Monday, 19 May 2003

interesting people

i'm constantly intrigued by the fascinating people i come across in my life (both online and off) when i least expect to, more so since i have just been talking quite a bit in my earlier posts about the joy of meeting and talking to strangers.

for example, just today, i got to know this genius 19-year old guy Eric Chen who was featured in Sunday Life! (Nov 24 2002). Eric suffers from this autism-related condition called Asperger Syndrome which makes him socially awkward and slightly peculiar in his mannerisms. However, unlike the majority with Asperger's who are mentally retarded, he is intellectually gifted and loves philosophy, science fiction and thinking about the meaning of life. He describes himself as "belonging to all religions" and has pretty strong views about topics that a lot of us have not even ever pondered on, such as the failure of the Singapore education system, and the role of the state in a global world. Shortly after meeting him, he left me with photocopies of two somewhat lengthy articles he had written on these topics as well as another on a new Phonetic System he has invented to help people to learn languages.

on his website, i also found the following rewritten version of our national anthem:

The Next Civilization
We the citizens of the universe
Pledge ourselves as one united people
Regardless of species, traditions, or core beliefs
To build a meaningful civilization
Based on awareness and compassion
So as to achieve joyfulness, evolution and empathy for all lifeforms

- Inspired by the Singapore National Pledge

pretty amazing stuff.. i think the world certainly needs more of such people, who are willing to spend time thinking and talking about things that really matter..

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