Three years ago, CN, MO, MT and HY sang and recorded RF’s “My Wish” as part of my “farewell pack”. I remember how it made me smile and cry when I viewed it immediately on my flight to Shanghai; the passenger beside me must have given me strange stares.
Fast forward to today, I have to say, that JT’s rendition of the same song heightened my appreciation of it, to whole ‘nother level; this song seems to fit almost every other occasion, as long as it’s presented to someone you love. Every wedding seems to have a tear-jerker moment and I think for JT+WS’s wedding, it was the groom’s brother and best man belting out his wish for his newly-married brother and new sister-in-law.
In all my years of knowing JT, I’ve never seen him cry, or even display emotions so publicly. For him to express himself in such a heartfelt manner today, the occasion and sentiment must have moved him tremendously. While two strangers can forge a friendship tougher than steel, there is nothing like a bond between two real brothers. I say that as I juxtapose my friendship with LK against the Tay brothers; just when I thought, “Well, this is about as tight as brothers could be…”, the two of them demonstrated “Phileos” at a level that I’d never get to experience simply because I do not have a brother as a sibling. I will never forget their scene of embrace today – it made me want to have two sons so that they could do the same for each other. Even typing this post-wedding reflection stirs up some emotion within me.
As I’ve told him personally after the special item, I thought this was JT’s most impactful and memorable performance – and it couldn’t have come at a better time than his elder brother’s wedding. What a powerful message of brotherhood, in a literal sense!
But more than anything, more than anything/ My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to/ Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small/ You never need to carry more than you can hold/ And while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to/ I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too/ Yeah, this, is my wish.
Once again, heartiest congratulations to JT+WS and a great big pat on the back for JT. I’m most grateful for being able to play a part in it as one of the groomsmen and as an emcee, and I can’t wait to welcome the lovely couple to Ghim Moh. I also can’t wait to engage the “Chorister” at a much deeper level; I’m greedy – I want to progress in my friendship with both JTs. It was a beautiful wedding and I’m sure all who turned up would concur.
Majority of us tend to think that there are two general groups of people – the leaders and the followers. While that may be true to an extent, I’d like to believe that there also people who embrace leadership and those who shun leadership, or better phrased as, those who love to lead and those who hate to lead. Most of those who love to lead are usually leaders but there are also those who hate to lead in leadership. I’m worried about the latter category. I enjoy leadership and I’m confident that I’m a good leader; I’m thankful for the many leadership opportunities and exposures that I’ve had. The following are seven common struggles I notice about emerging, outdated or unwilling leaders.
The first is when you lead without relationship. The scarier thing about that is when you lead thinking you have relationship. Bad leaders are those who are blind, but the worst leaders are those who don’t even realise that their eyes are unopened! It is imperative that you know the people whom you are leading, regardless of where you’re placed as a leader. Failure to care for your people usually results in a failure to achieve your leadership objectives.
Secondly, it’s common for some to lead with constant criticism or prolonged periods without encouragement. Perhaps you could take this time, right now, to send your leader a note of encouragement. A simple, “Press on!” or “Keep it up!” or even, “Praying for you!” makes a world of difference. And if you’re the leader who’s discouraged, then I’d recommend that you find a person you trust and to confide in him or her. Sometimes it’s really tough to lead from the front, and weakened leaders end up herding people instead of guiding them – be aware of this symptom.
Thirdly, there’re some who lead without vision. Regardless of where you’re serving as a leader, you must also remember to receive your vision from the leader above you. It’s dangerous when you start to stray from the original vision; when there are two visions, there is division. Once you know where you are heading, it’s important to always put your vision in front of those whom you are leading; every once in a while, you must remind them of their purpose and their responsibilities, as well as the end point.
It’s getting late and I’m getting tired; I need to prepare for JT’s wedding, as well as to get to bed early, since my Saturday will begin in a few hours at 5:30am. I shall resume this entry at the close of tomorrow. For now, do you agree with me on the first three so far? Do share your thoughts with me – I’d love to hear your perspectives.
Most of you know that my best friend got married today. And since I was their best man, I had the honour of giving a speech. I say that it is an honour because they have given me 10-15 minutes of the most significant and important event of their lives thus far. Thinking about it humbles me greatly. Well, regarding the speech, I enjoyed delivering it and honestly, I thought it was well-delivered; people were kind and generous with their encouragement and that gave me a huge boost too. More importantly, I thought I managed to nail what I had intended to say to the couple, and more specifically to LK.
I think there were two lines in the speech that seem to have caught everyone’s attention and so for the sake of downloading it to my digital memory, I shall share it here.
“… This is the best friend who has given me the privilege to be his best man; and I actually think that I can be his best man because first and foremost, he has been and is the best man in my life…”
“… There’s an old wedding joke about rings; before the wedding – engagement ring; during the wedding – wedding ring; after the wedding – suffering. Well, I have my own version. I’m praying that the two of them would be enduring, restoring, and since this speech is for the groom, maybe a few more diamond rings…”
I knocked out at 2:30am, got up at 6am and spent the entire day playing the role of a personal assistant and time-keeper for LK. I’m comprehensively exhausted. On hindsight, after being involved with so many weddings, this wedding is one that would definitely be closest to my heart – simply because it’s my best friend’s wedding; as I watched the event unfold, I found myself nearly in tears as I prayed in my seat and gave thanks to God for the work that He’s done with the two of them. I shall conclude this short post with a poem I wrote nearly a decade ago, specially for newlyweds.
By Joey Asher Tan
Before me stands a beautiful bride;
Her groom gleams in radiant pride.
A big day, a grand day,
A wonderful day; it is today.
Smiles aplenty, hugs and kisses,
Both enter a stage where one turns a missus.
Unaware what lies before them,
Tests and trials and even small exams.
But one thing I know that will shine through:
It is, “Our love for me and you”.
I say a prayer for them right now,
That God turns all their frowns to smiles.
Beautiful bride, submit to your man;
And may the man stick to God’s plans.
You haven’t married a person you could live with;
You’ve married a person you couldn’t live without.
May God bless you and keep your home,
Now that you’ve found your matrimonial dome.
And now I see a beautiful wife,
Her husband revels in glorious pride.
Please allow me to get all sentimental with LK as I await with bated breath the end of his bachelorhood. Although the picture below was taken at my fourth 21st birthday cum farewell party, it’s quite appropriately used now – only this time, I bid him farewell.
What more can I say about LK? He is a true friend who allows me to have total freedom to be myself; he’s someone whom I trust and love and have every confidence that the feeling is mutual. Being best friends for over a decade certainly reinforces the steel in our friendship. While I observe everyone’s “best friend” filtering in and out of their lives in the various stages of life, I thank God that I’m able to say that I have the same one.
I love you, bro, from the bottom of my heart. You better honour your word – we have to keep up with our monthly hangouts! Finally, heartiest and most heartfelt congratulations to you two and may you and JQ bring glory to God through your marriage!
2010 seems to be the year for weddings. Last Saturday I knew of four couples who got married; I was invited to three but I could only attend one. Two of my closest brothers are getting married within the next three weeks. I attended a wedding earlier this year and there’s gonna be one at the year-end. Maybe even two, if the other one takes place.
I’ve been privileged enough to be involved in significant roles for quite a few weddings so far; I’m typically either the emcee, worship leader, wedding singer or one of the brothers. Last Saturday, I had the honour of singing the march-in as well as the end-of-evening songs for my closest friend from my Ngee Ann days, JC, and her husband HH. This Sunday, I will have the honour of playing the role of best man for my best friend, LK.
Weddings are lovely events to be a part of and there’s nothing more precious than to be invited to contribute to the couple’s matrimony. I thought it’d be nice to compile a list of songs which I’ve performed before, or think would work, for a wedding.
1. Flying Without Wings. I sang this for J+H’s march-in, at their request. It was beautiful and as I got acquainted with the meaningful song lyrics, I understood why this song was so special to the two of them. Check it out here.
2. I Could Not Ask For More. I didn’t sing this for X-C’s wedding but it remains, to this day, the most “epic” wedding song. But it’s a song already performed before and so I probably won’t sing it at my own wedding. Check it out here.
3. Maybe Tomorrow. I’ve always acclaimed the poetic masterclass of its lyrics as well as how catchy its music is, and if not for how the vocalist has such a crazy-high-pitch-Chris-Cabrera voice, I’d have performed it long ago. Check it out here.
4. What A Difference A Day Made. I got hooked to this classy jazz item when I performed it with JT at the R-AGE 10th Anniversary Dinner Gala. I also performed it with DH at X+C’s wedding and it really fit the occasion. Check it out here.
5. Because You Loved Me. All right, what’s a compilation without mentioning a diva? There’s a reason why this topped charts and won a Grammy. Check it out here.
6. When I’m 64. DH introduced this Beatles classic to me. I can’t remember when we performed it, but I remember how his mum danced to it! Check it out here.
7. Two Is Better Than One. This was the solemnisation song for X+C’s wedding and I saw how it unfolded. DH and I performed it at Rhema Conference last year. Indeed, it’s true, that two is indeed better than one. Check it out here.
8. 我又初恋了. With the permission of HY, I shared this song idea to X+C and it worked out great as a march-in – fun, energetic and happy. Check it out here.
9. Cinderella. I think that there isn’t a better song than this to capture the bond between a father and his daughter. What a moving scene! Check it out here.
10. 1, 2, 3, 4. DH and I performed it for the first time at the Blackmarket gig and it was because HY told me she liked it. I think it’d work pretty well during a wedding too. Sweet and cute – it’s got puppy love written all over it. Check it out here.
I refuse to include the cheesy titles and I don’t want to offend anyone who’s used them in their wedding, proposal or is intending to use them so I shall not list the titles. Of course I have more titles in my head, but I won’t release them because I’m saving it for my own wedding. So yes, this isn’t my real list, of course. I couldn’t possibly let everything out of the bag, could I? I’ve got to keep some tricks hidden up my sleeves, right? (:
I won’t have sufficient time to write properly tonight as I’ll be with the boys tormenting LK on his buck’s night. I was just telling BL (whom I met for lunch), that LK will either thank me for such a great job planning this memorable evening or regret making his best friend his best man for his wedding. Tonight is going to be legendary evening that will live on in brotherhood folklore; I can’t wait to execute the tricks up my sleeves together with JT1, JT2, JW and ML. I’m in the business of creating memories! (Actually, I’m going the extra mile only because he has been my best mate for nearly half my life.)
So for today’s entry, I’ve found this two-year-old note lying amongst my facebook notes and I think it’s quite a poignant read, now that I’m finally back and settled in Singapore. I’ll share it here. By the way, do remember to participate in my centenary giveaway!
Air thoughts at the airport
Friday, 10 October 2008 @ 16:13
The all-too-familiar Singlish of my fellow passengers surrounds me as I sit at Gate D87, waiting to board the plane. Like me, a good number of people are also at their laptops, doing work. I have to churn out the company budget for 2009 to while I’m on the plane as I plan to submit it tonight. What really drives me on is that the earlier I complete it, the earlier I can indulge myself with Naruto. HAHA! But seriously, the less outstanding work I have means the more work-free my holiday would be. I do not want to suffer the same fate as my colleague who went back to Singapore just before I did – hounded by calls from the company everyday. That must have been absolutely annoying on a vacation.
I have appointments lined up, hmm, more like packed-to-the-brim, during my time back home. It’s quite scary how I do it but strangely enough I enjoy being loaded with activities. It’s almost deja vu; at the same time last year, I was frantically meeting up with people from all over to say my goodbyes, averaging 4-5 appointments a day; it’s no different this time. Huiyi thinks I’m crazy. Sometimes I think I am crazy too but I think at the end of the trip I will look back and be glad that I’ve actually gone on an appointment frenzy.
I really miss hawker food – good, cheap, fast. I remember a friend telling me that between the three adjectives, you can only choose two. Things that are good and fast will not be cheap, etc. Hawker food is the answer.
More and more people of all nationalities are starting to congregate even as I write this note. I look forward to the many embraces that I will receive from and give to my friends, especially the affection from my family and my girlfriend. Somehow, this trip back – my fourth in a year – is the one that was most hastily arranged but yet the one that I am most anticipating. I guess spontaneity always puts me at the edge of my seat.
Oh, and I have to mention this. I had a total of four checked-in baggages but only one belonged to me. (Thanks, Kurk, for the very snazzy black Samsonite!) The other three baggages are: a snare drum which I helped Jenn to buy, a bag for my grandmother, and a bag for Aunty Coreen; these two bags are such a contrast from my overall public image – it’s a Tiger Beer and a Chan Brothers bag for pete’s sake! That’s certainly 100% yucks. HAHA. Well, it doesn’t matter. The total baggage weighed 37kg! That’s the SAME WEIGHT as when I first got to Shanghai! Thank God the airport folks closed one (and possibly two) eye(s) on this! And to think it’s actually quite a full flight makes me all the more grateful.
In retrospect, it’s coming to a year in Shanghai and in that year, I’ve learnt so much. Well, I can’t possibly write down the things I’ve learnt in one paragraph so don’t expect it to be published here! I believe I’ve matured spiritually, grown wiser in my character and gained valuable work experience over here. I believe I experience many things others do not; for example, my friends in Singapore are dying to head out of Singapore for a vacation and yet I’m dying to head back to my home country for a holiday. Nothing beats home – absolutely nothing. Oh I’m so convinced that It’s a gonna be a good homecoming. The fourth, and the best one yet, I’m sure.
Yes, I’m coming home.