In this post I would like to share with you my thoughts about what matters most to me. Please let me know if you agree with these issues, ideas and things which I consider essential and important. Perhaps you may have other ideas and you may mention them here. The issues which I have described below are ones which affect the world. Watching news programmes and reading newspapers and magazines makes you aware and enraged about the problems which so many people have to face. Travelling as I have done fairly extensively has taught me many lessons about the conditions that many people have to bear. This has made me grateful for what I have in my life. It has made me grateful too for the environment that I am fortunate to enjoy every day.

Peace and Security

It is important to me to be able to live in a country which is peaceful and secure. When I see, as reported in the media, countries like Syria and Iraq subjected to violence and armed attacks every day, I tell myself that I am fortunate not to be living in these countries. When a country is in turmoil, the people in that country cannot go about their daily work and life is at a standstill. Children do not go to school, economic development does not take place and the health and well-being of the people are poorly maintained. Instead there is bloodshed and death. Buildings are ruined and power and water supplies are affected. People fleeing from one area to another, leave behind their homes, their worldly possessions and they are deprived of food. They have little or no money. I believe that we were put in this world to love each other, to learn, to conduct research, to acquire skills and to develop our economies. We were not put here to hate each other, to hurt one another and to cause destruction and chaos. What really matters to me is peace and stability!

Freedom to Move

Living in a safe and secure country enables me to walk about freely at any time of the day and night. I do not have to look over my shoulder and be afraid of being attacked, robbed and physically hurt. I love the freedom to walk about on my own and to see other people going about their daily routine, happy and cheerful. We are fortunate to live in a clean and green environment. What really matters to me then is the freedom that one enjoys from being in a safe environment!

Live the Life That You Want

Together with this freedom of movement that I currently enjoy, I love the freedom that I have to live the kind of life that I want. In some countries people are told that they have to conform to rules, laws and religious practices. Yes, in the country that I live there are rules and laws for us to adhere and adapt to but these are not as difficult or unbearable as those in certain other countries. I believe that it is essential for people to have the right to live their life in their own way. Living in a secular state in which everyone is free to practice their own religion and live in harmony with others is very important. What really matters to me is the freedom to practice your own lifestyle!


Discrimination is another issue which matters to me. I believe that we should not discriminate against others because they are of a different race, religion or class. We should treat everybody in the same way and we should give everybody the same rights and privileges. People with disabilities too, should be accorded the same respect, regard and rights as other people. The elderly should not be discriminated against just because they are old. They should be allowed to work, to stay active and to live their lives happily. Throughout the world, women are discriminated in many ways. There is a gender wage gap, a glass ceiling for women and a lack of leadership positions for women. In some countries women face limited mobility as well. Women should be treated as equals of men. They should have the opportunity to be educated and they should be free to work in all spheres of the economy.

Respect for Women

What matters to me too, is respect for women. People, men women and children, must change their attitude towards women. They must treat women with respect. It upsets me to read, again in the media, of rapes, sexual assaults, spousal abuse and all other forms of violence against women. This happens in both the developing and developed countries. In conflict zones, rape of women and children is increasingly used as a weapon of war. Women are treated like objects and they are beaten, bashed and accorded little or no respect. This has to change.

Before I continue, I would like to share with you a quotation from Pope Francis:

“Human rights are not only violated by terrorism, repression or assassination, but also by unfair economic structures that creates huge inequalities.”


Another issue which really matters to me too is poverty. It is necessary for all of us to work to eradicate poverty in this world. We need to see everyone provided with food to eat, medical aid and opportunities to develop a healthy well-being. Poverty enhances the spread of diseases and prevents widespread immunization. Millions live with hunger and malnourishment because they simply cannot afford to buy enough food. Poverty also prevents a community from improving itself. In poor communities, many are also denied education. We need to build the capacity of women and men to move beyond poverty. They need to acquire the skills, methods, knowledge and leadership required for actions to improve their communities and build better futures for themselves and their children.


I am of the view that people’s happiness is an important matter. People are entitled to be happy. They should be free of worries and anxieties about education, employment and healthcare. They should be taught how to be happy and stress free. What really matters to me is to see people live positively and interact with each other happily. People have a right to happiness. What really matters to me is that people know how to be happy and to achieve this state.


In conclusion, there are many issues and ideas which matter to me. I have just shared some with you. I leave you with a quote from Aung San Suu Kyi,

“Within a system which denies the existence of basic human rights, fear tends to be the order of the day. Fear of imprisonment, fear of torture, fear of death, fear of losing friends, family, property or means of livelihood, fear of poverty, fear of isolation, fear of failure.”


  1. I want to add to “Discrimination”. This pertains to LGBT.

    Why do we still look upon them as different and a majority (according to the government) still discriminates against them.

    We always preach inclusiveness; why can’t they be included as well?

  2. We were not put here to hate each other, to hurt one another and to cause destruction and chaos….and yet we never learnt from the past war – we are still constantly fighting.

    What matters is not to look for results, or profits, or benefits, but to enjoy play, enjoy work, enjoy the things we do…the now and than.

  3. Dear Zaibun,

    Thanks for reminding us how fortunate we are to be living in such a secure environment. It is hardly something that we can take for granted.

    Our basic human rights of peace and security have been well and truly down-trodden all over the world . What we are witnessing in so many countries today is nothing short of barbaric insanity. Your previous postings on mutual respect and communication are fundamental to the securing of peace and security in the world today. Sovereign countries MUST be allowed to develop in a way consistent with their moral, cultural and traditional values. The abiding belief that the “wealthier” countries have some God given right to dictate terms to lesser countries regardless of their own Their insistence on conforming with their sets of values and principles is also inherently wrong. Admittedly, the developing world does have enormous problems. The inequalities and inequities of life seen in these countries following the ouster of their colonial masters are also important causes for unrest the world over. These might seem rather radical views but coming from someone who had to leave Africa (his birth continent) at the end of a Kalashnikov for no reason other than being ethnically non-African, I think I have sound reason for making these comments with some justification too.

    In my view, living in Singapore is almost Utopian when it comes to peace and security. Of course there are deficiencies and complaints but these are akin to a mouse grudging his piece of Camembert rather than a slice of Brie!

    There is an urgent need for the world to strive for a more egalitarian society if it is to make any inroads into the strife that we are witnessing presently.

    We can only hope and pray that leaders of the world will show more respect and concern for one another. We should not let the secure environment in Singapore distract us from the realities in the rest of the world.
    Thank you!

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