Dreams and Ideals

Such a beautiful prompt for a Sunday. Of course, I am going to find time to blog about about Dreams, even though it is already 1am here, and I have tonnes of work due tomorrow.

A senior sent me this today (I’m probably going to start naming them Senior A, Senior B, Senior C at some point …) and it really (re)ignites some little fire in me. The sparklet that says we can, and we have to, make this world a better place.

“It is fundamentally an optimistic profession. You don’t go into Architecture if you are pessimist, if you don’t actually believe that the world can get better.” (21:35)

“If you don’t like something, do something about it.” (22:40)

In great synchronicity is what we were talking about -movies- after the fifteen books. There was one movie that really nudged me into my place in this world – Turtles Can Fly. I remember my housemate arranging with UNICEF to screen it in school, and I was shocked by this showcase of the guileless youths in conflict zones. That stirred me into a different kind of focus on my planning and development work very soon (or immediately) after.

I really don’t like conflicts. But, I cannot do anything about it. BUT then again, what we can do is to provide as safe a space as we could, and to help build a community, a social fabric that we could to support life and human beings.

For a long time, I had been feeling rather “inferior” or “insecure” about having “dropped out” of the architectural field. And then years later, “dropping out” of the planning field. But that was not exactly it. I have to remind myself that that is not the full complete story. I am still in the development and the developmental field. In fact, it was a deliberate choice to focus on it. I build communities, I work on youth development. I shape young minds. It really takes a huge nudge to remind myself of my mission and my purpose, instead of getting all distracted by the “lack thereofs”.

So yea, moral of the story, remember the big picture. We may not be living up to the shiny glossy image of “dreams” and “ideals” painted by the world (and books, and magazines, and movies) at large. But if we search and find the focus of the little things we are doing within reach (and also constantly striving to extend the outreach), then we can do whole loads better.

And even more synchronistically, I have no idea why / how I found my way into watching the news clips of my days at the border. I may not be designing flashy glossy buildings, but I was building communities. Clips below are in Thai, but you can watch the beautiful scenery of our five billion star hotel! And our lovely lovely lovely founder/boss/jungle chief. ❤

Reminder to self: I may no longer be working at the border, but I am working with youths who can be the movers and changers in the now or in the future. Instilling the “right” values (or rather, “left” values .. haha) and nudging more people into their place  (of positive change) in society can be pretty effective too!

Hehe, how can I miss Friday’s prompt too! It’s Build!
This whole post is about building! ❤

5 Comments Add yours

  1. You sound very Singaporean… fundamentally optimistic. And I agree with the video that architecture really does make a social difference. Historically, the great cathedrals as well as the fascist monuments exemplify this, whether infusing a sense of God into life, or a sense of life as merely insignificant. And that said, I think we need more Singaporean architects. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. leapingtoes says:

      It actually cuts both ways… Watching how a generation of mostly uneducated migrants turn an island from one using Myanmar as a benchmark, to an nation/state/island/country that is leading the larger region now… It is really hard not to be optimistic about how much we can do (when stars align). That one generation went through colonialism, war, civil breakup, before gaining independence, and then all the nation building after – to what we see today. It is pretty awesome, and hard not be optimistic about going “against all odds”.
      The other side of the non-optimism is looking at my generation and the next generation being all complacent and taking things so easy as though they will be fed (or overfed) every day. Ouch. I would be very pessimistic if I choose to keep my eyes on that.
      So …. drumroll … I think doing developmental work elsewhere in the region would keep my outlook more balanced. 😀
      So yes, fundamentally optimistic~ hehe. There’s always room to do better if we know where to look. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Influencing the next generation to move in a positive direction for growth is definitely important and something that is a key factor in my job as try to be a positive influence on the students I teach and provide guidance to.❤️😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. leapingtoes says:

      Yup yup, continue to build yourself up and shape your own life and perspective, so you can set up the right platform and point the students in the right direction. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely ❤️😊


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