You know, I am a very simple person. To some people, this might be laughable, how can you be a simple person with all that you are doing?
But I am. The closest people to me would know that. I do not aspire for fame, power or wealth for to me, these are empty. They do not mean anything.
What is the purpose of life? To pursue wealth, to feel rich or to have power over others? No, this is not what I believe in.
Several years ago, I started on my path of self-awakening. What do I want as a person? What is my purpose in life? What would give meaning to what I do?
As I learnt, I learned to smile at myself, to give thanks and to feel grateful to life, even now. No matter what happens or will happen, things happen because they are an opportunity for me to learn, yes, even now.
And I realise for myself that the purpose of living is to be connected to myself, to be connected within, to feel the truth, speak the truth and be the truth.
I realise that life is about being honest to yourself and doing what is right.
But what is right? I do not know. For we all perceive righteousness from our own coloured perceptions. What is right to me might not be right to you, and conversely so. But I do believe in the age-old saying, and more and more so understand, do not do unto others what you do not want others to do unto you.
For it is true. Why would I wish on someone what I would not wish on myself?
And I believe that to be in this life, to live, is to learn to be human, or perhaps to learn humanity, to learn to be kind, compassionate and caring to another.
I say I am a simple person also because I do not have ambitions. No matter what I do, I do it because it feels right, because it feels like my purpose to do, sometimes because it is a duty, as it is now.
I do things because I feel that if I can make things better in my ability to do so, I should.
Someone told me, then it is not that you are a simple person. You have a complex mind but you believe in living simply. Perhaps he is right. It excites me to be able to understand how things work, how society has evolved, how things have changed and how they will change.
In that sense, I always have hope, always have hope that one day, things can get better, as they have and as they will.
And it is this hope and this belief that keeps me going, and believing, that we can change things, and make things work for the better.
But it is not in my interest to hurt another. Perhaps some might not think so, feeling to be on the other side. They might ask, why are you trying to bring me down, why are you trying to destroy what I have built?
But I seek not that, but I seek a better future. For I believe, do not do unto others what you do not want others to do unto you.
Why would I want to hoard over wealth and greed, and in so doing, knowingly deprive another of their livelihood? Why would I want to perceive another to be lazy, to justify for my accumulation of wealth?
But if one is able to earn his riches, and still observe for others, if one is able to, amidst the riches she earns, look out for those around him or her, and allow them to as well grow in abundance, respected and loved, then one has done his or her due diligence as a person and the wealth earned, an honourable one.
And this is what I believe in.
But from the other side, they might ask, how sincere is your belief, when because of what you do, I am being hurt. Now that the truth is out and others know what I am doing, how am I going to save my face? How am I going to continue to live, without feeling that I have lost my face?
They might ask, if you would not want to lose your face, why would you want that of me? Is that not selfish?
Perhaps, but I am not at the level of enlightenment, for I am learning as a person, as a human.
And when I see injustice, from my own self-righteous view, I want to fight for the truth, for freedom.
Some might think, what makes your right more so than my right? No, it does not. My right is not better than yours, nor yours than mine.
Perhaps some might call me stubborn, but in my self-righteousness and my eagerness to set right what I believe, I justify that if I can fight for truth and justice, I would be able to help more people, to allow more people to be free.
Yet is this not what the other believe as well?
Indeed, if so, what am I fighting for? For myself? For others? For the truth? Or just for self-righteousness?
Perhaps then, it’s empathy.
In my own belief of do not do unto others what you do not want others to do unto you, I believe that I should have the empathy to understand the lives of another, as with the experiences I have been through, and to understand how it would feel, so that I would treat others with the same respect as I would have wished another would have accorded to me.
And perhaps then, as I would want to believe I empathise with the poor and marginalised, perhaps I should similarly show empathy for the rich.
But I have to admit the difficulty of doing so, for I am not rich and do not plan to be. A lack of ambition, the rich might say of me, that is why you cannot understand us, and perhaps I cannot as well understand the hoarding of wealth.
But not all rich are as such. I have met many of the rich who have similarly shown compassion and a willingness to share in their wealth. Let us pay more taxes, let us help the poor, they say. I have earned the wealth also because of those of others who have worked for me and with me, and so it is only right that I give back, they say. Indeed, there are those among the rich who care and have a heart not just for themselves, but for others and an inspiration to emulate.
But them I empathise not in their wealth, but in their want for others to get better, and not just for themselves, which is admirable.
And I ask, is this something too much to ask for? To want better for another?
I am not angry with the PAP and the ministers or the rich affiliated to them, who have enriched themselves with our money. But I do ask, with the wealth they have hoarded, are they still in a position to ask for self-reliance, when in their positions, self-reliance becomes a frivolous thought.
In a world ruled by money, for the rich among us, self-reliance is a feat easily accomplished like no other. But for the poor, self-reliance becomes murder, for the money I do not have will become a decision between life and death, as so many have been made to choose, to live or to die, and in worse instances, whether to kill my offspring or not, to prevent them from further hardship?
I do, I do try hard to understand the rich who rule in our government, who have made themselves our government and dictated our society by their values and mores, but that has become a society where one can only get ahead and be self-reliant is where one belongs to the rich, and the richest among them, the ten or fifteen percent, then what of the others whose values differ and for whom self-reliance have seen their difficult lives suffer?
To which then, has the PAP shown empathy?
In my self-righteousness, I apologise, for I choose to believe that as much as I have difficulty empathising with their (PAP’s) lives, they as much have difficulty understanding mine and the large majority of us, who struggle with our lives in a system the PAP has distorted.
But this I do not blame them, but the narrow frame of empathy that has enshrouded them within, as it has mine.
If so, this does not make me a better person, nor does it make them. But neither does it make them worse, or me a worse person as well.
It makes us human, for are we not all learning how to become better people, as I believe they would want to be as well.
How then do we a system make where the empathy of another magnified by the connection of us all, and enshroud us in an empathy that is far and wide, such that a system we create will uplift the lives not of some, but in our compassion and care for another, will allow us all to grow together?
Perhaps it is in this desire that I fight, for if the limitations of my empathy as a human-bodied person prevent me from having the full understanding of another, as they have similarly compromised the ability of that of the PAP, then such limitations can be overcome if we are able to expose ourselves to more of one another, to give ourselves an opportunity to truly understand, instead of close ourselves to the realities when we become uncomfortable of the truths.
Thus a government not made by a singular view, but one that is exercised by several views, one made by different people, with different beliefs, one made by different parties, representing different ideas.
For only a government not in the confines of one singular party and a singular ideology will thoughts and expressions flourish, and will the empathy be magnified by the acknowledgement of not just some or whom we call the elites today, but of many others, like you and I.
Where a government which truly represents the whole of society, will allow us a chance to reshape our country, and to work with everyone to bring about change that will truly benefit all, and allow enlightenment to heal us all.
But the PAP might be uncomfortable with that, too deep within the gains of fore, but I do not wish ill on the PAP, for they are as clouded as I am, us humans trapped from our ego perspective. The mistakes we have made, we learn, we forgive, we let go and we move on stronger, together. For that is what I believe for myself, for another and for us together.
But for change to come which our country so dearly needs, it is perhaps time our people to recognise that for change to come, for our lives to get better, it means to realise that a new togetherness has to be forged, one not by awaiting for change to arrive, but for us to recognise how change should happen and bring about this change with our own guidance.
I have made peace with what is currently happening to my life right now. My only hope is that at the end of it all, our country will see a new beginning and a new way forward, not dictated by one but by all of us, in unity and in belonging, together in our diversity moulded into a new consciousness, where we would be ready to work for the well-being of not just one but of all of us together.
When we see our people move together, and the potential of our lives become a reality so much dreamt after, we can see a brighter future, where all of us will be able to pursue our purpose, for at the end of the day, is this not what life is all about?
To be born into this life, to pursue our purpose, to live our lives to the best of our abilities and potential, and to become a beautiful person and a beautiful people together?
At the end of the day, what are we really fighting for? It is not for ourselves or against another.
It is about fighting for the right to live, the chance to live and to be who we truly can be.
And if we so truly believe that, it is not just in our lives that we fight, but to know the bigger picture and in that solidarity, join hands and fight for a brighter future, for not just ourselves, but our fellow men and for the land we grow ourselves on.
Some Singaporeans are holding a candlelight vigil for me today at 7.30pm at Hong Lim Park. If you are free or nearby, do come by and say hello. The first hearing for my court case is tomorrow, on 18 September at 10am at the Supreme Court.