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Evidence of positive resonance even as Singapore mourns its loss

on March 28, 2015

I just wanted to share an amazing phenomenon as I observe my fellow countrymen stand together as they mourn the loss of our former prime minister of Singapore Mr Lee Kwan Yew. Perhaps he is better known as the man who led a team to bring Singapore from a third world country to the first world country it is today within one generation.

What I have observed was only via social media as I currently reside in Australia. But I am truly moved and wanted to share with my course mates that very often, people stand together in moments of great loss and offer unparalleled compassion for each other. It is these moments of unexpected positive resonance that builds an incredible upward spiral.

So what am I talking about? Mr Lee is currently lying in state in the parliament house and people are allowed in to pay their respects 24 hours a day. Despite this, the queue to enter remains as long as 8 to 10 hours. I have watched video footage of it. People are not allowed to linger, they just get to walk by and yet the wait is so long. Needless to say, the queue snaked down streets and in front of shops and cafes. Here is where it all began, business owners started offering free supply of cold drinking water, bringing out chairs for the elderly. As more and more people started to observe these selfless acts, more joined in. It started with free drinks if you happen to be in front of the shops. Now there are random people who would bring food and drinks to those standing in line in front of the field just outside the parliament house. How amazing is that? The nation has suffered a great loss and this sense of loss has evoked an upward spiral of positive momentum. People are looking to help one another; perfect strangers that they would normally not even cast a second look on any other day. But during this week, they have reached out to each other, offering positive connection through their action and compassion for one another.

We have often assumed that positive connections only occur when one is in the ‘correct’ frame of mind. That is true in most cases because why would anyone want to be nice or even talk to another person if they are stressed and in a bad mood? But this is a very unique case where people are sharing a common loss and in their grief, they sought to offer each other comfort in the ways that they know how to. In this giving and taking, they are in fact offering each other support. And it is also these actions of giving and taking that has created the momentum and opportunity for upward spiral. For the giver, the reward was that they could offer comfort in their own way. For the receiver, the concern offered was the reward. Hopefully, the need to reciprocate would then keep the momentum going for a long time as the movement goes from one person to another. It was Mr Lee’s dream for Singapore for as long as I can remember; to build One Nation, One Singapore. What a great way to honour this amazing man and to continue his legacy.

Just wanted to share my perspective and observation on positive connections and how life offers us opportunities to reach out to others in unusual circumstances. It is then upon us to be aware of  the opportunities presented and grab them as they come.



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