Oct 282011
 
Nanjing Road in the Rain by 23 Hours

As I prepared to head out of the door for lunch, my spider-sense tingled. Actually, it was my hand phone vibrating in my pocket. It turned out that my best friend needed a listening ear. And so, I called my best friend to do what I do best, listen. As I extended my broad and comforting presence to my friend in need, the sky darkened. Lightning flashed and thunder rumbled as the heavens opened. I sighed…Singapore was having yet another flash flood.

Half an hour later, the conversation ended, but the rain showed no sign of stopping. In fact, it seemed to take a perverse pleasure in getting heavier. It was late and I was hungry. I could not sit around waiting for the rain to stop. And so, cursing under my breath, I stepped out of the house with an umbrella. It was of little use. Although my brolly shielded my head from the rain, the winds just blew the rain right into my face instead, making my front wet. At least my back was dry. I did not dare to tempt the fates by saying “What else can go wrong?” The last thing I wanted was to wrestle with an umbrella turned inside out in the pouring rain. At this point, I could not appreciate how Bollywood movies made the rain seem like so much fun.
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Jul 302011
 
A New Dawn by Jiri

Hexagram 47 Oppression

Hexagram 47 by Ben Finney

Times of adversity are the reverse of times of success, but they can lead to success if they befall the right man. When a strong man meets with adversity, he remains cheerful despite all danger, and this cheerfulness is the source of later successes; it is that stability which is stronger than fate. He who lets his spirit be broken by exhaustion certainly has no success. But if adversity only bends a man, it creates in him a power to react that is bound in time to manifest itself.

No inferior man is capable of this. Only the great man brings about good fortune and remains blameless. It is true that for the time being outward influence is denied him, because his words have no effect. Therefore in times of adversity it is important to be strong within and sparing of words.

-Hexagram 47 from The I-Ching or Book of Changes Translated by Richard Wilhelm, Cary F. Baynes. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1997.
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Jul 062011
 
Elephant without the Blind Men by http2007

The Blind Men and an Elephant

A long time ago, a king asked six blind men to discern what an elephant looked like by feeling different parts of its body. The blind man who felt its leg concluded that the elephant was like a pillar. Another who felt its tail surmised that it was like a rope. The one who felt its trunk said it was like a tree branch. The man who felt its ear said the elephant was like a hand fan. Feeling the elephant’s belly, another blind man sagely replied that the elephant was like a wall. Lastly, the one who felt its tusk said it was like a solid pipe.

The king acknowledged that they were all right, but only partially so. He then explained that each of the blind men had touched a different part of the elephant. But in truth, the elephant was the sum of all of those parts.
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