Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

Shoes: draft 1.1

We all know which story those slippers belong to. And that they were made by a fairy godmother, not Jimmy Choo! Talk about exclusivity!

So Cinderella wore those slippers to a party and…partied. That’s not the happy ending though! Then she forgot to remember her midnight curfew and ran all the way to her pumpkin-shaped cab in a bid to get home in time, leaving a glass slipper behind. Oops!

Well, that glass slipper was lost, but found by the Prince Charming she met at the party. Now he had her shoe size number instead of her cell phone number!

There was only one thing left to do: comb the country for the chick whose dainty foot could fit into that slipper.

Too many chicks tried to mould their foot to the slipper, but alas, didn’t their momma ever tell them feet are like their destiny? They can’t be changed. You can’t diet to make your feet smaller, or change the arch of your foot, can you?

That’s why Cinderella’s feet were like her destiny’s blueprint…or should I say, footprint!

Anyway, lets cut to the chase. The chase for the Prince’s Mystery Girl ended with Cinderella because wouldn’t you know it? The slipper fit perfectly!

Because it was her destiny. It was written, not in the stars, but in her shoe size and shoe shape!

Shoes help people get to their destination, and so fulfill their destiny.

I suppose we could choose to go the distance without shoes, but why risk getting blisters, abrasions, cuts and dirt between your toes?

Shoes protect our feet.

I once went to a club spontaneously, so I also looked unprepared. Not only was I in a tank top and denim skirt, my footwear was more appropriate for Newton Circus than a club. I was wearing slippers! Now slippers expose more of your foot than heels do because they allow your feet to be splayed out, whereas heels tip them at an angle. Well it turned out the club was really crowded that night and there was a rather…prosperous-looking…girl dancing vigorously near me. She was so caught up in dancing that she nailed her 3-inch stiletto heel into the arch of my foot! Ouch! The pain was so excruciating that I almost fainted. I also had an unsightly blood clot on the foot for the following month!

Now I know why club dress codes don’t allow slippers. Maybe it’s for protection!

Sure, I was still alive, but did I have to go through that pain? I didn’t.

All I needed was the right pair of shoes!

Shoes allow us to go through rougher terrain. If you wore a pair of slippers, you could still walk through a thick rainforest, although perhaps not down a steep slope. For that, you might need boots that wrap around your feet more closely, offer more support and protect you from falling.

The point is, that as situations become more precarious, the more we need shoes that offer protection. Just as in times life feels out of control, the more we need God for protection.

The right shoes allow us to go where we’ve never gone before. They allow us to push our limits so we can be the best we can be, in the same way that a bow stretched to its limit can send its arrow flying fastest, strongest and furthest.

Shoes pad our feet.

They make the journey comfortable and smooth. Whereas protection keeps our feet intect, padding makes walking easier.

Padding in shoes helps smoothen the ride for life’s journey by offering a comfort mechanism. Imagine running down a rocky hill in heels. That would be extremely uncomfortable! Running shoes would have been far more appropriate because they mould to the surface of the rocky ground, as well as the curvature of your foot. They absorb the impact when your feet strike the ground, and even when the road is rocky and leads downhill, you are cushioned and stable.

And stability is always such comfort.

Shoes give us posture.

Now posture isn’t just how you stand, it’s also how you carry yourself in the day to day. Like the lifestyle you lead. The things you say and do. How you treat your friends and family.

These are the things that, like posture, can be observed from afar.

Remember how shoes are what people notice over time? Well, even though the shoes themselves take a little longer to be seen, there are times when the effects of those shoes can be immediately seen.

I mean, you could be wearing a figure-flattering Yves Saint Laurent dress and picture perfect make-up but if you wear shoes in the wrong size, or shoes of lousy quality, your posture is completely thrown off.

Unfortunately, posture is one of the things that can be identified from a distance!

It’s not just bad posture that gets you bad publicity. Wearing the wrong shoes also throws you into a foul, foul mood!

New shoes always command a glamorous debut, don’t they?

Mix new unseasoned shoes with a night out clubbing. Stir well.

It was a recipe for disaster. Instead of dancing for hours on end, it wasn’t long before my feet hurt too much to have a good time. All I wanted was to sit down and go home, and that put me in a horrible mood. Sitting down as my friends danced, they also had to keep looking over their shoulder to see if I was alright. My posture slouched as the night went on, and it became clear that wearing the wrong shoes showed on my face. By the end of the night, I certainly didn’t feel as attractive as I should have, or thought I would have. If I had worn the right shoes, I would have had the right posture. All ingredients for a good night out.

As track captain I spontaneously decided to run to the Botanic Gardens for a warm-up run. It seemed like a refreshing change from mindless rounds around the track. At the end of the run, we stopped by a sprawling tree to rest for a bit and toss a Frisbee around. What could go wrong at 2 p.m, in the afternoon? Apparently, a lot. Without warning, the tree crashed into the ground, crushing one of my team mates, who later suffered a slipped disc. At that moment, all the birds that were perching on the tree bolted, creating a dark cloud of birds scrambling for safety. The sky was completely black, and the atmosphere, ominous.

The tree fell because it was internally rotting. It could not stand any longer as much as it looked perfectly fine on the outside.

The lesson I took away from this is: No matter how good we may look on the outside, it doesn’t say the same for the inside. How many times have we worn uncomfortable shoes because we’d rather look good than feel at ease? It’s like a short-term high we get from looking good, but the repercussions are felt afterwards in blisters, sore feet, aching calves and even our spines. The right shoes don’t give us the same short-term high of looking good. We get a consistent, long-lasting high that doesn’t have any negative repercussions on ourselves. Wearing the right shoes is like walking with God: there aren’t any negative repercussions to be dealt with!

The funny thing a lot of us are blind to is that the best high we can get is easily available. One of my old boyfriend’s mom bought me a pair of Calvin Klein heels as a gift. They were in white suede and incredibly comfortable…yet I never dared to wear them for fear of damaging them. So I left them in my wardrobe for years even though they were the best pair of shoes I owned.

Many years later I retrieved the shoes from my wardrobe, but they had yellowed and aged to the point where I could not wear them out anymore. That was then I realized I should not have been afraid to wear them, especially when they were a gift. I was bestowed with the best yet I couldn’t recognize it.  

(Lesson learnt: Don’t settle for second best and leave the best in their closet.)

The truth is we’re all looking for something bigger, something better, and something completely absolutely totally phenomenal. What else drives these things that take over our lives? Like fetishes, astrology, tarot cards…things that people are so inclined to be religious about.

But there is a difference between being religious and being a Christian.

Being religious means living your lives under the dictatorship of astrology, and tarot cards, and letting your religion take over your life choices, in the case where a shoe fetish can be taken so far as to lift the limits on your shoe shopping limit.

Being a Christian means living your life […]

Comfort is also assurance, which I believe comes through God’s guiding your steps.

After the first few days of Secondary One, I was reading my Orientation booklet and plucking flower petals doing a “he loves me, he loves me not” check…while walking home! Needless to say, it was a failed experiment in multi-tasking. I walked straight into a manhole and landed on my backpack. When I shouted for help, it fell only to deaf ears. So I climbed my way out, just before some workers sealed up the manhole. God led me out of there just in time!

It was only after going to the doctor’s that I learnt even more about how God guided my steps. People who fall into manholes usually fall face forward and crash their heads on the rim of the manhole. Also, with the manhole 180 feet deep, I was blessed to have my backpack cushion the fall, or I would have had a concussion.

God guided my steps all the way to the doctor’s, where I learnt that if I had postponed a trip to the doctor’s I would have had to amputate my leg. God guided me back to safety.

Why do girls go for pedicures? The feeling of someone washing, cleaning our feet always gets us feeling regal and refreshed.

It is these three P’s: protection, padding and posture that reconcile us with God’s plan. Acknowledgment of this plan helps us to leave it in God’s hands, and therefore, obtain inner peace. With this quiet fortitude we can take our strides of conviction with power to achieve our purpose. With God powering us, we must remember that we are nothing and God is everything.

Protection can also come in the form of direction. After all, how do we know how to direct our path? It’s only when there’s enough light to see where we are going. Or so we can avoid bumping into things or tripping over potholes. This, in a way, also pads you from danger- it helps make the path smooth.

How do we seek direction from God?

Well, my parents hadn’t visited my brother and I in Canada in years. As much as they wanted to, the Christmas period was too expensive to take a flight out, so they planned a holiday to Phuket instead. A few days before leaving for Phuket, my mom did quiet time, and then went to check her e-mail and saw tickets to Canada at half the price! They decided to forgo the Phuket trip and head for Canada.

As it turned out, it wasn’t just a chance to go to Canada. It was the Christmas that the Tsunami hit Phuket, and the beachside hotel that was worst hit was also the hotel my family had intended to stay at. God found us a way out of Phuket, and a way out of danger.

My friend Tim works for the Singapore Tourism Board, and was posted to Mumbai on a mission to promote tourism in Singapore. He and his team usually have dinner in the hotel, but the one night they decided to have dinner outside the confines of the hotel was the very night the shootings in Mumbai took place. It was a very close shave, but yet another example of God direction to safety.

The lesson we can take away from these incidents is that consciously or subconsciously, God arranges the turn of events to lead us to safety. He is like a little compass in us that points us in the right direction.

So much has been said about arriving at a destination using that little compass that’s been tuned in to God’s radio frequency. Yet sometimes when the destination dawns on us, it may not always be what we were looking for to begin with! After falling into a manhole, I was out of action for a few weeks…and out of luck for a place on the netball team. The destination God pointed in was the track team. Many years on, although my track career wasn’t completely illustrious, I understand that my experiences in the track team served more as a training ground for life than for running races.

Injuries, accidents, dedication, pre-race fear…all these have added up to life stories that…??? [not sure if there’s one specific story or takeaway you’d like to highlight]

So while it’s important to have a goal, it’s also important to recognize what lessons you can pick up. Eyes on the lessons is often more rewarding than eyes on the prize, because the prize can change, or you may no longer like the prize ten years from now. The lessons, however, are always valuable. So always keep an open mind and be ready for God to intervene in the course of your journey: let go and let God!

It’s not about knowing everything but more about trusting that He knows everything



Shoes can accelerate achieving your purpose. You can last longer. Be more comfortable.

Correct positioning: on guard, firmer.

Toe jam

Protection: a friend that never leaves you

God’s ways are different from Man’s ways. Need to find out how God works and understand his language. The journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step in the right direction. Ask God for the right direction. Accomplish your purpose in an accelerated way.

Padding: Shoulder to cry on at all times

What you want to reap in the physical must be met in the spiritual. à accountability.

What is done in private will be revealed in public one day. Judo master who trains his moves. When the time comes he can rise to the challenge. Training, putting through fire.

How do parents teach spirituality?

OVERLY COVERED shoes, material is too thick. In winter that’s good, but not in tropical country like Singapore. Same thing goes for spirituality. Different measures for different people. Too heavy and your feet can’t breathe. Toe jam. Spirituality brought to a halt cos shoes are too heavy and too uncomfortable. A hindrance to walk. Troublesome, cumbersome.

We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.

 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe quotes


Little compass inside: LIGHT OF THE WORLD, salt of the earth


Good parents go beyond basics of parenting, going one level deeper

God, the father, the HS, -- fatherless generation these days (divorce rates), no fatherly figure, even if they have a dad in the house,usually at work not at home. Or if at home, tired. Dads aren’t just peripheral. Both mom and dad are important. Very important that parents introduce God (heavenly dad) in our life. Even if dad was there in a good family, cant compare to the heavenly dad who is omnipresent and Heavenly dad has holy spirit and Jesus . spiritual side will never leave them. Fatherless homes drop ot of home, poverty, children out of wedlock, etc (higher probability). Dad à model , stability to follow. Sometimes moms can step up. Poor models easily replaced but without a good model, sheep beget sheep- generation after gen will be same. Son wont know how to be a dad.


Walking with one leg in circles


How to teach your child to know God:

-          How are clouds formed? Just looking at nature you know how small you are in relation to the rest of the world, how God is so precise and good at planning, how amazing nature is, and how we can’t control nature

-          If the stuff we can see is great what about the stuff we can’t see?

-          10^-7 is the visible spectrum: where white light is spread out. There is so much power in the stuff we can’t see. When you increase the wavelengths: you cant see sound, at different frequencies you can hear sound as music, look at microwaves you cant see the waves but you can see the power of it. You cant see it but you can see the power behind it.

-          Sometimes you cant see God but you can see him in a lot of things . so acknowledge that you’re really small. A lot of us don’t acknowledge what we can see.

-          Basically to help put the world in the right perspective. Show us the wonder of the world and therefore the wonder of God.

-          God: like a lifeline that you have to call and you can always call for help

-          Let your child know he can have a friend like this, just need to call.  Can go through who wants to be a millionaire, but you might not stay as long, get out a lot faster!


Tops chapter draft 1.1

What do you do when the weather gets cold?

You cross you arms and rub them for warmth. You reach for a cardigan or a sweater.

Tops are so important to keep us warm. After all, you rarely see people reaching for leg warmers or sweats when they’re cold, do you?

So we instinctively see tops as providers of protection and warmth.

Protection and warmth. That sounds like receiving hugs! After all, hugs wrap around us just like tops do: on the top part of our bodies!

But what else is significant about hugs? They’re an expression of love. They tell us, “You may not have been the fastest runner on the track but I’m mighty proud of you, kid!”

Affirmations like this keep us going, they spur us on to be the best we can be. Just as tops keep us warm and protected so our heart can keep beating strong, and keep us going!

Without hugs and without love, we’d be emotionally bare…or to be more precise, emotionally naked. Just as without tops we’d be physically naked.

And when we’re naked, we’ll need to get some clothes! So we’ll do it the way girls know best. Shopping!

The reality is that us kids are shopping everyday. We go to school, we watch TV, we hang out at the shopping mall with our friends. And every moment presents us with the shopping decision: to buy or not to buy?

When we go to school and our Health Education teacher tells us, “Eat more vegetables!”, it is our choice to decide whether to buy what she says. Then we watch TV and Rihanna tells us that we can stand under her umbrella ella ella ella eh eh eh, and we decide whether it’s cool or not.

Let’s time travel back to 1999, when Britney Spears invaded our TV screens, teasing and pouting in a midriff-baring top. To many captivated kids (like me!), it was good entertainment. Until I tried twirling my pen restlessly the way she did in the first few seconds of that iconic music video, and singing in the shower to my shower head, to hit me baby one more time!

It wasn’t just good entertainment any more. I had bought into what Britney said and did. All those parents who were infuriated at Britney’s improper conduct were definitely on to something. They knew their kids, like me, were at the risk of being misguided.

They also knew that the people we really needed guidance from were our parents! When we go shopping we don’t have a large budget, just the little pocket money we got from you. So we can’t always buy clothes of good quality.

Just as, if we look for love in other places, we don’t have enough ability to discern what’s right for us, just the little judgment (like pocket money) we got from you. So we can’t always buy into love that’s of good quality nor the love that’s right for us.

Parents can help us to shop with discretion, and condition us to listen and discern what is right for ourselves.

Why all this talk on tops and needing you, our parents, to clothe us as an expression of love and care?

Think back to the last person you met. What did he or she wear?

The answer that first comes to mind is more often than not, the top he or she was wearing.


The garment closest to the face in conversations. The garment most visible when standing or on the go. The garment most observed when seated across someone at your desk, restaurant table, or even across the aisle on the plane! The garment always captured in pictures- and these pictures, like impressions and memories, stay with you for life.

What we wear on top determines what people think of us off the top of their head. Just as, off the top of your head, the first thing you remembered about what someone wore was the top.

It’s not that a conservative top makes you a boring person- that’s an over-the-top interpretation of the tops message! For all you know, it could be your chick’s[1] dazzling smile, orange nails or harmonica skills that people first think of when you come to mind.

The point is that clothes say so much about a person that people automatically judge us by what we wear.  Tops, being the most observable and most memorable garments, play a huge factor in how we are judged. So we need our parents to help us deal with a judgmental world.

Give a girl a pair of jeans and the choice between two tops: the first, a too-skimpy, bareback halter with a plunging neckline; the second, a turquoise tank top with flower appliqués lacing the neckline.

Next, put her at a career fair.

Choosing the first top would indicate to headhunters that she can’t conduct herself appropriately. She looks like she’s headed to the nightclub, not the career fair. Yet for something as seemingly trivial as this, it immediately calls into question her professionalism. Would she dress similarly when meeting business partners?

Because how you do anything is how you do everything.

Choosing the second top might catch the attention of headhunters taken by her flair for style. Her unique top might suggest equal panache in her work- perhaps PowerPoint presentations with bold, attractive designs.

Because how you do anything is how you do everything.

These are the first impressions that determine whether you get the job, which opens the door to a future with many more opportunities. First impressions are that crucial, because…

First impressions count. They help you put one foot in the door.

First impressions last. It’s so hard to be taken seriously when people see you as frivolous, or not cut out for the job.

First impressions are the reminder that we need our parents to help us deal with a judgmental world. A judgmental world that is the result of a media-infested world that bombards how we think. My dad calls the media the “terrorists of our generation”, stripping parents of their influence over their children, and imbuing children with often-misguided values. Our parents need to fight where their children get their influences from, because children are often too young to know better.

So when girls feel the need to clothe themselves, and go shopping on their own, what do they buy?

The revealing top mentioned earlier is often worn in the hopes of bartering flesh for love and acceptance. It’s skimpy, it’s provocative, and most of all, attention grabbing. We can’t doubt that sex sells[2]. You always get more attention when you misbehave than when you behave.

And some people are happy to receive attention even if it’s negative.

Like being gossiped about.

Like being notorious.

Like being seen as easy.

Like being lusted after.

But lust isn’t love.

Love is fulfilling. You end up falling in love with yourself as a result. I have a neighbor, who has a great figure[3], but more importantly, she loved herself. She could pull off low necklines, and even show off some cleavage but it was always very tasteful. Her confidence and poise regulated her behavior and therefore how people saw her.

People never gossiped about her, she wasn’t notorious nor seen as easy, and she wasn’t lusted after. People said she was “hot and elegant”, which doesn’t connote skanky. It’s interesting that another person could wear exactly the same thing and have the same body as hers, but yet could come across as skanky rather than sexy. The difference was that she loved herself, and didn’t seek lust to fulfill any void.

Then there are the girls with the tops that are too loud and too proud- the over-the-top, in-your-face tops! Like a top with the Dior logo printed on every inch. It’s not just the designer namedropping they do with their t-shirts. These people also literally namedrop to flaunt connections with the who’s who. These are the types who drive Ferraris, which are actually on loan. They scream for attention to make sure they are seen, and often the girls wearing them talk just as loudly to be heard.

Once at a club, I saw a girl talking really loudly in a farcical American accent to an American. About an hour later, she was with her friends, and with the American nowhere in sight, the American twang too was nowhere to be heard. Instead, she was talking really loudly in Singlish. Then came the golden moment to top it all off: the same American turned up in front of her, observed her true mannerisms, and left right under her nose.

Sure, there was no mention of the top she wore that night. But tops are what people remember you by. Building on this symbolism, that girl will be remembered as a complete farce by the American and those who observed her (like me!)

These are the girls who act like they’re all that. Deep down inside, they crave acceptance, so they want to look like they are accepted, and like they have it all.

To gain acceptance, they feel the need to prove their worth- like when the girl faked an American accent just to develop rapport with her new friend, or when I saw this lady in Orchard Road decked out in designer garb…and how did I know that? Every item she wore or carried had huge designer logos sprawling everywhere.

On the topic of seeking acceptance, I have a friend, Anita, who isn’t very tall and isn’t very skinny. Basically, she isn’t of model proportions. But she wears the craziest outfits! Hot pink tights, check. Fingerless gloves, check. She even wore furry bedroom slippers to class because she thought they were cute! The verdict? Everyone describes her style in one word: “Fun!” Bad hair day, a random breakout, or putting on weight over the winter? Stuff like this never fazes her because she knows it doesn’t change who she is. And because she’s okay with who she is, then all those things are just life’s way of spicing things up!

Anita’s style can be over-the-top, but her confidence and personality tell you that it’s not a cry for attention. She just likes to have fun dressing up! Most importantly, she embraces that part of herself because she loves herself.

Are we contradicting ourselves? So it’s about loving yourself now, and not the clothes?

No. We’re still on the same track. Loving yourself makes you free to wear almost whatever you like. My neighbor and Anita don’t dress conventionally, but they’re comfortable in their own skin and they wear what they like because it makes them happy, not because they think it will please, impress, or attract someone else.

So what have we covered? Girls who reveal too much skin, or cover their real selves up by namedropping have one thing in common: they crave love and acceptance.

They go shopping for clothes that get them attention, but not real love. Because they’re not quite sure what real love is like.

A child needs to be loved love before giving it away. If she doesn’t have love, she could be giving other things away, which definitely isn’t love because she doesn’t have it. Often it appears that these girls give love away freely thinking…only so they will receive love freely in return—a “give to get” mentality, which isn’t very genuine!

“Love isn’t just what I feel; it is what I do…oftentimes in spite of what I feel” –Holly Wagner (GC, p.69)

Like Holly Wagner points out, love isn’t self-centered! But with the “give to get” mentality, love ultimately becomes self-centered.


Then there’s the other end of the tops spectrum: Sloppy tops[4]. The kind that girls hide under hoping to mask their existence. I like to call this the worm mentality.

These are the girls that feel ugly, and worry that attracting more attention to themselves will in turn attract criticism. So they don’t go shopping for love, don’t wear skimpy tops of flashy tops. In short, they don’t feel like they don’t deserve anything better.

The irony of it all is that baggy clothes attract more negative attention than other clothes because they are so ill fitted. They also reveal rather than conceal a deep insecurity, because these girls cannot take pride in who they are. They assume that this is what they are going to be forever more, and they can’t change it.

What a pity! These three potential pitfalls are reasons why parents need to teach their chick to love herself. More than that, however, parents need to communicate the love properly. In other words, it’s important that you love the child, but it’s more important that the child feels the love.

Let’s make a quick detour from the wardrobe analogy and consider a glass.


For it to be filled, it needs water. Just as for us to be filled, we need love.

If the glass is only half-full (or half-empty!), then when water is taken away to fill other glasses, it would be at the risk of emptying out that glass.

We can’t give away love if we don’t have love.

So the question is, how can we be filled with love? Our parents need first to be full of love, and be our primary source of love. Sure, we get love from Aunt Martha, Uncle Keith, our friends and our pet dog, but you can’t control how much, or what kind of love we get from them.

When we are filled glasses, or filled with love, we have the capacity to fill others, and to love others too! And when you love others, the heartbeat and vibes you give out are those of composure, security and warmth.

Just like hugs. Just like love.

Because actions reflect what’s in the heart. And if the heart is full of love, then the actions are full of love.

You are enabled to love. You are love-able. You are loveable[5].

Even your pet dog proves this to be true. When you feed it, take care of it, clean it, it loves you back, it snuggles against your leg and greets you excitedly when you get home. But if you don’t, you’re as good as a stranger your dog passed by on the street the other day. Guess what? This principle of being loveable (or love-able) applies to human beings too! Little things like lending your classmate a stapler even though she didn’t ask for it, to bigger things like spending the week wheeling your friend around in her wheelchair after she broke her leg, are enough to be loveable. Isn’t that lovely? Pun not intended!

But if you’re hardly full from love, then whatever love you try to give away ends up forced or false- because you can’t give away what you don’t have.


To kids: how do you wish parents showed their love for you? [ask different opinions]

To parents: how did you show your kid love?

[show the gap in responses]

Even if your child is a grown teenager, it isn’t too late to be a better parent if your thoughts have been provoked by this chapter. Take note, however, that a step in a different direction does not immediately negate the direction you used to take. Our memory banks have been filled with your parenting style all these years. So keep walking your talk and keep trying- these are the things that matter to us. Ask for help when you need, apologize just as you expect us to apologize- because breaking down pride breaks down walls between us. Change will not take place over night, but over time.

-          Tops easier to buy for others but not pants.


[1] Daughter’s ?

[2] “Sex sells”

[3] necessary?

[4] Sloppy??

[5] love + able

Monday, February 9, 2009

Chapter One—You are what you wear. By Jacyln Chan

At three years old, your little girl wears whatever you pick out for her.

Fast-forward ten years, and your newly minted teenager begins to curate your contributions to her wardrobe. The frilly pink blouse earns a crinkle in her nose. She'll take the blue skirt…if it wasn't so long.

Growing up comes with growing independence in making choices. And all these choices stem from who your daughter is. For example, an athletic daughter would likely choose a striped cotton t-shirt over a pink chiffon blouse.

This book emphasizes that choices are central to our lives, and to this end, provides a framework for making the right choices.


Among the questions we ask ourselves everyday, "What should I wear today?" is a staple.

Deciding what to wear is significant not only because it is a daily phenomenon. Its significance also lies in mapping our personal trajectory of identity formation and learning independence.

As we grow older, the degree of autonomy in what we wear is matched by the degree to which we are parented. Four year-olds have their mothers bestow little sailor outfits upon them for an 'Under The Sea' birthday party. But sixteen year-olds are granted the independence to pick out a turquoise empire waist dress for an 'Under The Sea' party, as long as it has their parents' stamp of approval.

What starts out as a decision that rests solely in parents' power is gradually shifted into the hands of growing children as they cultivate their own identity and relationships outside of the family.

With this inevitable process in mind, parenting should focus on facilitating decision-making rather than dictating decisions. While the latter only serves to reinforce the parent's lack of understanding towards the child, the former indicates to the child that decision-making can be a shared process. Shared decision-making allows the parent to learn about the child's emerging identity, and provides room for the child to seek advice from the parent. This boosts communication, and thus, the relationship between the parent and child.

The Wardrobe is analogous to a parenting toolbox. Each garment serves a purpose, and so acts as a tool for effective parenting. The significance of this analogy lies in that failing to provide a complete Parenting Wardrobe will leave the child figuratively naked.

Figurative nakedness has serious implications for your child. Besides facing ridicule and rejection from society, your child will feel immensely self-conscious and by extension, insecure about herself. To put an end to figurative nakedness, your child will seek to be clothed by her peers or parental figures- yet these sources can neither provide a complete wardrobe nor quality garments for your child.

To guard against this, a complete Parenting Wardrobe should comprise the following:

  • Hats, which in shielding the head, are therefore symbolic of protecting your child's mind. Through formal education, which imparts logic, cognition, and developing clear arguments, your child's mind is enabled to think independently, and so filter out negative lifestyle choices with mental acumen.

  • Tops, which in packaging the body, and being the garment that garners the most attention, represents personal traits. For it is these personal traits that help your child's identity stand out.

  • Pants, which as a traditional symbol of patriarchy and power, represent personal power in this context. Personal power means power over oneself through self-leadership, self- authority and self-respect, as opposed to power in reversing traditional gender roles in favor of feminism as the analogy may intuitively suggest.

  • Shoes, which pad and protect the feet, aid the pursuit of a journey that may figuratively be laden with sharp objects and rough surfaces.

In this sense, shoes represent spiritual cushioning and protection.

Also, in forming posture, shoes represent a spiritual outlook that determines the confidence with which your child deals with life's curveballs.

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Is formal Education really that important? - by Jacyln Chan

Well not really.

It really depends if the Education was first right for you. It boils down to the fit and the process of discovering what fits. We all know that life is a journey and that the journey is not static nor a destination. It evolves over time. It is the process of finding the right fit that is most important. This is simple to say alright but anything else will be far from the truth.

Formal education in my opinion is like the head gear we put on. Why? Well it differentiates you from afar especially since most Asians have black hair except for those with highlights or coloured hair. Hats help us to be noticed from a far and this is liken to the formal education that we fall back on. The degree and formal qualifications we brag about can be penned down and sent out in our resumes, it can be reflected on the titles on our business cards and these are mediums that we can use to boost our first impressions. However, our qualifications are only assets that help us get into a job thereafter it up to the person to prove his/her self worth through the mechanics of the job function.

Hats are also worn many the times for its practical functionalities. Firstly it protects us from the heat of the blazing sun and secondly it shelters our heads in times of rain. But we all know that in times of intense heat and down pours the hats we wear can only protect us to a certain extent. In times of great calamities without and without a hat, you’ll still get burnt and drenched.

The sun in my perception is representative of the heat from our ‘kiasu’ society. Moms, Dads, government and society alike judge and pressurize us to attain a ‘degree’ as a certificate of achievement. To prove of self worth? Maybe.

The rain symbolizes the unforeseen circumstances that take place. The fall of Lehman Brothers, the 900 staff retrenchment at DBS and the inevitable economic downturn that is approaching are all symbolic of the cloudy skies that loom around us. Yes, a degree will sort of shield or differentiate you from others without a hat but it can only help so much.

So in times of intense heat and torrential rains what we really need most is an umbrella, one that is without holes and one that is big enough to shelter our bodies. I’ll talk about the representation of an umbrella in my next entry.

Coming back to the point of the importance of formal education, is it really that important? Maybe, maybe not?

So the question comes back to why so many people pressure us to get a University Degree? Should we accept this as a given or challenge it and work on what matters most? Hats in my perception are just for show and potential bragging rights. It is a tangible evidence of a certain degree of capability but it doesn’t show the true worth of one’s mental capabilities, creativity, gumption and work ethics. Maybe it does help you get noticed from a far, just like how many people wear hats to add a certain extra flavour to their wardrobe and appeal but it can only shelter or boost your credibility to a certain extent. Once you land yourself in your desired job, the expected dress code or decorum is ‘all hats off’. Hats may get your foot into the door but thereafter it depends on YOU and your true capabilities. Your ability to network strategically, your capabilities to shine and perform and the tenacity to follow through on the tasks assigned. What is most important is the mental capability under the ‘for show’ head gear.

Next, we all know that the times are B.A.D, BAD. All we read about in the news is more BAD BAD BAD news. Guess the media really can’t get enough of it. It’s like a buffet of news that can’t help but be BAD. Horrible!

Especially in these times of uncertainties your competition is escalates. You not only compete with those who were engineered in the school of hard knocks, you are also compete with existing bums or people who have decided to ‘chill out’ and all the people who were just retrenched. These are people with hats too. And some as we all know are people with pretty distinct and credible hats. Look at all the Managing Directors who were recently given the ADIOS AMIGO send off. These are people not only with hats to shout about but also credible working experience.

So again. Is a degree really that important? Maybe? But to me it’s about the ability to prove and follow through on what you preach about.

That’s all for my first entry, I’ll explain what I feel parents can do to build what’s under the hat and the meaning of an umbrella in my next entry. So stay tuned.

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Resolutions? What's that? By Jacyln Chan

Resolutions? What’s that?

A disease?



A thought not worth mentioning?

I’m just kidding. Resolutions hold their weight and are useful. Human beings are t he ones who screw up the goodness of resolutions.

We start the year off on a high thinking that we can do everything. We aim to have a Victoria Secrets model’s body so that we can ‘sex’ up our look or we aim to drive that flashy red Ferrari without a plan on how to get there. However many of these goals are not backed up with a plan on how to achieve them? A lot right?


Resolutions can only bear fruit if the seeds are first planted, watered and watched over carefully day by day. It is a process that requires constant effort, a positive attitude and a die hard spirit.

Same thing goes for the resolutions that are specific to your family. Resolutions to mend certain relationships especially those with your children, require choices.

The book I’m writing, “The Parent the Chick and the Wardrobe.” I emphasize that we are simply an aggregate of all the choices we have make in our life.

~ Choice to watch that extra hour of television

~ Choice of who to hang out with

~ Choice of whether to shower

~ Choice of what to wear

~ Choice what to listen to

~ Choice what to accept as gospel truth…

You get my point…The list goes on and on and on…

However if you don’t like how you are right now…there is still hope! You aren’t condemned and just need to make the right choices and decide to live differently. One significant choice can change your life if you let it.

So choose positively!

Start with making the right choices and start by focusing on the choices you make at home.

To the parents reading this:

Consider this:

~ How’s your communication like at home?

~ Do you love your child? Is it communicated to your child?

~ And most importantly, does your child feel loved?

If I could decide on one resolution for you, I would propose that you make it a point to ensure that you child feels loved. Love is the heartbeat to life and the sources of inspiration and the essence of life. Without a proper infill of love from home, the child will seek to find it outside and this search for love can sometime be at the

According to Gary Chapman, the author of “The 5 love languages”, love is best communicated if spoken in the person’s primary love language.

Here are the 5 love languages that he proposes:

1. Quality Time

2. Words of Affirmation

3. Gifts

4. Acts of Service

5. Physical Touch

Find out what is the primary love language of your child and concentrate of this language in order to communicate your love.


Well, what speaks volumes to you may be meaningless to your child. Make it a point to understand the unique needs of your child. Apply the right principals, learn the right language, and soon you’ll know the profound satisfaction and joy of expressing your love.

Remember your child can only give what they have. Don’t expect them to give love back to you if you can’t even fill them with love.

So please give this some thought. Check out the book and stay tune to more insights from moi

God bless

Article Supplied by the some chick and author of the upcomign book 'The Parent, the Chick, the Wardrobe"

More can be read at www.damnsian.com

2 More things:)

Thought I'll share these interesting pictures that someone sent to my email. Watch out for more in the future.

Some Stuff to think about:

If this is a CEILING MURAL in a smokers' lodge, would YOU STILL WANT TO SMOKE?


For more interesting pictures: Check out what's up in last year's economy comics


The Ugly Judgmental World. By Jacyln Chan

Time and time again we have been victims the judgments of FIRST IMPRESSIONS. Whether the judgments are true or whether we are prepared, they happened all the time.

It is sad but true. The world we live in is filled with wolves. Big ugly bad wolves, small tiny ‘cute’ looking wolves and wolves that look like ‘sheep’. They are all over in different shapes and sizes, race and gender…They are everywhere

So BEWARE!!!!!!!!!!!



Quick to


Criticize and




It seems to me that we live in a world that is retracting back to the animal kingdom. Yes I know that was a very long time ago but isn't it true that human beings are acting more like beasts?

They prey on each other.

Again it is sad but true.

Everyday whatever you like it or not people are judging you.

They give you 3 seconds of their attention and these 3 seconds are not a 'hi' or 'bye' but a stare up and down to see if you are 'worthy' of their conversation or time. They label you as 'naughty or nice', 'cool or un-cool', 'worthy or unworthy'.

They judge that you are a hooker if you are wearing too short shorts or are exposing a little too much cleavage, or label you as a 'worm', if you are in overly baggy clothing or worst still they criticize even when you are perfectly well dressed. They impose their value system on you and pull you down in their minds.

For what?

Well a lot of times it is for their own self-gratification.

Many wolves out there get a kick from someone else’s discouragement. Their spirits get lifted when others are pushed down as everything to them is a competition and race. Why do think the phrase ‘rat race’ came from?







So given all this nonsense and misery what can be done? How can we change the world to a better place?

Well a lot has been done already.

Look at Mother Theresa or Ghundi. They committed their lives to change the world but it is still in chaos and void of love.

Check out Obama and his recent speeches. Everyone is advocating change. But people being people resist change. Why? Maybe it is because they don’t want to get out of their comfort zones…

So given all this, the thing to do is to prepare ourselves from this judgmental world.


Whose responsibility shall it be?

Well in my perception….

It should be the parents.


Well who else can the younger generation learn from? It is either the parents or someone outside the walls of the home. But don't trust those who are outside the home. You could be leaving your child to the teachings of wolves themselves. (Wolves in sheep skins). They may seem nice and all but you can't control what they teach your children. The only thing you can control is how and what you teach your children. It is your responsibility as a parent to do so. So please step up and mentor your children.

Teach them how be clothed with success to fend off the judgments and continue on with their pursuit of success and accomplishment. Teach them to put on the armour of God and equip them with love, prayers and a sound mind.

Guide them to know how to compose themselves and watch their actions and behaviour.

Teach them to be more discerning, highlighting who they can and cannot trust.

This is essential as I learnt it the hard way.

Not because my parents didn’t teach me but because I choose not to listen.

So the next thing is to teach but also make sure they listen and internalise what you are teaching.

Gain their respect first. Walk your talk and garner that respect. Only then will your words and ‘mentorship’ be taken seriously.

More will be discuss in following blog entries and in my book.

God bless

Jacyln Chan

Article Supplied by a chick who is writing a parenting book from a daughter's perspective Publish Post

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