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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Bucky Group 13a - Ecological Patterns

This is the Sunday session of the Bucky Group, which is at MacRitchie Reservoir in Singapore. The Saturday sessions are held at Joo Hock's hair salon.

We continued our reading of Bucky's book, "Utopia or Oblivion". In today's page, it talked about man's travel patterns within his lifetime and that it has increased exponentially in recent years. This ecological pattern has to be noted as it implies an increase output of CO2 in the air, as most of our transport operates on fossil fuels.

There are some responsible individuals these days, who now take stock of their carbon footprint (the amount of CO2 emission they are responsible for) and buy carbon credits to offset their usage. Soon after some discussions about carbon credit and a short story from Joo Hock, the session ended.

This Sunday's discussion was very short. I don't know why. Maybe because everyone was feeling hungry. The Bucky Group tend to attract members who love food. Amid the discussion to decide where to go for our breakfast, I was fascinated that they were still using archaic and quaint terms like '4th Mile(stone)' or '7th Mile(stone)' to describe the locations!!! Milestones are literally stone markings established by the British surveyors to measure how far a place is away from the city of Singapore. That was long time ago and rarely anyone use these terms any more. So, I was witnessing oral history. :) Nowadays, common landmarks used are shopping centres and MRT (subway) stations.

Actually, the highlight of the day was a parable (totally unrelated to 'ecological patterns') told by Chao Loy. It went like this:

"Long ago in China, there was a man who left his wife to another city to work. Time flies and soon he worked for the boss for 20 years. Then, he decided that it is enough and wanted to return home to his wife. So, he told his boss that he will be going home for good. His boss agreed, but said that he has two options:

Option one is to take all his money and return home.

Option two is that he will not take his money but the boss will give him three advices.

The man thought for a while and bravely decided to take option 2 because his boss has taken good care of him for 20 years and that his three advices must surely be more valuable than his own savings.

The boss' three advices are:

1. Do not take short cuts

2. When you encounter commotions that does not affect you, mind your own business.

3. When you encounter a nasty incident, don't jump to conclusion, but leave it a day or two before approaching the person for an explanation.

Then before he left, the boss gave him a bread bun and told him to share eat it when he gets home.

So off he walked home to his village. Halfway, he met someone who told him of a short cut to his village. He was tempted to take it, but remembered the boss' advice and decided to take the long way. This saved him, as there were robbers along the short cut and he would have been mugged or killed.

Then as night falls, he checked into a hotel. Then in the middle of the night, he heard screams and was about to go out to find out what was happening, but remembered the boss' second advice and decided to mind his own business. The next morning, he realised that everyone was dead, as the hotelier's son went amok and chopped everyone dead with a chopper. Relieved, he moved on to continue his journey.

Soon, he reached home, but in a distance, he saw the wife with another man. This other man also stayed over for a night. The man was furious, but decided not to confront his wife as he remembered the boss' third advice. The next morning, the man was more calm and asked the wife who the other man was, and was relieved to know that that man is his son.

The man then remembered about the bread that the boss gave and took it out to eat it together with his wife and son. Then as he break the bread into pieces, he realised, hidden in the bread was his money that he had chosen to leave behind in exchange for the three good advices."


What do you think is the moral of the story here?

We had lots of debates over it!!!


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