Stories of Transformation

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Where it Begins

Tan Suet Ferng, Community Arts Director, Yellowren Productions
November 6, 2019

I enjoy the foliage in the fall. Living in the tropics, the change of foliage and colours is a rare sight for me but I can imagine the experience of transiting from season to season, and the freshness that comes when spring finally takes over the dormant, icy winter. Everyone welcomes the new sprouts and pleasant weather in spring. The seasonal renewal is always refreshing and often anticipated. Yet, why do the renewal and transformation of lives, thoughts and hearts seem impossible to many?

It is not difficult to see how our anticipation and belief are often battered and bruised by daily and past disappointment. Think about that child whom we are nurturing, or the spouse whom we are trying to change for years, or that co-worker who often takes our stationery without returning. And how about the mother, wife and colleague who never see the change in them? Often, we are the ones who need to be transformed. We need to alter our thoughts from what is to what it could be. Indeed, transformation requires a radical imagination which may at times clash with our expectations that are shaped by past experiences or societal norms. What is holding you back from transformation?

Recently, together with a group of friends, I visited an old teacher from school. She is the liveliest and humorous 80-year-old I have met. At 80, she enjoys going on cruises, hosting gatherings at her home and playing the ukulele, a hobby she took up just 4 months ago. In her, I see a willingness to embrace the now, and the courage to adopt new ideas and perspectives. This does not come without challenges as she has to deal with living on her own, accepting her children having a life of their own and being the supporter who encourages her children to pursue what they want in life. Transformation can take place regardless of situation. Yet, it is not a given. It has to be pursued.


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