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The Marks Of Revolutionary Leadership

The Marks Of Revolutionary Leadership

As I observed PM Lee Hsien Loong during the National Day Rally (NDR) 2019, I can’t help being inspired by him again.

He manifested what I called the six disciplines of revolutionary leadership.

1. Envisioning – Having An Electrifying Vision

The revolutionary leader realises that if people do not know what he believes in and where he is going to, they will never follow him.
PM Lee is part of one of the few if not the only team of leaders that plans more than 20 years in advance.

From Project Jewel, Terminal 5, to the new port, he plans to leave behind a better Singapore even as he continues to “plant more trees to provide a better shade for the next generation.”

He wants to ensure that our children and our children’s children can expand and fulfil their potential, optimize their performance, and achieve their desired pursuits.

They will be able to achieve even greater dreams to change Singapore and the world at large.

2. Exemplifying – Setting The Right Example.

Before changing and leading the team, a revolutionary leader changes and leads himself first. He seeks to be the leader that others would want to follow.

He earns trust and respect by walking his talk.

By delivering on his promises, he earns the right to lead.

More importantly, he has demonstrated by his leadership, performance and lifestyle that he is a leader who is worthy of our respect.

3. Enrolling – Developing An Effective Team

The revolutionary leader believes that the quality of his performance and results depend on the quality of his followers and teamwork.

Therefore, he proactively recruits the right number of the right people with the right talents to be a part of his team.

He develops them in the right way and cultivates the right team dynamics to fulfil an inspirational vision.

As I studied PM Lee’s team of leaders, I have to say that by any international standards, it is a great team of talents.

They have the commitment, character, competence and compassion to make Singapore one of the most admired countries in the world.

4. Empowering – Enabling Teammates To Fulfil The Vision

The revolutionary leader subscribes to a ‘Leader build Leaders…’ model.

As he exemplifies great leadership, he also helps his teammates to become great leaders and in turn they develop more and better leaders.

PM Lee has been building upon one of the most effective leadership succession models in running a country.

As Singaporeans, we should be thankful that few countries in the world have a more vigorous system in selecting, developing and strengthening its leaders.

5. Encouraging – Inspiring and Motivating Your Team Mates

The revolutionary leader has a servant’s heart – seeking to serve and not to be served.

He has a spirit of humility and values people above himself.

He keeps the fire burning by inspiring commitment and performance.

As a leader, he believes that if he doesn’t have a heart to love and serve his people, he doesn’t deserve and qualify to be a leader.

Throughout his speech, PM Lee gave credit to individuals, communities and the state, all of whose constituencies are important and vital in building our nation. He was generous in praising fellow colleagues and ordinary persons on the street.

What touched my heart was his clarion call to ensure that nobody who does his part will be left behind in the future.

There will be a stronger social safety net for all Singaporeans, including children, elderly persons, and needy families.

6. Excelling – Taking Your Team Unrelentingly To Higher Levels

The revolutionary leader is open to creatively take apart the organisation, and examine and redesign it so as to capitalise on new opportunities in a fast-changing landscape.

The ability and agility to reinvent the organisation to meet changing expectations will determine its winning edge in the new economy.

PM Lee reminded Singapore about the rapid change and uncertainty caused by major trends in the world. He challenged us to change our mindset, aim high, and adopt a new strategic direction so as to enhance our well being, advantage and growth.

Under PM Lee and his team’s leadership, I have faith that our shining red dot can only grow from strength to strength.

I am proud to be a Singaporean and a part of the Singapore Story.

Majulah Singapura!

Go4It!

I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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Protest Like Hong Kongers?

Protest Like Hong Kongers?

I would rather have the freedom to value-add and contribute to the growth of the country than the freedom to destroy the economy and society.

I would rather have the freedom to speak responsibly than the freedom to stop others from traveling properly in public transportation and private vehicles.

I would rather have the freedom to act honourably than the freedom to harass passers-by, the elderly, women, tourists, and the police.

I would rather have the freedom to volunteer for initiatives to take our people forward than the freedom to prevent others from going to work and running their businesses properly.

I would rather have the freedom to live in a society that abides by law and order than the freedom to destroy public and private belongings.

I would rather have the freedom to move around the country safely than the freedom to cause frustrations, anger and fear.

I would rather have the freedom to speak up against the authorities and propose solutions than the freedom to insist that they abide by our expectations and aspirations.

I would rather have the freedom to engage in appropriate dialogues and consultations than the freedom to blindly adopt western-style democracy without any details on how to make that system work in our unique culture and society.

I would rather have the freedom to help my own country than the freedom to ask foreign countries to interfere with and influence the governance of my country.

I would rather have the freedom to transform a piece of rock, with hardly any natural resources, into a liveable and lovable country than the freedom to destroy peace and progress.

https://www.quora.com/When-will-Singaporeans-learn-to-protest-like-Hong-Kongers-Why-do-they-tolerate-the-PAP-for-so-long/answer/Patrick-Liew-5?ch=10&share=17e90f44&srid=uL2Gz

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By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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How Then Should Businesses Respond To An Economic Downturn?

How Then Should Businesses Respond To An Economic Downturn?

While it’s important for the government to prepare for a possible downturn, it’s equally important for enterprises and workers to also prepare for potentially challenges in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA).

For one, they should not allow such challenges to stop them from developing a growth-oriented mindset and pursuing improvements, otherwise a self fulfilling prophesy will set in and cause them to go downhill.

They should not lose sight of the ball, and overreact, and unwittingly weaken their businesses.

While there are virtues in cost-cutting and belt tightening measures, these measures might affect their capacities and capabilities to respond to challenges and grow their businesses.

They should constantly ask themselves:

What are tomorrow’s problems they should start resolving from today?

What are tomorrow’s opportunities they should start capitalizing upon from today?

They should look at how to capitalize on silver lining in every dark cloud.

Proactively identity markets that are unserved and under-served, or can be better served by new and better offerings.

Exploit new needs, gaps, markets, businesses and opportunities that will rise with every change of the economic and business cycles.

Business is not just about expanding market size but also about enhancing market share.

Therefore, a soft market is an opportune time to strengthen competitive edge, and capitalize on competitors’ fear and passiveness to expand and deepen stakes in the market.

While it’s not easy to preempt, prevent and respond to potential challenges, that should not stop entrepreneurs from building an ever-improving and more sustainable business model.

Develop an adaptable organization with able and agile talents that will respond to every challenge and take their organizations to a higher level.

Expand their business offerings and pioneer new markets, businesses, and opportunities.

Every downturn is also a strategic opportunity to redesign the business model, reinvigorate corporate culture, re-skill the workforce, and reengineer the operation to improve productivity and results.

It bodes well to prepare for a downturn during an upturn and prepare for an upturn during a downturn.

Go4It!

I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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What Now For Hong Kong?

What Now For Hong Kong?

As somebody who loves Hong Kong and who is a great admirer of the Hong Kong spirit, it saddens me to see the protest continuing and escalating to a dangerous level.

It started with criticism of the proposed extradition law and since then, it has evolved to include other demands and become increasingly violent.

If the situation is not resolved, major stakeholders may become more and more entrenched with and defensive of their views.

They may have an increasing tendency to look inwards rather than for common interests and aspirations.

The resulting drift in misunderstanding can potentially exacerbate tension and cause even more extreme conflicts and violence.

There’s a possibility that they may withdraw from positive interactions and even stop responding to any call or initiative for a durable solution if their demands are not met.

Trust and respect may fall further apart.

The looming concern with the growing tension is that there may be a possibility of miscalculation and misfire.

If there’s no major initiative to calm and reset the situation, I fear lives may be lost and Hongkongers may become so polarized and divided that its societal fabric may not return to its original or a better condition.

History has shown that a simple disagreement can snowball to become a major and protracted civil unrest.

If that happens, Hong Kong may eventually lose its well-regarded position in the global community and its unique edge as a gateway of international trade and commerce.

In the face of such a challenge, leaders on national level as well as on every level in society have to step in and lead a whole-of-society, including whole-of-government approach to resolve the situation and take Hong Kong to a higher level.

1. Clear Communication

First, the buck has to stop on Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s table.

Strangely enough, she and her team have not been the most proactive in standing up together to take full ownership of the growing challenge and propose a solution to resolve the protest and take Hong Kong forward.

They seem to allow the ensuing problems to run their course, and hope that these problems will subside naturally or be resolved by interventions from other forces.

Carrie Lam has already admitted that there was a breakdown in communication.

As a start, instead of pronouncing that the proposed extradition bill is “dead” and leaving key questions unanswered, including concerns about whether the bill will be revived, she should formally withdraw the bill.

At some point in the future, even if another extradition bill is required, it’ll probably not be crafted in the same way.

2. Community Leaders

Carrie Lam and her team should rope in leaders who are credible, objective, neutral, and respected in their communities, especially those with expertise in mediation and conflict resolution, to advise them and help them craft a roadmap to break the current impasse and develop immediate and sustainable solutions.

These leaders may not volunteer themselves unless they are invited to help address the issues.

They understand their communities and are in a better position to communicate with them.

In addition, they can command attention and clarify important matters that can contribute to conflict resolution.

And help major stakeholders find common grounds, bridge gaps, and develop agreements to achieve peace and progress.

3. Key Stakeholders

The Hong Kong government should identify and engage key stakeholders who are either involved with the protest or have a stake in wanting the protest to come to a peaceful and proper end.

It should also involve leaders with different experiences, disciplines, and perspectives to study the related political, economic and social challenges, and help craft policies and action plans.

The government should ensure that these key stakeholders are largely representative of the Hong Kong population, and as diverse as its people.

This is not the easiest task, but to nip the problem at its bud, they need to enrol leaders who can help the government understand the heartbeats of different communities.

Together with community leaders, these key stakeholders can help develop and implement a plan to overcome major roadblocks and achieve durable solutions.

By working in conjunction with credible leaders from different quarters of society, the Hong Kong government can build up the requisite credibility and consensus to effect deep and constructive changes.

In addition, the collective decision-making process can be potentially used to engage those who feel disenfranchised and also help them in the healing process.

It can help to build bridges with past adversaries and solicit their help in eradicating past divides.

And establishing policies, plans and practices that can be better embraced by related communities and people.

4. Law Enforcement Officers

From videos posted on the Internet, it would seem like the police and other law enforcement officers either did not have proper plans to respond to the protesters, or they did not carry out their plans properly on different occasions.

There seem to be a lack of proper rules of engagement and coordinated measures to de-escalate tension.

Law enforcement should always be carried out and seen to be carried out, as part of a wider solution and be perceived to be so by members of the public.

Otherwise it would be hard to promote faith in the law if enforcement of the law is not seen to be conducted in an appropriate way.

Case in point, while the police were firing a series of tear gas to disperse protesters in Sheung Wan, a more dangerous incident was happening in Yuen Long.

Thugs in white T-shirts were attacking not only the protesters with sticks and iron rods.

They were also attacking anybody who crossed their paths, including commuters on train, bystanders and even journalists covering the protest.

To date, the police has yet to provide a detailed report of its investigation of the thugs and the incident.

5. Media Relations

The Hong Kong government should have a crisis response plan with clear strategies on its response to the protest, and the response should correspond with realities on the ground.

The plan should be carried out from the start of the protest, and regular updates should be provided to both mainstream and alternative media, including social media in the course of the unfolding situation.

Otherwise, in the new normal (or abnormal being the new normal), social media can exert a great influence on the public and turn many against the government.

A video clip that portrays only part of an incident can go viral and be played repeatedly until it becomes widely accepted as representative of the situation.

Such misinformation can incite negative emotions and further exacerbate problems on the ground.

Hence, it’s important that competent personnel be assigned to monitor the media, including social media, and to correct misinformation and provide the appropriate information and perspectives.

The quality of the message and how it’s being communicated can play an important part to reduce tension during the protest, prevent deeper social unrest, and implement positive solutions.

It can also improve confidence in law enforcement as well as trust on the government in general, and strengthen process of working together as a people in the future.

Therefore, the government should have a clear, concerted and coherent strategy to maintain and improve interaction with appropriate community leaders, key stakeholders and professional bodies, including associations, societies, and non-governmental organizations.

Regular updates should also be provided to key individuals, groups and organizations.

Such communication should include not only appeals for assistance in conflict resolution but also for help in educating the public.

6. Trust Level

The protest and demands of the demonstrators in Hong Kong are but symptoms of a bigger problem.

One of the root causes of the unhappiness is Hongkongers’ lack of trust on their political leaders in both Hong Kong and mainland China.

A poll conducted by The Chinese University of Hong Kong showed that 65.7 per cent of Cantonese-speaking residents aged 15 to 29 were either very dissatisfied or not quite satisfied with the performance of the government. 63 per cent of respondents expressed distrust with the government.

To make matters worse, it’s quite possible that there are dark forces from within and without Hong Kong that are instigating unhappiness, unrest and upheavals.

Political leaders of Hong Kong and China have to start winning hearts and minds, and earning the trust, respect, affection and loyalty of Hongkongers.

They have to demonstrate and be seen to demonstrate their integrity, honesty, and willingness to understand the needs of Hongkongers and to show concretely that they care for them.

They need to improve their service standards to earn public trust.

Engage their people in a series of dialogues and address a number of long-standing issues in the economy and society that are both related to and beyond the demands of the protesters.

Embrace different points of views and show respect to the people who express them regardless of the government’s position or issues at hand.

If need be, key political leaders may need to apologize to Hongkongers for any major oversight and mishandling of key issues.

While the apology may be perceived to be a sign of weakness, it can have a cathartic effect to help start a conversation to restore society to good order.

As an aside, the erosion of trust level is not only happening in Hong Kong but also across many developed countries in the world.

In the words of Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, “The basic problem, across a wide range of nations, is the loss of trust in either governments or markets to deliver broad-based prosperity, and to give people a fair chance in life, a fair crack at success. And this loss of trust in the system has been compounded by an equally evident loss of a sense of togetherness in society.”

7. Roots Of The Problem

A major protest doesn’t happen in a vacuum, and as a stand-alone incident.

Carrie Lam and her administration should study roots of the erosion of trust and widespread angst and anger.

By defining the heart of the problems and contributing factors that triggered the protest, and framing these issues properly, it will help to improve communication with the general populace.

Show to them that their leaders understand the depths of their concerns and in doing so, increase their confidence and trust levels.

As one of the most liberal and open societies in the world, Hong Kong is subject to the vagaries of a largely laissez-faire economy.

Many are concerned about the downsides of globalization and disruptive forces of advanced technology.

There are growing bread-and-butter challenges in terms of wages, employment, cost of living, housing, poverty, the environment, and an aging population.

The Hong Kong government will need to restructure its economy, including land reforms to help improve the livelihood and lifestyles of its people.

Case in point, the government will need to break the oligopolistic hold of private developers in the housing market.

According to a study conducted by Demographia – an urban planning policy consultancy in 2019, Hong Kong is world’s most expensive housing market for 9th straight year.

In the same study, it was reported that it would take an average of 21 years for a family to save enough money, without spending a single dollar, to own a home in Hong Kong.

Over time, Hong Kong has to diversify its economy so that it’ll not be overly-dependent on mainland China.

Upgrade its workforce, develop high value-added enterprises and industries, open new markets, and move up the value chain to progress and succeed in the new economy.

8. Strengthening Governance

The protest does not have to be a stumbling block, but a stepping stone to build a more efficacious, effective and efficient government.

Research in crisis management shows that the test of crisis can demonstrate the leadership, values, and operational capabilities of an organization.

Therefore, Carrie Lam and her team should adopt a learning orientation, improve their leadership and teamwork as well as improve quality and standards of governance.

They should continue to demonstrate their commitment to reach out to both protesters and other Hongkongers, and to develop stable, secure and sustainable solutions.

In the process of dealing with the protesters, they should be able to uncover and address weaknesses, and to strengthen the organizational structure, systems and processes.

https://www.scmp.com/video/hong-kong/3022294/flash-mob-protests-fan-out-across-hong-kong

Go4It!

I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg

Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net

Follow me on:
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Visit my Inspiration blog at https://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at https://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/

Let’s connect on instagram.com/patrickliewsg
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Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

Enough Is Enough! – It’s Time To Stop Gun Violence!

Enough Is Enough! – It’s Time To Stop Gun Violence!

I felt very sad to read about another senseless shooting and killing in the U.S.

As a retired soldier in the reservist, I like to think few people know the dangers and harms of firearms better than soldiers.

As a fellow human, I once wrote my 2-cent worth of suggestion to the Big Chief in the U.S. but I’m not sure he has the time to read it.

The U.S. has the highest rate of gun violence in the world.

The sad truth is that this problem cannot be totally eradicated because the right to bear arms is enshrined in the US Constitution.

According to research from Harvard and Northeastern universities, there are about 265 million privately-owned guns.

It is almost impossible to change the Constitution, and confiscate or remove the guns from at-risk owners.

Having said that, the authorities can treat guns as a social problem.

Subject to the laws in every state, perhaps there are ways to cope with and address such a real and potential social problem.

1. Prevention

The authorities should ensure that guns are sold to the right people.

There should be a background check of buyers to ensure that guns do not fall into wrong hands.

If there are any doubts, they should monitor the purpose for buying the gun and its usage.

Restrict sales of guns, types of guns, and quantity of guns to buyers.

2. Conditions

Licensed vendors can maintain a detailed register of those owners, including means to contact them, and ways to seek their cooperation for safety and security purposes.

Establish conditions on how they should carry their guns, including concealing them in public places.

3. Protection

Law enforcement forces, families and counselors should be given options to restrain suspicious people from owning a firearm.

Those forces should be able to confiscate the weapons from them and prevent them from owning and using the weapons.

They should have the power to order owners to surrender their firearms.

And apply stringent restraining orders to stop them from not only owning a gun but also from accessing and using a gun.

4. Education

People of influence, including community leaders, teachers, doctors, and counselors should be roped in to educate the people from young about risks and dangers of owning a gun.

There should be a training program to ensure that owners know how to control themselves and secure their guns properly, including how to keep guns out of the hands of children and others.

5. Technology

Technological tools can be used to enhance protection and safety levels of guns.

For example, biometrics can be used to ensure that guns can only be activated and used by owners.

It can also prevent accidental shootings when guns are in the wrong hands.

6. Comprehensive Approach

The National Rifle Association and manufacturers of firearms may deliberately, unwittingly or carelessly be some of the roadblocks to positive changes.

The authorities should take a multi-thrust approach to persuade them to come to the table to resolve a longstanding problem.

Key stakeholders from the public, private and people sectors should take a concerted approach to prevent or reduce gun violence.

For example, fundings should be raised to conduct research on gun violence, including causes and preventions of gun violence.

With support of proper evidence, they can carry out necessary changes, such as revising the Protection of Lawful Commmerce in Arms.

This is an Act that prevents victims of gun violence from civil claims against the gun manufacturers.

Such an Act may not compel manufacturers to help promote safety in sales and use of firearms, and prevent gun violence.

Consumers can also be encouraged to adopt positive changes and reform the industry through bottom-up and peer-to-peer initiatives.

Every life lost through gun violence is one life too many, and it should compel everybody to reflect about gun violence and do something about it.

It is the responsibility of every human to proactively push for the necessary changes to prevent gun violence.

Otherwise, the innocent’s blood is on his or her hands.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/08/03/active-shooting-el-paso-walmart-area-police/1909957001/

Go4It!

I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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Should we allow foreigners to meddle with our country’s affairs?

Should we allow foreigners to meddle with our country’s affairs?

Many leaders in Hong Kong have said that the recent protests were influenced and supported by foreign forces.

If true, it’s not surprising because throughout history, we have seen how foreign entities have influenced different countries and caused major damages to them.

These countries include countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

In a highly interconnected world and with advanced technology, dark forces both within the country and without can influence Singapore in a more major and yet, subtle way, and cause major effects on our country and progress.

For example, advanced data analytics was used by Cambridge Analytica to influence US voters for the benefit of Republican candidate Donald Trump.

https://www.google.com.sg/amp/s/mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKBN1KL2FG

https://www.google.com.sg/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/22/cambridge-analytica-scandal-the-biggest-revelations-so-far

In addition, results of ongoing investigations by the United States government suggests that Russia had also manipulated voters’ opinions and influence outcomes of the 2016 presidential election.

Can interference by foreign entities affect Singapore negatively?

Case in point, in recent times, there were many fake news from overseas about relations between Singapore and China.

Despite clarifications by our authorities and local press, there were many Singaporeans who choose to believe the anti-Singapore side of the story.

They have not only formed a position based on third party’s opinions, they were also persuading others to tarnish our foreign policy and affect our image.

Many of the emotionally-charged responses to these fake news were beset with more lies, half truths, and other misinformation.

http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/3-myths-about-spore-china-ties

As a general rule of thumb, we should never let foreign entities interfere directly or indirectly with our domestic affairs because it may affect our country, society and future.

Our country’s affairs include our political system, government, policies and laws, and how we run our country, and other material aspects of our country and people.

As an aside, there is a world of difference between interfering with domestic affairs, to foreign investments and contributions.

Obviously, we should continue to solicit and approve essential foreign direct investments to strengthen our economy.

Invite and allow foreign entities and foreigners to help improve our assets, knowledge, skills, connections and other resources.

And welcome them to research about us, and share their knowledge and expertise with us.

However, they should not take any initiative to influence our culture, belief, values, governance, political system, and direction.

We should stand firm, and be vigilant.

Adopt measures to prevent foreign entities from using their funds and various initiatives to mould us according to their image.

We cannot let them take direct or indirect action, financially or otherwise to shape our future.

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3020829/former-hong-kong-leader-tung-chee-hwa-accuses-united-states

Go4It!

I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg

Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net

Follow me on:
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My Wish For Singapore

My Wish For Singapore

My wish for Singapore is that Singapore will become a global HQ for trade and commerce, and other vital services.

By becoming a Global Hub and making the world our hinterland and marketplace, we can go beyond our physical size and other constraints.

In doing so, Singaporeans can maximize their potential.

Cultivate the necessary knowledge and skills, and rise up to fulfill their passions and dreams.

To make this dream come true, we must continue to build on our country, and give back to society.

Together, we must create more initiatives to build on the “One United People” spirit, and to strengthen families and communities.

Develop a home where we will have a deeper sense of rootedness and belonging.

Help to take care of each other, and especially the last, the least, the lonely, and the lost among us.

And hold on to a deeper belief that it’s in our Little Bright Red Dot that we can find purpose for living, happiness and fulfillment.

We will build on our “gotong royong” spirit by pioneering more bottom-up and peer-to-peer initiatives.

Encourage more partnerships between the public, private and people sectors, and encourage key stakeholders to connect, collaborate and co-create solutions for our communities and society.

As a people, we will have the self-efficacy, capacity and capability to battle all odds.

And do our part to make Singapore a livable and lovable place, and the best home for ourselves.

Go4It!

I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!