Friday, December 26, 2014

Tharman's family holiday in the Caucasus

Just caught this by Tharman on Facebook. He and his family were on holiday in the Caucasus but much of his thoughts were picking up the lessons of history for Singapore. Reminds me that to succeed in political leadership, it must become your obsession. An impossible job without a very supportive family. Most wives wouldn't be so supportive and husbands are worse.

I spent all my time on our recent US holiday trying to make sure everyone had fun and my secret to enjoying the trip is to forget myself and delight in the nice photo opportunities.

America provides too much information. You can plan everything to the atomic level today compared to just three years ago when we were last there. Suddenly you have the power to make things as good as possible but not more time to achieve that. That was my challenge and I was tired all the time.

The Caucasus is an old place steep in history and tragedy. I had read about the places from the Christian history perspective a few years ago. I agree with Tharman that the politics of the region did not have religious causes but it is the same age old issues over all time and places. As I read what the ang mohs did to the native Americans in the Yosemite region, played for higher stakes and more terrible brutality are the same forces that washed over the Caucasus over and over again. To have a long history is to also have many periods of tragic sadness. The take away for tiny Singapore from history lessons is not encouraging. We must never think of making Singapore last indefinitely and only keeping it good for ourselves and children continuously. You got to think long term and yet no so in order to be adaptable to avoid trouble and seize opportunities.

It is only a matter of time that moment when we run out of wiggle room will eventuate. That is why I had often blogged here that we need people of foresight to run this place. Such leaders successfully influence the making of a benign external environment long before they become obvious to most. Good institutions are a boon for most nations but far from good enough for us. Sadly we are not very good at selecting good people. This is a global problem.

Update: 9:40am

One is obsessed with keeping Singapore going, this one is preoccupied with getting everyone a proper loo to use. Most of us are just tied up with making a living and some just trying to keep their heads above water!

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