Tuesday 23 October 2012

Dr Richard Teo Keng Siang

The advantage of Facebook is I sometimes get very inspirational sharing from friends.

Here is one such story that I would like to help spread the message: Memorial of Dr Richard Teo Keng Siang

I do not know Dr Teo personally, but I guess there's a little bit of Dr Teo in all of us when we are doing well and at the peak of our career.

It's not my intention to promote a certain faith or religion. I am agnostic with a bias towards Zen as a philosophical way of life; not as a religion.

I had my own epiphany 3 years ago in Warsaw after my chance encounter with a HK man of leisure

You can say I was lucky.  I didn't have to learn it the hard way.

There is nothing wrong with pursuing wealth. I am doing it even now. But I would rather call it creating the means to allow me greater freedom of choice.

Wealth is not the goal; its just means to an end.


  1. can live without wealth?

    if can, you have even greater degree of freedom to create wealth.

    1. coconut,

      I've lived without much "money wealth" during the first 25 years of my life. That's the good thing about living in a mainly HDB 3 room Queenstown estate (at that time). Everyone is sama sama.

      When Clementi was built, the more "wealthy" neighbours started moving to the HDB 4 room flats there. That was when I first realised what is wealth gap.

      The good thing about starting from a low base its that it takes a little for me to feel I've progressed.

      Whenever I am in a taxi, I always feel so privileged. It's a huge step-up from my bus taking days.

      It must be tougher for the youngsters today who started on a higher base. HDB 3 room is a downgrade... Public transport is too crowded... A car is a basic entitlement...

    2. er....

      an artist who create say a painting, does he "eat" up his creation, his painting?

      if he is so so painter and very poor, he might sell his art for money giving no option, but most likely he want to keep his painting.

      so even if you are able to create wealth, don't sell them away or spent them up, so you create a lot of wealth but without money. and if that situation is ok with you, then you have plenty of extra room (freedom) for your creation.

      freedom and creation comes hand in hand.

    3. Wow!

      Coconut, as always, you have probed me into thinking on another level...

      I can't grasp what you say 100% yet as I am still on the level that wealth or creation is better when shared?

    4. what is 'wealth'?- to each his own - friends, family and health are wealth inmeasurable. When I was young, I lived with many aunties and uncles, grandma and grandpa under one roof without many luxuries of life yet we had a life of our times! Until now, I think I would not trade that for anything else - am afraid youngsters these days will not be able to have such 'wealth' as I had!

    5. Hey dimplegirl! You are not a young girl after all? LOL!

      I've learnt from humility its better to follow my heart and let others follow theirs (without my judgement).

      I not subscribing to the ways of St Francis of Assisi does not preclude me from receiving his blessings (I hope)?


    6. you caught me there! I am 81 but forever 18 at heart...:)

    7. dimplegirl,

      You go girl!

      And I forever 21 at heart ;)

  2. True happiness is derived from helping others in our lifetime, especially when that help is very much appreciated.
    It is very sad to learn, via the hard way, that true happiness does not come from attaining glorious wealth.
    There is nothing wrong with the pursuit of wealth because we all want our family members to be happy.
    Irony is Richard was blessed with the ability to help people in distress in more ways than the ordinary man but it took a hard knock to realise that he may have chosen the wrong route in pursuit of extreme wealth.
    From his unselfish sharing of his experiences, I feel that he has attained enlightenment and has been able to grasp the real issue by letting go. It does not matter what religion. He has helped everyone by freely expressing his inner thoughts. RIP.

    1. financialray,

      I was very moved when reading Richard's words this morning in my Facebook.

      There was a time I felt invincible too; I shudder when I reminisce on that period of my hubris...

      I was fortunate to have a very best friend who made me realize my folly by not talking to me.

      We sometimes hurt/ignore/take for granted those that matter the most to us; while pandering to acquaintances.

    2. We sometimes hurt/ignore/take for granted those that matter the most to us; while pandering to acquaintances.
      Hi Jared,

      This behavior sounds familiar to me. I am guilty of it myself. On an intellectual level, I know I am wrong. But still, actions show otherwise. For example, I pander more to my boss than to my wife. Does it make sense? I will change boss several times in my life. Most probably hopefully, I will have the same wife for the rest of my life. Not logical to treat boss better than wife.

    3. hyom hyom,

      It's not easy right? "Jiang hu" ah!

      Glad someone understood how I felt.

  3. Thanks for sharing Dr Teo's story. There was one part that particularly resonated with me: a lot of us can't handle [wealth]. The more we have, the more we want.

    It is a constant balancing act, in trying to achieve that financial freedom, and not being sidetracked by accumulating wealth for the sake of accumulating wealth. Perhaps instead of me day dreaming striking lottery, the question should be what would I do with the lottery winnings - the answer would probably help frame the objective.

    Re SMOL's comment at October 23, 2012 4:11 PM, it's so true. It's easier to get used to a better life than a harder one. Psychologically it is so hard to accept a "poorer" life even if physically it is still liveable.

    1. Trying asking people to give up their cars and take MRT.

      They will tell you that MRT is so pack and smelly.

    2. plumerainbow,

      Today I went to Changi Village for lunch on a whim. Took bus from Queenstown to SGH bus interchange. Then transferred to bus no. 2 all the way to Changi village - end to end.

      After lunch, spent an hour at the park near the jetty; basking in the noon day sun while the salted wind massages my speckled face.

      In the past, I would have complained on the LONG journey. Would have been ANGRY that having come all this way, the hawker centre is closed for renovation!? Would have WHINED it's too hot a day...

      Funny how a little perspective changes everything.

      Time is on my side. I am active and healthy.

      Lunch and transport together $10 plus. I never felt richer.

      I smelled the flowers today.

      Keep adventuring rainbow girl!

    3. CW8888,

      To say it's crowded I can accept.

      To say it's smelly is just not right and not cool. I'll say no to my fellow Singaporeans who think that way.

      It reflects badly on our upbringing and offend my pride as a multi-cultural Singaporean.

      No believer of a religious faith would talk that way.

  4. A friend just sent me an email regarding Dr Teo today, I was touch by what he wrote and share though I feel GOD is not fair to him.

    1. Fat,

      We are all touched.

      More important is that Dr Teo found peace with himself and with his God.

      Let us not forget the reason we are here in the first place. And we have to find that answer ourselves as it differs from person to person.

      I am grateful Dr Teo found his and shared it with us so generously.

    2. Finding God in the end makes his road easier to walk and his life more meaningful when he spread his message to so many people. By knowing God and sharing his wisdom at the end of his life, he gained eternal life.

  5. Hi SMOL,


    Watch the video.

  6. Official memorial for the late Dr Richard Teo Keng Siang can be found at http://www.heavenaddress.com/Dr-Richard-Teo-Keng-Siang/424153/

  7. Hi SMOL

    After reading many books, talking to people and doing self-reflection. Happiness comes from being connected to others through family, community and work. Being happy is about finding meaning in the things that we do and to be love what we have, and to have what we love.

    The challenge is that many think being happy is when we hit $x,xxx,xxx net worth or earned $x,xxx,xxx. I used to think that way but not so now. Happiness is about connectedness and meaning. :-)

    Be well and prosper.

    1. Thank you Panzer for your sharing.

      I share your sentiments.

      Although I don't play at the butterfly tavern much nowadays, I am happy and very privileged to know you, the oatmeal guy, and of course the tavern master - Mr butterfly guy.

      There is joy when we meet "zhi yin" :)

  8. i agree with you. Wealth is not the goal; its just means to an end.

    1. Hello taufik rachman,

      Welcome to my humble watering hole :)

      To have it any other way would be quite "empty" - spiritually speaking ;)


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