I received a text link from a friend today on Dr Catherine Lim’s open letter to PM. While I am aware of Catherine Lim renowned writing skills, I am completely unaware of her defiance against Singapore political scene. Anyway, political discussion is not the intention of either my blog or this article.
It matters more that this incident led to me do a small research on Lim, read her blog and watch a video of her interview. What unfolds for me is Dr Lim’s view on the meaning of life and her ability to live life to the fullest, which prompted me to write this article.
Catherine Lim was born in 1942 - same age as my dad if he is still around. Lim is best known for her best-selling novels and short stories about the local society that is base on traditional Chinese culture. In particular "The Bondmaid" novel sold 75,000 copies worldwide. Lim is regarded as the doyenne of Singapore writers and received several awards and honours in her life.
Legacy of values
Dr Catherine Lim mention in her blog,
“I have always believed that the most important thing in my life is to leave a legacy, not just of material wealth, but of values, not just to my family but to all my readers, in Singapore and the world, for as long as my works are read.”
Her legacy of values includes "of kindness, compassion, tolerance, a sense of humour, a zest for life, a passion for truth, goodness and beauty, and most of all, of always keeping faith with one’s beliefs and convictions, that is, of being one’s authentic self to the very end, warts and all!"
As much as I admire Dr Lim’s views on life, I also adore her non-pretentious and open-mindedness character. She is definitely a person with a “big heart” who is still so active in acquiring new knowledge and pursuing her happiness despite being single and at 72 years of age.
Very often, I will also speak of the greatness of Steve Jobs, Napoleon Bonaparte, Bruce Lee, Muhammad Ali – people I idolized for their legacy, non-pretentious, open and direct character. Upon hearing, my wife asked me “do you really want your life to be like them? Their life is short, so many hardships and not really happy!”
I replied "what is the use of living a long life when you cannot leave behind a legacy!” I will add on to say,
"Death is nothing; but to live defeated and without glory is to die every day." – Napoleon Bonaparte
How many people today knows the meaning of life?
I will end with Catherine Lim interviewing videos below. She definitely knows the meaning of her life!
Part 1 of 2
Part 2 of 2