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Love and Gratitude

Nguyen Than Thuy Linh

· 6C

I am sitting on the airplane back to Vietnam.
It is my first time Steven touched my hair as the way a dad usually does towards his child. I am not sure his thoughts on me because he is not a touch person, he did not express so much about how he adores me as Liu Yan does. From the bottom of my heart, by looking into his eyes sparkling full of love and care, I know that he wholeheartedly considers me as a child. They both smiled and hugged me but I smiled in tears shortly after I hugged Liu Yan, as always. It's just too hard to say goodbye to those people who have been an important part of my growing journey through every single minute passing by.

MRT with the team

I learn all the time being next to Steven, Liu Yan and Hai Yen which can be either at work or at breaks or in the traveling time. Their conversations are nothing but full of engaging stories regarding all kinds of topics in life and ranging from family, social events, personal traits to working mindset. They taught me how to look at the available solutions to see what are the successful and failed points in order to design the right solutions to the right problems in particular contexts. The learning process happened when we shared our weekend activities at lunch, when Steven explained the whole foundation of insurance to me at breakfast, and when Liu Yan spent the whole evening having dinner, discussing leadership mindset and partying with me at an Urban dancing event attracted mostly young gangs, when Hai Yen being with me at the park and the enrichment center teaching me constellation of intention and miracles in life. I learn how insurace means to our lives, the coporate thinking, how to feel the music just to be ourselves in the middle of the crowd, how each person takes a certain role in life without any competitive thoughts. We all have values and meanings in life.

Constant discussions between my bosses

How come all of people I meet are such incredibly authentic and caring! They never put any expectation or externally rewards me for a better performance, yet I have such huge intricsic motivation to get the work done without asking for anything. I feel bad sometimes when my articulating skill is not competent enough to be able to express my ideas, I feel bad when I was unable to write the proposal paper appropriate at all which was called a "hodgepodge of ideas and unconnected topics that are not tied together". I am not capabled enough to cover such a task in a board team, therefore, though I am encouraged to go but and the chance to go back is not difficult with Jack's invitation and all's care, the current project of SOG is in need of such key people. In a sense, the team is requiring so much of expertise to work on the very big global program including curriculum design, strategic thinking and discussing, network cooporating and program directing. I know my capacity of doing what in a way I can run around and be involved in small pieces of work. But they are all little puzzels here and there without following any long-term commitment in any professional work scope, I think I want to contribute more to SOG later on. My current self is there at a certain level that can still contribute to a certain extent to SOG, nevertheless, not enough from my perspective. I aspired to play a better role and do better job for myself and for my amazing bosses who have never set any knowlege and age gaps towards a young & humble girl like me. SOG team never see me as a low- performer but a part of their team. They appreciate my small contribution and my apprearance in all of the activities. They are always there for me to turn to in case of wonder, nervousness, fear, uncertainty, amusement, care and love.

My internship is not only about working time-consuming task as the usual internship trend nowadays, it's beyond work and education to me.

They teach me love.
Love is always there. Love is always around us. Why we have to seek love from someone or somewhere? The government love them so much that they create such great infrustructure and everything for Singaporeans. Love is about mutual understanding and listening regardless of different characters. Love is about generative dialogues and collaborative creation for collective growth. Love is blended in the daily exposure to a love culture.

Love is always around us

Love has no limit and no barriers. Love is the language of the universe. Love is a poweful element for intrinsic motivation to make things happen. Love accompanies us on the way to cultivate personal mastery through 6C and active inquiry. Love is simple and meaningful. Love is being and doing as human.

They teach me leadership.
It's not about you or me, it's about the team. A leader must be a good team player to understand our strengths and others' to lead the team accordingly. We might not have the title as a leader, but always consider ourselves as a true leader in all walk of life. A good leader is a good follower but don't ever just be a passive follower. Instead, be courageous to be involved in all kinds of tasks or aspects that we might not be good at so that things will be very flexible and easily led by all members.

Workshop at Playeum

As long as we try to try difficult parts, we will learn along the way, and of course we always have our values. It's just that we should proactively and collaboratively take the work rather than staying inside the comfort zone. The followship and the leadership must consist of both push and force to create balace and initiatives from both sides. A failure of a leader is not giving trust to their team members.

They teach me relationships.
Whatever we do, need to be sensitive to our and others' feelings, mood and thoughts.
We tend to have the expectation on either our partners to change their behaviors to change themselves or changing ourselves to make the partners happy. This behavior usually just make the situation worse. Back to the leadership again, it's not about you or me, it's about this relationship, this team. We should not ask "what can I do to make your better or happier?" It should be "what can I do or speak diffently to make this relationship healthier?" Don't ever expect the conflicts can be solved by asking the partner "Can you change the way of behavior to respect me?" !!! It's so true that this damn question will never work!

Celebration on an important decision of a great leader

The importance is we need the mutual understanding and mutual growth. This can be unwritten regulation towards a common vision in a relationship! Don't say such excuses as "it was not my intention to hurt you... " which is how we often start the conflicts. There is no point shouting at the husband saying that "Why you go home so late, I am so busy for the whole day, dont make me pissed off..." Suspend all negative thoughts and let the partner gradually understand and Mind your words and actions not to throw shits into others. The worst scenario would be your direct involvement into identifying the problem for them as they cant figure out alone.

Tell yourself and your partner: It doesn't deserve to be angry. Don't throw the shit into others because there should not be any shit in the first place...

They teach me self-identity-6C
Liu Yan is a super creative and energetic person. She loves artistic work such as dramma, dancing, designing, and telling stories,etc. She usually attends some interesting events related to diverse topics like environment, dancing, or meditation,etc and she never forgets to invite me along. She spent the entire morning teaching me contact improvisation dance and leadership at the same time. She has so many collections of items since her childhood, the colorful memories of the generation in the non-digitalized time. Liu Yan told me some of her travel experience in India in which everything is very bizarre. We have the common hobby that is travelling alone because we could take the initiative to do everything at our disposal. It's sometimes dangerous to discover some weird places alone as a girl, but it's worth making the most of a short life span.

Horseshoe Crab Rescue voluntary event

Steven takes economics and history very natural as something inborn in his DNA. He might have been struggle with joining some dance classes, but he is excellent at scout team! He likes skateboarding and playing beatbox. He is deeply in love with his religion. He can simplify the complexity to focus on the priority and look at the structure. Steven is the most generous and warmest man I have ever known. We had some times to drink beer, relax, share, and I just kept learning over time. He has been through some tough moments to make tough decisions that everyone more or less has to go through. We have to make a decision eventually. That's life!

Diligent Uncle Steven and Creative Liu Yan

Hai Yen has her special spirual love and spiritual belief that strongly shapes the way I think. She takes life easy after all of the sufferings in the previous phases of life. She loves spending time to be with the Hospice community where people are ready to have peace in mind before the journey to heaven. She loves teaching and coaching youth that's why she could spend hours talking to me everyday on the bus back home. She taught me that each of us has a certain cirlcle of influence and has a certain role in this universe. We don't try to compete with others to pursue something just because of the aspiration to be the winner. What does it mean to defeat someone and have no unconditional self-love?

Graceful lady in Ao dai Vietnam

We had sweet times to share about our personal interests which are so different among all. The similarities are probably the lack of modern materials and the engagement with the community in the past. They are all aligned in terms of being passionate about work, being committed to their doing, and being delicated to their family.

It's all about 6C- Calm, Curiosity, Courage, Compassion, Committment and Collaboration. It's what love is all about.

Deep down in my heart, send my love and gratitude to School of Gumption! New chapter is opening and this chapter is a companion of my growing journey.

Will be there, will be together...!

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