Singapore is an incredible mix of cultures, traditions, and people. I have always wondered why and how they chose to get along as well as they do. While things are never perfect, the level of harmony, respect, and acceptance is a model others would do well to emulate. It turns out that Singapore's approach to others is intentional. It starts with the pledge every kid recites in school each day. “We, the citizens of Singapore, pledge ourselves as one united people, regardless of race, language or religion, to build a democratic society based on justice and equality so as to achieve happiness, prosperity and progress for our nation.” Singapore's culture and approach starts with a clear awareness that transcends individuals and communities.
I wish I could say I was always aware of what I was and am doing. Often I find myself as an agent of confusion, ambassador of self, and a facilitator of evil. I know I am not alone. In one case, “Saul was right there, congratulating the killers.” (Acts 8.1) Even if others join me, our momentum and fellowship cannot provide the rationale that justifies our choices. In the extremes, our choices result in results that cannot be changed. Lives are altered. Relationships are destroyed. Opportunities are lost.
Awareness can be nurtured and strengthened by the following actions. First, I can be intentional. I can commit myself to a goal, destination, and process. It can take the form of a pledge, an internal awareness that I acknowledge and embrace, or the adoption of a creed. Whatever its form, there is a heart and head based purpose that guides my life.
Second, I can make decisions in the context of my intent. Every decision, each choice and action is taken with my values and priorities in mind. They can never be based on a selective process that I can discard at will.
Third, I can seek help from others in order to succeed. I suggest starting with God and including others in God's family. It is one of the best ways to be truly aware.
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