ADVENTUROUS SPIRIT, BOLDNESS TO TAKE ON A DIFFICULT CHALLENGE, AND STRENGTH TO CARRY IT THROUGH
Today I finally finished watching Dr Thum Ping Tjin's entire testimony before the Select Committee on Deliberate Online Falsehoods (parts while "multi-tasking", admittedly). The whole thing lasted six hours or so, about half as long as Dr Thum's famous swim across the English Channel in 2005. Towards the end, I wondered how tired of it Dr Thum might have been behind his wry smile, even if nothing like how he felt about his swim:
“The waves came crashing down on me and tossed me about like the insignificant speck that I was. ... To be honest, I didn’t think I’d make it. I was fairly certain I’d just reached a point where everything would just collapse and they’d have to fish me out of the water.”
How did he keep going?
“I thought about my family, my friends, about Singapore. I sang the national anthem to myself, I sang my school song to myself, I sang every single inspirational theme I could think of. ... I thought of all the people who believed in me, and all the people who supported me. I thought of all the children who would benefit from my swim .... I kept going, for just a few more strokes.”
In the same vein, I feel like reminding Dr Thum to take to heart PM Lee Hsien Loong's congratulatory message to him on his earlier endeavour:
“Your adventurous spirit, boldness to take on a difficult challenge, and strength to carry it through are an inspiration to us all. Singapore may be a small country but our people are capable of great endeavours. May your success encourage many more Singaporeans to dare to dream, and to act on those dreams for themselves, for their families, and for Singapore.”