The Sparkling Stars Are Gone…

Today i took down the Christmas Tree & all its decorations, took down the window decorations & balcony lights, took down the wreath on the front door & the little bells on the bedroom doors. They are all packed into their boxes, waiting for 365 days to pass before making their appearance again.

After & Before TakeDown
After & Before TakeDown

Now i look at my windows, at my walls, at the doors & they all look so empty, too white, too plain. It made me think about all that craziness that happens just for the sake of making Christmas special – the buying, the rush, the presents, the cards, the decorations, the lights, the food, the parties & so much more…

What is the real reason for doing all these? For us, the reason for the season is Jesus Christ & He is what makes Christmas special, not all the frills.

This led me to thoughts about how we sometimes fill our lives with “decorations” & how it blocks the view out of the window. How we sometimes only see the display of sparkling stars on the window & we miss the beautiful real stars out there in the velvet night sky. Are we sometimes lost in the shimmering lights & the true light in our lives is lost?

i know i am, very many times, caught in the doing & i lost out on the being. Like being a parent; i’m so into doing it right, making sure he has everything, getting him to accomplish that i forget about being a mummy; simply being there for my little guy, just enjoy being his mother, just enjoy him.

What are the true and valuable things in your life? Maybe it is time to take down the decorations & truly look & step into the real world. Sometimes when things are white & plain are when they are clear and sure.

syc

What Are They Thinking?!! – article from TODAY online

What ridiculous entry tests for children as young as six, just for enrichment classes!

Read the article below to find out more…

TODAYonline | Singapore | Sorry, your child is not bright enough.

i’m appalled that the education scene in Singapore has come to this! Children getting tested even for classes that are supposed to help them do better in school.

These people are just after the money – they don’t really care about the children who come to their classes! All they care about are results (the kids getting good results so they can brag & get more customers); & with results come more money. i say if you don’t truly care about the kids, then don’t join the education business… (incorrect to say business cos then it will be about money)… don’t join in educating children!

When i went to school, sure there was pressure to perform & be the best but never to this extend where everything is dependent solely on the results you produced. i’m ever grateful to my parents for being who they are; for never pressuring me to do more than i can; for saying that as long as i have done my best, it’s good enough.

The other thing which makes me mad about this is this – What about the kids who truly need that little extra help to get up to standard (which is constantly shifting)?? They are the ones who do need the extra classes & attention. What about them? Whose helping them? By allowing only the “smart” kids to join these classes, they are just making the rift between the education of “smart” kids & “normal” kids bigger; which leads to an even bigger middle-class gap in society! Isn’t education about allowing every child the opportunity to do his/her best & to excel in doing what they do best & love best. To educated them, not discriminate against them!

A friend commented on her Facebook about this, speaking about whose is to blame – she is right & here i quote her cos i could not have said it better:

Some say it’s the education system’s fault. Some say, it’s the parents’ fault. To me, both have their share in this whole rat race. It’s scary, but it’s very real, and our children are living in this kind of environment and expectations. How they’ll ‘survive’ will greatly depend on us and the values we instill in them since very young … 

This article just makes me appreciate the education system in Switzerland even more. That is not to say that it is a prefect system; far from that, it has its flaws but at least they realise & see the need for children to be children, to enjoy their childhood & playtime; which will teach them social & coping skills which books/academics can not! i share a tiny bit about the differences in the systems here.

This article has sparked much debate in Singapore now. i hope & pray that such debate will lead to positive action & improvement for the sakes of the children.

syc

The Joy of Quiet – article from NYTimes.com

i came across this article on my Facebook – a friend shared it. i so completely agree with it.

Information overload has been a much talked about topic, now more so than ever – or at least i seem to read & hear about it more now. i feel very much the overload – all this information out there to be read, absorbed, analysed, criticised, discussed etc… Don’t get me wrong – i’m not a person who dislikes this information age; in fact, i like it very much – i grew up reading tons & loved & still do, the Reader’s Digest, especially the medical articles (why? well, that’s another post); with the internet i get to read even more stuff 🙂

But there are days when i just wanna stay away from the screen; days when i say, “Enough!” & so i do – there will be stretches of a few days or more where i will not read my Facebook & only read absolutely urgent or important emails.

i recently had a friend ask me on Facebook :”madam!!! you on facebook once in 4-5 days ah?? :)”
i remember my early days on Facebook, i was on it 3 or 4 times a day, constantly checking people’s comments, statuses & playing lots of games. It took a while for me to realise how much time i spent doing that; & that i could be doing something i should be doing or have been wanting to do… such as finish that novel which i said i would 😉

i’m not saying Facebook is bad or internet is no good – it is great! It keeps me in touch with family & friends all over the world & it keeps me updated on world happenings, since i gave up reading the papers in a foreign language 9 years ago. So it is a good thing but as with most things, it needs to be done in moderation.

Faced with information overload,...

My favourite paragraph from this article:

The central paradox of the machines that have made our lives so much brighter, quicker, longer and healthier is that they cannot teach us how to make the best use of them; the information revolution came without an instruction manual. All the data in the world cannot teach us how to sift through data; images don’t show us how to process images. The only way to do justice to our onscreen lives is by summoning exactly the emotional and moral clarity that can’t be found on any screen.

The Joy of Quiet – NYTimes.com.

So have a read & let me know what you think.

syc