Thursday, August 18, 2011

Vice President of NUSBS 2010/2011


That's me. Vice President of NUSBS 2010/2011. This is the last 2 days of my term. 2 days before AGM. Now I am beginning year 4 of my undergrad life, and yet I still remember the sweet memories of attending my first NUSBS AGM back in 2008 when I was a freshman.

One of the things I do not like is that most of the posts have no competition, and yet we still have to vote. I even remembered that I asked so many questions to the candidates who were running. And was a bit annoyed at having to reintroduce my name, faculty and year before asking it. One of the questions was: why are year one people not allowed to run for MC?

I guess I didn't noticed Carmen back then. It was late.... very very late..... I was getting hungry and do not want to miss the last bus. It might be that when it was her time, I was a bit frustrated and was not concentrating on the event anymore. It turns out that she was the only year 1 who ran that year. I was just too busy feeling sad and sorry for myself to notice that. Well there were lots of things I think I could have done better, chosen better, cause it will affect the rest of my life.

Why did I missed matric fair? Or else I would had joined in NUSBS earlier..... why did I choose Friday night IS in SPS? Or else I would had attended the whole Welcome Tea, instead of bolting off after paying the $5 membership fee. Then after Welcome Tea it was AGM. And it will be too late to apply for a position now. Well, I didn't asked myself why did I go to Vietnam for IPhO instead of joining in Camp Ehi Passikho...... Nope, silver medal was worth it.

Ok, back to the story. I then wanted to be close with the 30th MC. I had gone for almost every Dharma Circle on Friday night if not all, changing my IS timing in order to do that. I've tried to join in as much BS activities that I find to be free, interesting, and when I am free.

That time, I had Monday nights of classes (SPS), then that ruled out Discovering Buddhism and MDC (both on Mondays), and then there is the Tuesdays Meditation course which is not free, but a Wednesday Meditation interest group which is (I've joined this, or tried to come). And Saturday mornings Welfare visit. Well, having waking up late (after a Dharma Circle, I usually go back to SPS to hang around until very late), and needing to travel outside (money....) I don't go for that one.... not much....

Well, came INCOVAR, I decided to increase more Buddhism in my life, wanting to attend every single activity we have. And during the first Camp Ehi Passikho in East Coast Park...... there was a prep talk by the 30th MCs to the subcoms (including me), briefing about the positions, and the roles that they need to fulfil. Someone jokingly asked me to run for President. I was thinking of only Dharma Director. Then Jacinta said: "maybe next year lah". And then... Carmen, who's the same year as me.... got to become the president, and I got to become the Deputy Dharma Director.

Well, seeing another round of "not much choices" by the voters and the President role only having one candidate.... I was frustrated again. And determined to aim for that post.

I had rescheduled Discovering Buddhism to Thursdays, tried to reopen the closed downed... Meditation Interest Group...Got the Meditation Course which moved to Wednesday, got forced to join in because I'm organising it.....Still going very little for Welfare Visit....or none at all.... joined in MDC finally.... oh and generally, joined in 4 of 5 weekly activities, making me one of the most, if not the most, active member (MC or otherwise) in the society.

One hard long year.....had passed, I've managed to survived, and had a generally bad time in the MC. However each and every activity charged me up... I've experienced becoming a novice, and even joined-organised a retreat! I do like being in the activities a lot.... despite being only me, alone, most of the time. I do like to go out to represent NUSBS too... a lot.

A bad time in the MC, mainly because we were all overworked, I didn't know how to utilise subcoms more efficiently, and I didn't get to be considered as potential President material.

I was aiming for Dharma Director..... again.... then comes a lot of various stuffs, I wanted to quit.... then came other various conditions..... and I came back.... to want to become the President or Vice President.

Eventually, it was decided that I become the Vice President...... I gave up the Pres. for wanting to stay away from Singapore for the whole 3 months of holiday... for summer research.

Well, that year, I ran for President, and Vice President. I wanted a competition, a choice for the voters to make. (Although I keep on telling people not to vote for me as president, and there was only Wai Kit and me running for these two positions, and... I made a speech that does not suit the occasion, talking to bridge the gap between the mindset of having Dharma/fellowship balance, which I saw them arising hand in hand due to people attending activities regularly).

Then I got in. During an intimate sharing session where no words uttered there goes beyond the walls of the temple we had MC retreat in.... I shared the above.

And what happened next.... was that I got to do a lot of things that I wanted to do..... helping to do the President job for a lot of the time, since Wai Kit was so busy with lots of other stuffs. Taking up any job I like and do it the way I like....... utilise and engage the subcoms to much greater and deeper levels than ever before, giving out and distributing jobs to people....

And no one distributed much of any jobs to me.... cause I volunteered for almost everything. Almost all TIBS involvement, all weekly events, etc..... and there really was not any need to give a job to me.... I find them.

One of the things I'm very very glad of was that Wai Kit passing me the president email to take care of for 2-3 weeks during the December holidays when he went to Thailand and India for Buddhism in Asia trip. I felt.... honoured.

I did not get MIT, Caltech and other Universities' Summer research Programme. So having thinking that.... well, it is likely that I'll have a long summer break.... I started to let go..... of the feeling that I didn't get to be the President of NUSBS and yet didn't managed to get to go for Summer research anyway.

Then came London. And I had started to push a lot of the jobs I used to do to Wai Kit.... making him work more and more.... more than me..... I see that as my way of making him deserving of the position that he holds. And right now, I feel, he is a very very good and capable President!

And then I came back from London.... it is all almost over now. Well, as a last wish come true, I got to be the presenter for Prezi Presentation of NUSBS at the Welcome Tea. Something that Carmen did last year.

Just today.... earlier today.... I was in a bus, with Rong En... asking him if he is running for President at Astronomy Society.

He said no. I asked why.

The reply is that Vice President lets you do what you want to do. Not everyone turns to you for what to do and you're not in the spotlight all the time.

I immediately reciprocated well, and finally realised that.... I do not need to be a President. I've gotten what I wanted, and more. I've gotten 14 spiritual friends, 14 special people whom I shall appreciate and treasure... as the whole of the holy life.

Success is getting what you want, happiness is wanting what you get. I'm not successful, I'm happy.

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