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Wednesday, March 06, 2002

Being Difficult
Just when you think it's going to be a run-of-the-mill day, you get to talk to someone who shows you the insight of what life can be. To put it rather bluntly, it sucks!

Had a conversation with a friend at the Changi International Airport over a cup of 'kopi-tarik' and a dish of 'popiah'. In our conversation, what struck me was the sticky problem of how to deal with difficult people who seem to have a mind of their own. It would have been simple should the problem be contained and affect a small minority. But this had its effect over a larger group of people and causing division when the main objectives are cohesiveness and community-mindedness. The conclusion reached was that it's going to take some hard work and plenty of patience over some period of unspecific time. Not a tidy solution but it's better than nothing!

If all that earlier sitting, talking, suggesting, clarifying and philosophing about difficult people, I am now thinking about a certain Singaporean religious sister from the FMDM who will be starting her work in Zimbabwe soon. Not a nice place to be, especially during this chaotic and tense situation, but duty calls her to be with the community there to do something for the training of the novices. Here we do not just have to deal with a difficult place but also a questionably competent ruler and a potentially dangerous threat of war and anarchy. While I don't envy Sis. Angeline's mission, I am very aware of the fact that we sometimes take too many things for granted in a place like clean, green and efficient Singapore.

I shall be certainly be acutely aware of this when we have a BBQ tomorrow night under the stars, in the seminary compound, with our neighbour friends who are also contributing a major portion of the food to be BBQed...

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