May 22

A Gentleman’s mission

Speaker: Tzyy Fung

Inside the clean, fancy and elegant washroom of Four Season Hotel, a man was standing right in front of this massive mirror. On his left hand, he holds a Gatsby Stick Wax. His right hand’s fingers, meticulously, running through his coal black hair, trying to make the most stylish gentleman hairstyle he could possibly do. On his top, he wears a whole white, smooth shirt. Around his neck wraps a polka dotted bow tie that he just bought a day before at H&M. Undoubtedly, this outlook is a perfect gentleman appearance, I am guessing the goal is definitely to impress the opposite sex, like a peacock uses its bold blue/green colours combined with a very long tail to attract peahen.

Fellow toastmaster, flashing back 2 months ago before that, at his own home, lying on his old, blue 3 seaters sofa, instead of being well groomed, his hair was a complete mess like the wild bush plant in the wilderness. He was wearing white cotton singlet on top and a black Adidas sport pant. On his hand, it was no longer hair product but rather his iPhone. Despite being mentally exhausted from work, he was tirelessly playing his new found apps. Swiping left and right, this guy was hoping using this magical, popular and imaginary cupid, his single life will come to an end. Yes, it is a dating apps and depending only on a few photos, very superficially, he is going to judge whether the girl is suitable for him, or rather, does he fall in love on first sight. After god knows how long he swiped, at last he stopped swiping. Like the lost man in Sahara desert who found water, his eyes shined as he finally found one girl who can get his heart pounding, his palm sweating, his pupil widening, literally just by looking at her photo from his palm sized phone screen. This girl has big brown eyes, the type of brown that was like a sweet chocolate, the chocolate that melts at the slightest bit of heat from love, particularly his love. Her smile in the photo is so genuinely sweet, with just the right touch of shyness that unexpected warmth rushes through him. At that moment, he was totally in love.

Without hesitation, he quickly swiped right. And yes, it is a match. Jackpot he thought, she is interested in me! Without showing his excitement, as calmly, politely as he could, he typed “Oh hi, nice to see you. You have the prettiest eyes I have ever seen. Can we be friend? *Smiley face*” Within a minute, the girl replied “nice knowing you….” their conversation never ended ever since. They chatted day and night for the next two months. Fast forward and back to the fancy washroom, this is finally their first date night. In that washroom, he was preparing to go out there to eat his prey!

Nervous yet excitedly, he left the washroom and walked toward the bar. He looked at his watch, it says 7:00pm, the exact time when they agreed to meet. Afar, he saw a lady with elegant black dress, standing at first bar table. “That must be her, that’s what she told me she will be wearing, but why does her body shape looks different from the back, she isn’t as curvy or as sexy as I thought, it’s okay, maybe that’s not her.” Politely, he still walked toward to the table to check out this lady and without fail, the big brown eyes cannot be wrong, that’s her. He quickly introduced himself and their date started just like that. They were in the bar for two hours then the lady left. That was their first and sadly, that would also be their last.

Some of you should have guessed it right, that gentleman is the one who is standing here now. That was me 3 years ago when I started my first Tinder date. No joke, it was true story. Perhaps my expectation on that first date was too high leading to such a big disappointment. Along with her double lidded you can tell, such expectation is not realistic because such girls wouldn’t appear in Tinder, and certainly would not date me in the first place. Still, I never learnt from experience and I had second and third date until I got fed up, completely deleted Tinder, telling myself dating apps and first sight love don’t work. And tonight I am proud to tell you that that gentleman, me, is no longer single! So all the singles out there, are you still playing dating apps? If you do, don’t be like me, be more realistic and fair to your future partner out there.

Oct 08

Alex the Girl

Speaker: Alexandria Chen

“Alex? Isn’t that a guy’s name? “

 

How many people here think that Alex is a guy’s name?

How many of you gave me this quizzical look when I told you my name is Alex?

 

Don’t worry, I get that a lot.

My name is Alexandria, you can call me Alex.

 

The only people who called me Alexandria were my teachers.

Even then, it was only when I was in trouble.

When I was caught talking to my friends in class, my GP teacher used to say…

“Alexandria, please stop twittering like little birds”

She was the first person to introduce me to twitter.

That was in 2001, 5 years before Twitter was launched.

 

Other than that, it’s always Alex.

 

My nicknames included Smart Alex, Alexandria the Great and Alex the Fedex. Not because I can deliver things overnight but apparently that is the only word that rhymes with Alex.

 

With Alex being a boy’s name, you would think that I mix very well with guys.

 

You are right.

 

I grew up under the same roof with my 3 male cousins. Even though my mother dressed me in in pink from head to toe, I never played with a Barbie doll. Instead I played with cars, building blocks and ran around the house with my cousins.

 

In school, I climbed the monkey bar and arm-wrestled with the boys.

 

I seem to give guys the best impressions.

 

In junior college, a male friend once said to me, when I first saw you, I thought you were an ang mo ah lian. In fact, I thought you would walk up to me and spit in my face.

Translation – I though you look like an English speaking female gangster. He added “…but, after knowing you, I think you are nothing like that. “

 

I have also had people express surprise that I don’t club, drink or smoke because apparently I look very happening. The exact word they used was ‘HAVOC” Of course, I have now changed my ways and have picked up clubbing with Buona Vista Toastmasters Club.

 

Being tan, people give me surprised looks,

“You can speak Chinese?” “Yes. I am Chinese. “

Not Malay, Indonesian, Thai or Pilipino.  This confusion apparently started since I was born. According to my mother, she thought the nurse had brought her a Malay baby.

 

Despite the wonderful impressions I give guys, I do have traits of a girl in me.

 

I started drawing classes in kindergarten with my cousins because my aunt is an art teacher and there was no way of escaping art lessons.

 

When I was 8 years old, I begged my parents to buy me a toy sewing machine because I wanted to sew like my mother. I was so excited to sew, even if it was only straight lines.

 

This skill came in handy in secondary school. In home economics class. I became the one who can sew straight lines for my friends.

When the teacher is not looking of course.

 

Today I am a women’s wear designer. I can draw, sew, drape and draft. Instead of building blocks, I create clothes.

 

While I used to run around the house with my cousins when I was young, now I run along the roads, swim and do yoga.

 

I no longer twitter, but prefer Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Tumblr.

 

The twittering in class has been replaced by the silence of the library where I love to read.

 

From that I have learnt this great lesson.

 

“Never judge a book by its cover, or its name.

If you judge a book by its cover, you might miss out on an amazing story.”

 

Alex may sound like a boys name, my skin may be tan and I may look havoc, but my story is the most amazing part of my book.

 

 

Sep 25

Stars

Speaker: Sandip Mahapatra

A young man was walking along the beach one morning and saw a human figure dancing on the shore. Curious, he walked over and realized it was actually a little girl throwing something into the sea. He asked, ‘Hey girl, what are you doing?’ The girl replied, ’I’m throwing star fishes into the sea.’ The man looking more curious asked, ’But, why?’ to which she replied, ‘The sun is coming up and the tide is going down. If I don’t throw them back into the sea, they will die’. The man smiled and said, ‘There are miles of beach and hundreds of starfishes. There’s more starfish than you ever can ever save. What difference does it make?’ The politely listened, picked up another starfish and tossed it into the sea and said, ‘It made a difference to that one’.

Good evening TME, Club president, fellow toastmasters and guests, I am Sandip and today I present a speech titled 5 Stars. This was written by Loren Eiseley to shows that every little thing we do can hold a very special meaning to someone else.  How many of us, before we embark on a task think, What difference does it make? Does it even matter to anyone? These questions although important, sometimes, stop us from even trying. These questions make us like the curious young man. So today, I will give you 5 actions, stars, that will help you, think like that little girl instead.

  1. Share: When we give, we part from something that we have and give it to someone who doesn’t. Be it alms to the needy or love to the loveless. What we get in return is far more valuable that what we shared; a sense of satisfaction that we have made a small difference which means a lot to the person. To quote Bhudda, ‘Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened’.
  2. Try without fear. It doesn’t matter whether it makes a difference to one person, or to the whole world. When we internalize a belief that we can make a difference, we try – and the converse holds true too. I’d like to quote a retired professional cyclist, Jens Voigt on this theory of trying, ‘When in doubt, I just go for the win. If I try, there is a maybe a 10% chance of winning; but if I don’t, there is 0% chance. For me, 10% is better than zero, that’s just logic!’
  3. Attention. Rather than just hear, listen. The former uses the ears, but the latter uses the brain and the heart. Learn to listen to people, be it their complaints and woes, or just sharing. How many of you spend time with elderly listening to them? Every trip I make to India, I sit and listen to my grandmother’s stories. These stories are those of my uncles and mum since they were kids. How these make her feel – be it happy, sad or even regret. Obviously, I can’t understand her feelings. All I do is just sit and listen and I feel we’ve grown closer together so much so she cries every time I leave.
  4. Relationships. Humans, regardless of whether you are an introvert or extrovert in character, are social animals. And when I mention relations, it’s not about how many ‘friends’ you have on Facebook or followers on Instagram or Twitter. How many here have watched, ‘Cast Away’ starring Tom Hanks? I’m referring to the relationship Hanks had with ‘Wilson’ – especially the scene where he lost Wilson. How many of you have such relationships, that you feel empty when you don’t talk to or meet these people from time to time? Make everyone you meet your ‘Wilson’ and let them see the ‘Wilson’ within you. As for old relationships and keep the flame alive, because without realizing you need them more than you realize, and they too need you, more than they’ll admit.
  5. Stand up for someone’s rights. How many here have heard of the recent incident of a young boy who was being verbally abused by an elderly gentleman on the MRT and another young man stood up for him? How many times do we see in the news of people being abused physically and emotionally? What do we do, except pity the people, sympathize with them. But thoughts like, it’s not my business, I don’t interfere is the first thing that comes to mind. Again I’d like to quote a line I heard from an old Indian movie about corruption in politics ‘Everyone says Indian politics is a garbage dump, dirty and smelly. But how many of you are willing to jump in and try to clean it. Today it’s one person who is the victim; tomorrow will him and her. The day after, it will be all of you.’ If you don’t stand up for someone else when you see injustice, tomorrow and the impact may be on you. What are you going to do then?

We’ve always been told to look at the bigger picture by our colleagues and bosses, our families and sometimes, even strangers. But I implore you, when you look at the bigger picture, don’t lose sight of the smaller things. As you walk on the beach and enjoy the sun, sand and the sea, don’t lose sight of the starfish that you could save. So starting today, for these 5 days of the National holidays, use these 5 stars – S for Share your joys; T for Try without fear; A Attention – listen, don’t just hear; R for Relationships – value them and nurture them and the second S for Stand up for someone else. Get yourself to pick up a starfish and toss it into the ocean. With the hope, just like the little girl, to inspire another person to toss a starfish too.

Sep 25

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Speaker: Pei Geok

Oh my God! Shit! Damn! It slipped my mind!

How many of you find the above scenario familiar? Yes we all have incidents of forgetfulness so that’s why notebooks have been invented. However with the current cutting edge technology, you do not need to literally bring a physical notebook now. Your smartphone can now do the job of recording your task lists. Although we all have such a recording device in our pockets right now, unless your phone is too big or your pants do not have pockets, we still nevertheless have the scenario I mentioned earlier. Why? Because of Out of sight, out of mind. When we don’t see the object, we will not remember it. Good evening club president, distinguished guest and friends. Today I would like to share about three personal incidents that demonstrate this theory of out of sight, out of mind.

The first incident happened when my husband, Sandip and I travelled to Canada for a personal trip. How of you print your travel documentation such as air tickets, insurance and so on for every travel? How many of you only print one copy? Two copies? Well my husband is those who will print three copies if possible. My husband went to Canada earlier than me for a work seminar and I was to join him a week later for an extension of the trip so he printed out two copies of the travel documents for me to bring along. The whole stack of documents consisted of my tickets to Canada, our accommodation and our return tickets back to Singapore. On our return journey back to Singapore at the airport, my husband asked me for the return tickets. I stopped short in my tracks. “What return tickets?” I asked. Now imagine a guy who is particular with documentation hear this type of response? Lucky for me we were not married yet elsewhere he would have WTF at me. You see, in my mind I didn’t see the return tickets at all. The return tickets were in fact in the very same staple bullet as my going there tickets. My husband managed to be as cool as a cucumber, maybe because we were not married yet. “I gave you the printed copies of the travel documents right?” Something in my mind clicked and I Ahhhh. I bet it must have been an exasperating moment for him to have a girlfriend who is a klutz.

A second time that something similar happened was with my work laptop. I travelled to India earlier this year in May for my wedding in India and I brought my laptop along. Well as you can see I am an extremely hardworking employee. The incident happened on my trip back home again. As with all customs you need to take your laptop out of your bag when you go through the screening gates. I was given a tag for the laptop. The India customs are more stringent than the Singapore ones, for everyone had to be checked manually despite going through the metal detector gates. For the ladies, after going through the metal detector gates, you will need to go into this makeshift room where a female officer will frisk you from head to toe for any suspicious bulges. As a bride to an Indian husband in an Indian wedding in India, one DIE DIE must to do thing for the bride is mehendi/henna. The basic expectation is that the mehendi has to be from your elbows to your fingers: that is how extensive it is. All the Indian custom officers were praising me about the beautifully done mehendi that I must say the praises went to my head and made me forget about my dear laptop. After the frisking room, I just blindly, absentmindedly, cheerfully put my tag onto the rollers. There was not an officer in sight to stop me and I happily went to wait for the flight until an announcement stopped me in my tracks. “Will the passenger who has left his Dell laptop at the customs checks please approach the customs officer right now.” I was puzzled for the words “Dell laptop” rang a bell. My heart sank upon realizing what a fool I had been. I went up to the customs officer to acknowledge my forgotten laptop. The officer asked: “Is the laptop password protected?” I replied “Yes” but in my heart I was thinking: Of course it is password protected! What are you talking about? He then asked me to log in so as to show that I was the laptop’s owner. The customs officer said: “When you passed through the screening gates, you are supposed to pass me the tag.” I refused to admit it was my fault. I was indignant and said: “But there was no one there to take my tag.” And I would like gone on arguing that it was his fault for not being around if my husband had not whispered at me: “Do NOT argue with the customs officer.” I kept my angry retorts inside my mouth and let the customs officer chide me, feeling unjustified.

The last incident was with my retainers. For some of you who have heard about my earlier speeches, you might remember about my stories of my braces. I changed job recently and my ex colleagues gave me a farewell lunch at Swensen’s. I had to remove my retainers before eating and I did not bring out my retainers’ box then. I wrapped up my retainers with a tissue paper and took my lunch. When I was proceeding to leave the restaurant, out of sight, out of mind, I forgot totally about my wrapped up retainers in the tissue paper. It was only on the way home that evening that I felt that something was missing. Then I remembered. “Eh, where are my retainers?” And again I had the same sinking feeling when I realised that I left them behind at the restaurant. I gave the restaurant a call without much hope that they would have found it for the retainers were well camouflaged in the tissue paper. My second pair of retainers cost me a whopping $214 including GST. Like what I said in my previous speech, “Dentistry is not expensive, neglect is.’ And as what Qing Hong said: I didn’t manage to retain my retainers.

I hope none of the guests or anyone of you here are potential recruiters for I am sure you will remember this weakness of mine: absent-minded. But I do have other good points: I am hardworking for I brought my laptop along for my personal trip. From these three incidents, I do strongly agreed with out of sight, out of mind. 1st: my return tickets were with me right from the start. 2nd: My forgotten laptop at the India customs. 3rd: My expensive retainers which I did not retain. Although it seems like out of sight, out of mind is an undesirable state, however it does has its good points. For example, if you are in a friendzone and the other party does not fancy you back, you can apply this “Out of sight, out of mind” theory. By seeing the person less, you will eventually forget about the person. Lastly, I would like to say Out of sight, out of mind may just happen to anyone in this room, not only me. As the saying goes: “Everyone has photographic memory, some just don’t have the film.” Thank you.

Sep 23

Beautiful Mess

Beautiful Mess

Speaker: Danny Ho, ACB, CL

The neighborhood was quiet. The skies were absolutely dark. I was lying at the garden enjoying the moonlight. Suddenly, my wife shouted, “Honey please HELP! The water hose BURST, the kitchen floor flooded!” I said, “Oh no… it happens again.”

Toastmasters of the evening, fellow Toastmasters and guest:

Let me tell you a secret, “I found a good deal!” Last year, I spent one month to search through all the properties offer for sale in our neighboring country. I discovered a terrace house sitting in a peaceful neighborhood. I begged to the owner, “Mr Lee sell away your home then you can retire RICH!” Suprisingly, he agreed with the UNDER market deal. WooHo! I was so excited after I signed the contract. It is a good deal!!

One sunny morning I told my wife proudly, “Honey, I want to show you my recent investment, a fabulious terrace house.” As I arrived, I opened the gate it was rusted. Then, I opened the door it was shaky. When I steped on the staircase it was nearly collapsed. Look at my SIZE then you could imagine how heavy I am. The ceiling has plenty of holes. The windows were falling apart. My wife questioned me “Honey did you check the condition”. “I was too rush to close the deal… I have not.” Then my wife suggested that, “Go and hire a contractor to fix it.”

I hired the the BEST renovation contractor in Singapore and JB… Jimmy to work on the project. Jimmy assured me that, “Don’t worry boss, I can handle it … I can offer you the lowest price.” It sounded very attractive to me. “All right, I will let you handle it and make sure it is cheap.”

Everything went well for the first two week; the workers hacked the floor and dismantled the windows. I was impressed with their speed and felt relieved. Once again Jimmy reassured that “Don’t worry boss, next week my workers will install the floor tiles.” I reminded him, “You better do it quick.” Subsequent weeks everything went smooth. Until one Monday morning, I noticed that all the work stopped. I called him up, “Ooi What happened?” Jimmy told me, “All of them fall sick today.” I was angry, “Why didn’t you tell me earlier. You better take care of it?”

Yet, the disaster came on the following week. I received a call from Jimmy’s workers demanded for their salaries, because Jimmy has defaulted them. They threatened me, “If you fail to pay me $5000 by tomorrow, I will smash your window.” What an earth Jimmy was doing? I called him up, the phone disconnected. I hunted him down he had disappeared. WHAT?

What a beautiful mess? He fled away and left my house with no FENCE, no WINDOWS and no DOOR. The pouch was full of debris until my neighbor complaint about it. More importantly, my wife screamed at me “How could you TRUST such a LIAR?” Both of us were disappointed.

Then, we realized things have to carry on. We worked positively and proactively. My wife and I rolled up our sleeve to tidy up this beautiful mess. First, I took over the project. I hired floor tiles specialist, I contacted the windows contractor, and I approached gate manufacture to finish the work in shortest time. Finally, I DIY to paint the house and fixed all the water hose. After we were sweating for TWO months, we MAKE it. We built a new garden grew with beautiful sunflowers. We believe ourselves, our ability to get things done.

Two months later, we invited all our friends and family member to celebrate our house warming party. We were having a good time with good food and good chat. The party went on until late at night. After all the guests left, I sat down quietly at the garden to enjoy the moonlight. Then, my wife shouted,“Honey please HELP! The water hose BURST, the kitchen floor flooded!” “Oh no… a beautiful mess.”

Toastmasters:

Aug 03

Self-Introduction

Speaker: Tushar

 

Toastmaster of the evening, fellow Toastmasters, to introduce myself today I’m going to talk about water. Not just because that’s what my name means in Sanskrit but also because water really defines me.

 

I guess that’s a really strange way to introduce oneself but after racking my brain for several weeks trying to think of how to introduce myself, this was the best I could come up with.

 

Let me try and explain. I could tell you biologically who I am. Which is an Indian male about 36 years old. But that hardly covers really who I am. There must be millions of other similar Indians out there!

 

I could try in terms of my profession and education which is that I studied MBA and then worked in finance. But everyday we read about banks and other financial institutions firing people by the dozens so what happens if I too lose my job? Does it mean I lose my identity? I hope not!

 

Maybe we could try in terms of astrology. So by western astrology I’m unfortunate enough to be born as half cancerian/ half gemini so no horoscope really applies to me and once again my search for an identity remains unfulfilled.

 

How about relationships? A lot of people say they derive value and purpose from who their partner is. Well, the trouble with that is that the closest thing I have to a partner is my dog and no matter how much I may love him, I’m not sure I want to be known as Oscar’s master.

 

So then what? Well I decided to talk about what I love. What am I truly passionate about. What makes my pulse race, what is 100% guaranteed to pull me out a funk?

 

I tried to think of what my go to activity is when I’m feeling down and out or conversely deprived of what activity do I feel like rubbish?

 

Well for me the answer is water. Specifically water sports. The highlight of everyday for me is going to the pool and completing my 1 or 2 km swim. Listening to nothing but my own bubbles of breathing for 1 hour, feeling my body glide through the water is the most relaxing thing I know. I was recently injured and unable to swim for 3 weeks and boy was I miserable!

 

When I actually get to swim in the sea on weekends it’s like a child at a candy store. To add to the pleasures of pool swimming, you also have waves gently rocking you as if on your mother’s lap. What could be better?

 

Scuba diving is similar. When I’m 40 metres below the ocean, seeing all the pretty fish swim by, totally at the mercy of the currents and my own fate it’s like a small child in his mother’s womb. Protected from the harsh world with office politics, relationship headaches, et al. I feel like I’ve been born afresh as a new entity with no connection to the stresses and pressures of the modern world.

 

In fact I would say that for me swimming and scuba diving are meditative activities. I have never once gone swimming or diving and come out not feeling a hundred times more at peace than before.

 

Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that both swimming and scuba diving require very precise breath control. Yoga theory says that control of breath is control of mind so maybe that’s what makes both activities so very calming. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that as a Hindu I was brought up venerate the Ganges and maybe that psychological association now carries over onto all bodies of water. Maybe it’s as the Balinese say that water is purifying and washes all our sins and away.

 

Or perhaps, it’s just because I don’t have the damned mobile to bother me when I’m swimming or diving and have a perfectly valid reason to tell my boss when I don’t answer the phone.

 

Anyway, whatever the reason may be, I love water and am grateful for every second I get to play in it.

Thank you!

May 19

The BIG question in LIFE

Speaker : Terry Teza

 

Terry Contest 2015Once upon the time, there was a wise holy man. He was famous for giving the One answer irregardless of whatever question was asked.

The question could be: –

“Will I will pass my exam?” Or

Will I find my life partner soon?” Or

  Will my business be successful?

 

Whatever… the questions may be, his only answer was…

“FIND OUT WHO IS ASKING THIS QUESTION FIRST”

 

Contest-chair, Honorable Judges, fellow toastmasters and guests,

 

All of us were born into this world with a BIG question mark (?) in our hearts. That is …

WHO AM I?

 

This question is called ‘primary’ question in our lives and all other questions are just secondary!

 

A young girl asked her mother,

“ Mummy, Mummy how do I came into this world?

“ Of course, Mummy gave birth to you into this world”, the mother replied

“ Then, how do you know my name” the girl asked again.

“ Hmm…” (The mother didn’t know how to answer)

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are often confused between ‘our names’ and ‘ourselves”.

We all have names but our names doesn’t tell us “who we really are” because they were just given to us.

 

The truth is…

We don’t know who we are.

We don’t know where we came from.

We don’t know where we are going.

 

Therefore, the big question, “Who am I?”  become critical for us.

It is an “existential” question.

It is a “spiritual” question.

It is a beginning of our ‘inner search’ and our spiritual development.

 

Once, I watched a video titled “ Masters from Himalaya…”. In it, an India old man with thick sliver hair and beard who really look like a ‘Guru’ said that He came from Himalaya to America. Many American asked him why he came to America instead of meditating in the Himalaya’s Cave in peace.

 

He replied “ We need to came to the modern world because there is an imbalance between material development and spiritual development in the world. Due to relentless pursuit of material development, such as destroying of rain forest by MNC, out of greed, our world is leading toward the direction of ‘destruction’ by global warming and natural disasters and more. We come from Himalaya into this material world to teach ‘spiritual development’ to balance the lacking in the spiritual progress.

 

In the old days, seeker who wish to know the reality of themselves, need to look for a master in the remote mountain or places. Nowadays, the situation that we are facing in our modern society is so desperate that the masters are coming into our society to teach us.

 

Since the development of science and technology, more and more people become materialistic and neglected their spiritual development.

 

One’s typical life may go this way,

First you want a job,

And then you want a car,

Then you want a house.

Then, you look at your neighbor’s house, (which is bigger).

So, you want a bigger car,

A bigger house and

More money in our bank etc.

Then, one fine day,

When you have most of the material things we desired,

Suddenly you realized that

You are still empty inside and

You are not really happy!!!

This is called “mid-life crisis”.

 

I wish that all my friends know the importance of spiritual development as early as possible.

Not only when you reach your middle age.

 

There is also another problem in modern society. Many people, who like to be called scientific-minded, became a “Free Thinker ” and ignore their spiritual development.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, even though, we may call ourselves “Free Thinker” but it doesn’t means ‘we are free’.

We can think freely this and that and whatever we want but

We are still not free from our own “thinking”.

We are still confined by our own concepts and ideas and

We are not yet gone beyond them.

 

Regardless of which religion we belong to, most of us have forgotten the ‘true essence’ of our own religion and became nominal or traditional so-called followers of our own faith.

 

 

We are now at the crossroad junction.

It is time for us to have a balance in our material progress and our spiritual progress.

It is time for us to go back to our ‘root’ of our faith

It is time for us to become ‘real’ practitioners of our faith.

It is time for us to find who we are.

It is time for us to ask the BIG question in LIFE.

 

Now, Ladies and Gentlemen

 

If you ask me “Who am I?”…

 

Do you know what will be my answer?

 

“FIND OUT WHO IS ASKING THIS QUESTION FIRST”

Back to you Contest-chair.

 

May 15

Who Am I?

Speaker: Tzyy Fung

 

TzyyFung P1Thank you Toastmaster of the Evening.

Good evening fellow toastmasters and guests. Tonight I am going to share a little bit about myself, my identity. Identity, as defined in oxford dictionary, it means the characteristics determining who or what a person or thing is.

Firstly, who am I? I am a Malaysian, east Malaysian to be exact, coming from a simple, small family that only has 4 immediate family members including myself. I have a shy, conservative, disciplined dad, an outgoing, modern, cool mum and a very “special” brother.

Why I said he is special? Since young, we have roughly the same attire and haircut. We ate the same food. We hang out with a same bunch of friends. We played the same video games and also sports. We went to the same school from Kintergarten all the way to University. Lastly, we have roughly the same height, same physique and similar face. Ya, you are thinking what I am about to say, he is my lovely twin brother.

That’s one of my identities, the twin brothers! My twin brother and I have been staying with each other for more than 20 years. We haven’t been separated more than a month since we were born. I still remember when I was in primary 1, one day my brother was sick and he was staying at home. I didn’t know that until I reached school and I cried in the classroom. In the end, the class monitor gave me a sweet to stop me from crying, what a sweet girl she is.

Having a twin brother is actually not an easy task. We are competitive, I repeat, we are very competitive to each other even until now. Basically we compete for everything. When we were young, we were competing about our school result, typical Chinese. When we grew older, we were competing the amount money that we save. And now, we were competing about the daily calorie intake. Well, I guess that’s another way to show our love to each other, by making sure that the other half has gotten the same amount of nutrient. Being a pair twins, I always got this frequently asked question; do I have telepathy with my brother? I believe that will your first question in mind too. In my case, sadly we don’t. But we do share a similar way of thinking, share the same point of view and value in life, largely influenced by the environment that we were brought up to.

My brother and I are in our mid-twenties, born in December, making us Sagittarius babies. I am quite fascinated with the way horoscope defines our characteristics, although it is pretty generalized. For a Sagittarius, being adventurous is one of my attributes. I like to try out new experiences. For example, I have travelled by myself alone to Vietnam when for my graduation trip in year 2013. I knew new friends, tried out unplanned trip and hitch-rode from the airport to the town with strangers. That’s one of the craziest thing I have done, not to mention cliff jumping too! In the future, definitely I will do more crazy activities as I believe that experiences and memories are the most valuable asset of a person.

Besides adventurous, being free is Sagittarius’s nature. I will like to have the freedom in choosing what I want to do and being where I want to be. I prefer a lifestyle that is free and easy; thus corporate ladder isn’t really my thing. However, right now I am still stuck in my corporate life but one day, I will take a leap of faith and start endeavoring my free and easy lifestyle. Like what Bob Marley said, “Better to die fighting for freedom then be a prisoner all the days of your life.” Thank you Toastmasters.

May 12

The Speed of Time

Speaker: Sandip

 

Sandip P3Good evening, toastmaster of the evening, fellow toastmasters and distinguished guests. I am Sandip and I’ll be embarking on my Project 3 with a speech titled – The speed of time. Before I begin, I’d like to have a show of hands on how many here have watched the movie, Interstellar? How many understand the concepts that were shown in the movie?

The purpose of my speech today will be to introduce a theory called Time Dilation, so that when you either watch or re-watch it, you can appreciate how scientifically sound the movie really is! For those who have not watched Interstellar, it is about space explorers looking for a new planet to inhabit as the Earth is near death. And for those who have no background in astrophysics, fear not, I will be staying away from the complicated mathematics that’s needed to explain the theory. I’ll try to introduce Time Dilation with 3 simplified concepts.

Concept 1: Space and Time are related.

Slide2

We always think of space and time as independent but it’s not. For example tomorrow, I’m going to meet my friends at Dhoby Ghaut MRT (space) at 730pm (time). Space and time always go together – one is meaningless without the other. Same in astrophysics, space and time are treated as one and it is represented as Space-Time. Space-time is an imaginary rubbery fabric where astronomical events take place. Having introduced this seemingly simple concept, now we move on to bigger things!

Concept 2: Objects bend Space-Time.

Slide3

Our Sun, the stars, planets everything exists and interacts on the fabric of Space-time. And what happens when we put a planet like our Earth on the rubbery fabric? The surface of Space-Time bends! What happens if we replace the Earth with the Sun? Space-Time bends more – simply because the Sun is more massive. Now we put our Sun and our Earth into our space time fabric. Something interesting happens.

Slide4

Both of them bend space time proportional to their masses – but due to the Sun’s larger effect, the Earth, rolls in towards it. This phenomenon is called – Gravity – and it depends on the mass of objects. Simply put, the more massive the object, the more it warps space-time and the greater its gravitational pull. Now it’s no wonder we are all attracted towards Clement so much because he can bend Space-Time so much more! Anyway, now things are getting more complicated but let’s get a little bit deeper into the rabbit hole and take a look at an extreme case scenario with concept number 3.

Concept Number 3. Speed of time is not constant.

Who agrees with me that we reach our destination earlier if we drive faster? So does time slow down as we go faster? Yes, but in the millionth of the billionth of a second – makes no difference to us. But time slows down measurably only when you are about to reach a critical speed – the speed of light. This phenomenon is predicted near Black Holes.

Slide5

A black hole is simply a dead star. When a star 20 times the mass of the Sun dies and is compressed to the size of a pin head, it forms a black hole, essentially a pit of infinite gravitational pull. The force of gravity is so strong that not even light can escape – thus giving it the color and the name – a Black Hole. But how does our Space-time fabric look like near a black hole? Not only there is a curving of space-time but it is stretched beyond recognition. Now if we have a planet A which is near a Black Hole, what happens?

Slide6

It’s the same as what happens when you drop a ball into an infinitely deep hole; it picks up speed towards the speed of light. And what happens to time on the planet? It slows down! This effect is called Time Dilation. So, we see that an incredible amount of gravity can actually slow time down.

Slide7

In Interstellar, when the space explorers went to an alien planet which was under the gravitational pull of the nearby Black Hole, it was in their best interest to get in, do what they needed to and get out as soon as possible – because 1 hour of the time in the alien world, was equivalent to 7 years on Earth. Now try to imagine yourself spending one hour at work to go home to realize that your family has grown by older by 7 years! I shall leave this here so as not to spoil the movie for those who intend to watch it!

In summary, I have introduced 3 concepts that are needed to get an inkling of how Time Dilation happens near Black Holes – just like what happens in Interstellar. The concepts, to recap, are, Space and Time are always related, gravity bends Space-Time and the speed of time is never constant. Putting these 3 together, we saw that higher the force of gravity, slower the speed of time. So if you want to slow time down to beat that timer’s bell in your next toastmasters’ speech and you had a choice to either give your speech either on Earth or Mars, it’s always do it on Earth because time runs slower here! Thank you!

May 10

Keep Calm and Travel On

Speaker: Shrijan Joshi

 

Good Evening Mr Toastmaster, fellow Toastmasters, and guests. Title of my speech today is Keep Calm and Travel on

Happy to be the first speech of the new year. Many of us have returned from the holidays; hope u had a rest good and all energized.

A new year, a new beginning, new travel opportunities. How many of us have already checked the calendar for long weekends. let me share with you on some travel tips so that you can all travel happier and safer wearing a smile.

Travel Nowadays is easier..we are much more informed with all the travel blogs and We not only know the location of our destination through google, We can even know the color of the bathroom tile of the hotel room. Such Knowledge is great, but honestly, sometimes it can be stressful. esecially with all the travel horror stories.

So you may ask me, If I am packing to travel and read a horrible immigration blog, should I be worried?

So before I proceed I have to clarify, I have not interviewed travel gurus to bring you practical and inspirational travel strategies; I also do not have tips for those brave folks who travel with children, I can only salute and admire you; and for those of you who tend to leave behind something in the hotel room like me, I feel for you.

 

All I am sharing with you are travel tips I have learnt along the way that I find important, and hope you will too.

Having said that i am now ready to give all of you some unsolicited advice.

 

Travelling to places unknown is an adventure and you are leaving your comfort zone, facing fears and taking some risk. But Courage has its own reward. The self-confidence alone is worth the time, money and energy.

For any travel the first thing I can say is, preparation is the key.

 

Good preparation will soothe your anxiety and smooth your trip.

 

We all know It is prudent to find out the customs and culture your destination. We also know the importance of planning itineraries and research on transportation and accommodation options. but don’t be the traveller, who is always flipping the guidebook and missing the carnival. Use your senses as they are the best guides. And don’t forget ur best sense, is your common sense.

 

For romance read a book set in the place or a movie. It gives a boost to your imagination, which is your by the way your greatest travel companion.

 

Another Important thing to remember, is to watch your attitude. If you are travelling to a completely new place, its like Star Wars when Yoda sends Luke into the cave. “uhh master, What will I find there?” Luke asks. “Only what you bring with you,” Yoda answers. I guess the same is true for traveling. If you bring fear, you will be scared. My advice is to be as open and trusting as you can be, while remaining cautious and using our friend the common sense of course. A friendly hello and a few harmless polite words can go a long way

 

Remember that traveling is just as much about learning about yourself as it is about your destination. when you are going to a place try to find a bearing of the place, a cafe or a restaurant and chat up people. If possible try to befriend a local, Its always not easy but maybe this is the time to use those facebook friends. A local perspective can enrich your experience and take you to that place only a local would know and could give you a fun insight. .

Coz in the end it’s the people as much as the place that makes the memory.

And once you have your bearing, try wandering. I like to get a hair cut in another country, and I can say the the result is interesting each time.

 

I find these tips to be generally a good way to discovering places, and certainly more fun than reading a guide-book.

Now Take everything I said with a pinch of salt, but remember the golden rules,

Preparation is the key

Watch your attitude

Find a bearing and explore away

 

So I leave with a quote..the world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.

Thank you

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