I was hopping that she would come to her senses about being smart doesn’t have to mean you corner your opponent to the brink of total ruin. It is a worrying sign and I often wonder if this were the common trend these days. Maybe it is. But that’s another seperate topic to bear in mind.

I am also told I am pretty dogmatic in the way I believe in what maintains harmony. But I really adore Hsu Chih’s simple, happy and positive attitude. Her undying guts fearing nothng is rare. Her genes do play a part, but I also believe the nurturing part where her life experiences has taught her the essence of life. The positive lifestyle fuels her life & together with healthy living habits, her life is long though she lives in utter ‘poverty’. Apart from learning from her life experiences, I thought a couple of points could be highlighted from the so-called layman terminologies for peace:

1. Have a gutsy belief  that is even bigger than the Universe against whatever that is bad + live with passion & compassion

Learn not to fear, live your life in peace where everyone is a brother/sister. The essence of  emphathy and sharing is fundamental to maintaining global peace. If everyone were to listen and share, bring down walls by self reflection and sensitivity to how others feel; the UN can fall. The wall of terror could fall. And definitely all kinds of barriers would fall. We wouldn’t have war at all.

2. Shrink the imbalance between the have’s and have-not’s. Remember to share. Don’t over buy anything that you probably only use a few times.

The rich consume way too much beyond the realm of the poor. Many times with the lack of sensitivity for the poor.  In times of knee deep recession, when many are struggling to make ends meet, it is always wise to keep luxuries low.

The luxury of physical consumption, where people in certain parts of the world enjoy air-con habitats with designer brands goods; where world class chefs cook their meals, and chauffeurs send them to anywhere they desire –surely we do not need an extra computer, over hyped designer wear most of the time. Neither is the extra couple of alcohol at the PUBs would do any good to your health. The money spared could be given off easily to fit other deserving people who are having financial difficulties.

3. Charity by monetary/ploughing your way through. It should be ingrained without looking for side rewards from doing so.

Our idea of charity should extend to the point where we do not require any kind of orgainsation to tell us what to do. It should be ingrained within our social strata, where people see and feel, where people could just give and share what they can afford to offer. When the poor are filled and when the the sad is happy; is when peace could last. Ideally it shouldn’t be done because it offers a certain prestige or tax exemption.

4. Over power those CCTVs! : Redefine happiness. improving trust with all peoples. ( Ideally full trust with all.)

The definition of happiness and entertainment usually focuses on certain self values. In her version, there is not ‘self’, an almost impossible mission these days.

The number of security measures that we have put in place is actually an ineffective way of maintaining soical security. The best way is actually the most natural way that is the least expensive. Every time I see the numerous clusters of CCTVs around, and the numvber of security guards around; it first reminds me that the world is getting to be an awfully distrustful place where trust is binded by legal documents; where peace is maintained through the police force.


We could just change the way we think about life and success and about what consumerism and materialism is. Not that I urge we all live in the same plain bowl of rice/potatoes; but more rather finding a common ground for mutual understanding. We needn’t be that complex. The reason why we are so is because we choose to let negative feelings of selfishnes, jealousy and domination over others to get what we want. And often we practice double standards. No one likes double standards. And believe me, everyone has an eye to see the truth. When we are insincere, people know it. There is no such thing as hypocrisy pays ‘cos it simply isn’t. If people cannot find one flaw with your character now; they will find it out in due course. And the ending wouldn’t be pleasant.

What I really admire Hsu Chih is that she didn’t care about letting others know. If she did, it wouldn’t take a century for us to discover her. From other viewpoint, one could say that life has treated her badly. I think when you start to think how exploitative people live — often in a sad way in terms of family life and health conditions; then she harbours the blessings that most people lack.

Anyway, I was supposed to stick in a pic for this post. But it’s past 2am already, and I really should log off for now. — Karen Fu