Suicidal cats, the British Council and prodigal daughters!!

Just got back from a meeting with the British Council. They had organised a presentation given by Tommy Hutchinson who does i genius, a social networking place for people with social enterprise businesses, projects or ideas, and Markus Dietrich who is director of Asian Social Enterprise Incubator which funds social enterprise projects. Hopefully we can get a few good ideas and discuss certain funding perhaps given the current projects of ASCF and idas in the pipeline 🙂 Was a very business type meeting with business cards and lots of fancy stuff in a more casual environment – Starbucks. Many of you may know me for being pretty anti-corporate and so Starbucks is not a place I’m immediately comfortable in but I have to say at the end of it I was a lot more relaxed and may even call it a good experience :p some interesting leads and possibilities. However I did have a hot chocolate, their largest size, and so am full of caffeine right now which, for me, makes me really spaced out and unable to focus well so we’ll see how this post goes :p

Now, the night before we had a suicidal cat. Distantly there was a feint meow and when we finally investigated it properly I looked out of my window to see our cat up the bamboo tree. We figured later that the only possibility for the cat to get there was by jumping/falling off the roof and landing in it, which it was stuck in for a good couple of hours minimum. There was a stray cat underneath, in the garden, looking at Tomi (our cat) and meowing to get attention too, which was cute. So, we grabbed a pair of ladders, rested them against the fence and went up and got the cat, which was soooo scared, out of the tree. Because it was so scared it clung so tight to me that my body ended up with so many scratches and marks, also caused by the bamboo… but they’ve healed now and Tomi’s well so everything’s good now.

Probably the biggest news though is that a girl who Craig basically raised when she was younger has come to the house! She had no father around as a child and Craig was the mid-wife at her birth (long story) and she stayed in his house, with her mother who was the maid at the time, and she always called him papa and he always treated her as a daughter. Craig picked me up after I went to the gym (which I’m beginning to get my beautiful body back from as I’m sure you’ll all appreciate) and there was a girl in the back, late teens or early twenties and Craig asked me later to check what her name was – it was such a shock he couldn’t believe it was her! He remembers her when she was 12 years old, now she’s grown up, an adult and is so different. So, they’re catching up – though the story appears to be she was mistreated by others, spent some time on the streets, and needs a little help – as well as potentially being a great help around the house and with other things so there’s opportunity here too.

I’ll write again soon, but my eyes are about to collapse into a caffeine-induced coma… I should not be drinking caffeine… even just a cup of tea or coffee knocks me out for a good while and I need a nap to recover… stupid metabolism :p

Finally, I think I’ll restart my thought for the days… in the theme of the British council meeting, where social entrepreneurs were talking about how seeing problems as opportunities is the way to become lucrative and create opportunities, I’ve recently been reading a book by Paul Brand (the dude who basically cured leprosy) and Philip Yancey, about pain, pain: the gift nobody wants. It’s interesting to note how many of us define our morality and ethics in terms of avoiding pain, but if we take that to the next step, avoiding all pain (as in utilitarian thought) it’s comparable to leprosy – without pain many will get infections which can only get worse. If they twist an ankle they will not feel any pain and when they walk on it the weight bears down, snaps the bones until there is nothing left but a stub for feet (Paul Brand’s words not mine – paraphrased). The overall point so far, it seems, is that pain is not only necessary as a function, to heal our bodies and teach us about our environment, but it is also something to be treasured at times (within the right context) – that our culture fears pain and avoids it at all cost, but that only suppresses healthy reactions to certain painful events, particularly emotional and psychologically disturbing events. Pain is not only necessary for healing, but is necessary for developing our characters, so I recommend that book to you all. Thought for the day then, what if we treated pain as a learning experience? treated problems as the opportunities for learning and growth? Because the truly great people have only achieved that greatness through some form of struggle and pain…

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One thought on “Suicidal cats, the British Council and prodigal daughters!!

  1. karina October 1, 2010 / 14:34

    I can’t believe you actually went to Starbucks, and had a big hot chocolate?! no way Roy. I still remember you rejected our invitation once in Singapore when we asked you to come to Starbucks with us. You said, “Starbucks is evil!” and because of that I ended up deciding not going to Starbucks. Haha… Silly Roy!

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