Saturday, August 19, 2006

Sharing Nugget #15

#15: How we all can make a difference in the most unexpected ways.

I read an email today which was sent to me last night by a fellow facilitator. I will let it speak for itself:

"Tonight, I came across your blog. It started as an ordinary sleepless night, I searched for guan ren, stopped at your blog and read.

#14 nugget was the first entry. It made me think and reflect. The first thought was a regret, it was a deep sense of a regret that I didn't realize I felt. I realized I hadn't set aside a time to sit, to think and to internalize what I could have learnt from my own experience as a faci.

The thought evolved and the regret lessened as I reflected how I could have facilitated my group better. Regret became guilt instead, I thought I could have added more value to my group than I did. I told myself I would do better the next time, if any.

Then I read on.

"CONVICTION" struck me, "making a difference" struck me, "not by length of time but by influence" struck me.

Echoing your sentiments, it has been a long time since I have been so deeply moved. Moved into self-reflection.

The spectrum of thoughts pondered struck me; the width: how little I know, the depth: how narrow I feel and, most importantly, the insight: how insufficient the time I spend on internal reflection was.

Yes, experiential learning rocks and perhaps the greatest lesson we can bring back from experiential learning is debrief. Our daily life is an experience. Thank you for a poignant reminder to do self-debriefs.

Then I read on.

"making a difference in other lives makes a difference in ours", "a single person at the right place, with right heart, makes a huge difference."

I don't remember setting out to truly make a difference in others' lives. Those instances I can recall, I stumbled into their lives.

I recall a time in OCS. I was surrounded with peers, they who spent the same exact eighteen years that I did. I was awestruck by their maturity, amazed by their leadership (amongst peers no less) and overwhelmed. There were people who held measured views, well thought-out opinions and determined stands on issues, on events and on affiliations that I hadn't even known about, much less thought deeply about them.

And these people were my peers.

I made a decision then, that I'll seek growth. I acknowledge that I have much to catch up with my peers. I may never do catch up but personal growth became enjoyable overnight for me. It became a kind of hunger. Perhaps you too may recall I being ever curious, always hungry for some tidbit. Yea, perhaps I became curious overnight.


I don't remember setting out to truly make a difference in others' lives. Perhaps that decision for pure personal growth was little selfish. Because of what I've read tonight, I believe I'll work harder to bring light to others' lives. Thank you for making a little difference in mine. In time, I believe it'd become a huge one...

Then I read on.

And I kept reading. And reading.

Then I realize what you meant by a channel of reflection and learning. Thank you for sharing your insights. You became just like those peers I had then when I was still in OCS. It was the same bittersweet dual-edged feeling. It was the sweetness of having someone stronger, at a higher level to learn and emulate from. It bitter because it comes with the realization that you're also another peer, what then had I spent my time on? But then it was sweet all over again seeing someone else leading others by example.

Sweetest of all, is the realization that there do exist people to look up to, that it is possible to grow into them one day and that these people do sometimes look over your shoulder such that you can go our there and do it, learning in the best way.

And perhaps the most unlikely manner I was looked over was through a blog! Thank you for a magical way to spend a sleepless night!

(Name excluded by Renjie)

Maybe I'd likely spend a few more of those future nights sleepless but I'm sure I'll be thinking of some of those things I should have been thinking about for sometime...


Friend, thank you for your kind words. I share a quote by Confucious with you: "By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest. Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is bitterest."

Those of us who were touched by the FTB experience, we will know how true this quote is.

Friend, as Gandhi said, "Be the change you want in the world". You showed us how we should start with ourselves first.

Thank you for allowing me to make a difference in your life. You taught me that we all can make a difference in the most unexpected ways.


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