#21012017 – Goodbye Mr President

As how the Chinese put it – time passes really quickly as Chinese New Year approaches and I find myself swamped with work too. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great and I feel kinda great, motivated each day and all!

Today was the beginning of a few insomniac days and I found myself working out at 2am. Been doing some research on YouTube for gym bike exercise and I was trying out the cardio regime – a period of time of normal cycling, then 1 minute of intense cycling, alternating. Managed to last 25 minutes before going to wash up and hit the bed by 3am plus.

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And yes, my room is all messy because of the traditional spring cleaning!

Later in the day, my brother and sister-in-law came by to have breakfast with us. Then we strolled to a neighbourhood mall. Attempt to shop failed as the CNY crowd packed the mall. *shrugs*

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Another sad highlight today was the inauguration of Trump as America’s 45th President. I don’t want to talk about the problems I see in him but rather, how much I appreciate Mr Obama and their family.

Obama is the first US President that I consciously noticed and I remember that our polytechnic library had a TV outside. I was passing by the library when I saw the screen of him rejoicing as he had won the election. I jumped in joy for him.

In a way, his policies didn’t really benefit me as a foreigner. Instead, I really appreciate his work ethics, spirit and respect for everyone, from clueless kids to practically everyone he comes across.

I appreciate the way he respects LGBTQ and also the way he loves his wife. It’s not a show. It’s the little details, seeing glimpses of him on the news waiting for his wife to catch up, extending an arm to her.

I appreciate how they live their lives paying attention to the smallest details. Like squatting down to the level of a kid to show affection, but when it comes to a young girl aspiring to be a president when she grows up, Obama didn’t treat her like a kid, but instead, with respect, to make her feel like an equal. It’s empowering in a subtle way. It shows how and what he thinks of the people he meets.

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There are billions of people on this planet but only a very very small group of people can be leaders of the countries like him. But what he has taught me was how to be a person. A decent human being.

I remember back in school a teacher who demanded respect from students, scolding and punishing those who didn’t greet her when they see her. And I remember saying, respect is EARNED, not demanded nor by threatening. And I think that’s exactly the kind of person Obama is – you learn to respect him naturally. The way he speaks may seem boring but the sincerity and consideration he puts into the words, the phrasing, makes you calm down and listen to what he really has to say.

No one is ever perfect. A mum who raises three children would have more or less done something wrong in the process or has some regrets, not to mention a man who has to make decisions for the country. He isn’t perfect, he isn’t always right, but he is a humble and respectable man we can all learn from, especially the leaders of Singapore, our government, the young generations.

I’ve made it my dream to see Mr Obama someday! A handshake, a photo, a big hug to thank him and Michelle Obama for being such respectable inspiration in some of the most important years of my life.

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