One knows what one knows. Nobody else may know the truth. In the darkness and stillness of the night, our souls know the singular and complete truth of who and what we are. One may not like the truth. One may not want to accept the fact. One may go to extreme lengths to live in a world divorced from reality. In every circumstance, the truth lives on.
Along the way, perceptions twist themselves around all aspects of life. In the multiracial community of Singapore, stereotypes, caricatures, perceptions play out in incredible ways. This is an unusual community where Hindu festivals like fire walking exist in harmony with Easter celebrations and Ramadan fasts. The rich, poor, powerless, and powerful share Orchard Road (Singapore's equivalent of Chicago's Miracle Mile and New York's SoHo combined) and the majority of all Singaporeans say that their favorite place for eating out is a hawker stand. Tailored clothes are readily available yet pricy readymade clothes with prestige labels still sell well.
In Singapore, many manage how others see them – new money mixing with old, the haves with the have not. As I watch the interplay unfolding, I find myself caught in a scene that is forever changing in increasingly predictable ways. Individuals need to belong, even when they do not. Individuals thirst to be in relationship, even when they are not helpful or healthy. Individuals need to believe that they acceptable, even when the criteria conflicts with their soul's values and priorities. Sometimes the attempts are obvious; on other occasions, the deception will fool even the most street-smart individual.
This is not the first time someone has played out two lives. In an old story, “a man named Ananias-his wife, Sapphira, conniving in this with him-sold a piece of land, secretly kept part of the price for himself, and then brought the rest to the apostles and made an offering of it.” (Acts 5.1, 2) They thought nobody knew. It did not matter. They knew the truth in their souls. Today if we look inside, we do as well.
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