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I really hope that you’re not getting sick of Singapore stories, but this one is really close to my heart. When I first found out that I was going over for work, my grandfather wanted me to go to one place – Fort Canning. You see, he was in the Second World War and fought for Australia in that conflict. Even though I learned about the conflict in school and from his stories, this was the first time that he’d ever mentioned Singapore.
So, on Friday I trekked off to the Fort Canning Park and got to experience an audio-visual recount of the days when Singapore was taken. I didn’t expect to be as moved as I was. When I was in there, I could imagine how my grandfather must have felt when he was in Papua New Guinea and fighting in the war. I ended up crying during one presentation as they showed us a conference where they decided to surrender; knowing that they would become POWs in camps that were designed to make them suffer. It just brought home, in ways no classroom lesson ever could, how unbelievably difficult life was at that time and how sometimes there isn’t a win/win outcome at all.
Now, what does this have to do with the BTD? To me, this was a big lesson about learning from the past. Learning from the lessons that the past can teach us and taking them with us on our journey through life; whether about food on the BTD (based on the learnings of Dr D and others) or how stress is bad for your health or that you need to get enough sleep. I guess it just made me wonder why we need to repeat the mistakes of the past all the time – eating foods that we know will make us sick, forgoing sleep, putting off health checks – when we live in relatively lucky times. OK, they’re not perfect, but you know what, most of us aren’t living in a situation where there’s no water left, there’s an army surrounding us and there’s nowhere to flee. To me, that gives us a responsibility to try and make the future better; not to repeat the mistakes of the past.
I won’t comment on the mistakes that our leaders may or may not make.
And, for all the Aussies - Happy Anzac Day for Friday. I hope that you're able to attend a service if you choose to.
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