On Sofresh Offshore Supply’s Facebook page where we post “Weekend Wisdom” anecdotes and encouraging words each Friday, I’ve chosen to focus the year’s final three Fridays’ posts on people. I think this is fitting, as we reflect on the year that’s ending and look forward to the one ahead, because what we do and why we do it is ultimately about people: our own staff, our cruise ship clients and their guests; our oil and gas, and commercial vessel clients, and their staff and crew.


The post on 18 December, the third last Friday of 2015, was about forgiving others, even people who aren’t sorry for their misdeeds. The real focus of that post was ourselves. That anecdote ended with the words “Holding on to anger only hurts you, not them.” There’s another saying with words that are even more vivid: holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. (And that’s not going to happen, is it?).


The post last Friday – which was also Christmas day – was on remembering the right and good that people do, and not just focussing on their mistakes or wrong-doings. It was a reminder to appreciate and love the people in our lives, because unfortunately it’s all too often that we take for granted or hurt those closest to us, whom we see everyday, and thus mistake to need the least amount (or none at all) of our attention, appreciation, compassion and affection – like our spouses, children, extended family members, old friends, and colleagues: the very same people that deserve our best, or at least a little more from us.


This Friday’s “Weekend Wisdom” post, the third and final one in my mini-series to end 2015 with, is about allowing people (including ourselves) to cut loose from the chains of the past, and liberate themselves (and ourselves) in order to forge a better, improved future. I suspect that often, and especially so for those in positions of authority, we hold others to their past mistakes because we can’t overcome or let go of our own bad history in some situation or other. I feel this Friday’s post bridges the past and new years nicely, and it’s perfect that it’ll be published on 1 January 2016. I think it’s good wisdom to begin the new year on.


Reflecting on 2015, as a Singaporean I can’t help but feel what a significant year it’s been for Singapore. As a nation we celebrated 50 years of independence. In true Singaporean fashion, we coined the term SG50 complete with an SG50 logo and myriad nation-wide branding-and-promo activities, events and year-long celebrations. And it was telling that the theme for SG50 focussed on celebrating Singapore’s 50th birthday as one people – it’s about people: the nation’s “heartware” as much, if not more, as its hardware.


Amidst all the celebrations and events that aimed to bring Singaporeans together as One People like never before in this Golden Jubilee year, perhaps the most profound was the passing of our first Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew, whom many regarded – and still do – as the father of modern Singapore. Mr Lee passed away on 23 March at the age of 91 . Indeed no planned event or national celebration could have brought Singaporeans as closely together and deeply united. As one people we dug deep in mourning and respect for Mr Lee. I would suggest that even though it was a funeral, it was also a celebration of people – one man, a great leader, to whom Singaporeans owed much; the thousands who queued for 10 hours or more to pay their last respects; the tens of thousands more who lined the roads, some kneeling, many crying openly, under a heavy downpour as if even the heavens couldn’t hold back its own tears, during Mr Lee’s funeral procession – SG50’s call to be “as one people” was amplified to both greater heights and depths in the same stroke.


But as we know, in Singapore life really moves on. The wheels of the nation never stop turning. And so, as Singaporeans’ emotions calmed down, and grief peeled away to be replaced by fond memories and a renewed determination for that brighter, better tomorrow that Singaporeans constantly strive toward, in time Singapore “as one people” naturally moved on.


I have to admit that it seems similar for us too at Sofresh: it’s a never-stop-always-busy environment, especially during our peak cruise season months. While many people are on year-end leave from work, or enjoy 1 January as a public holiday, the New Year marks about the mid-way point through the crazy-busy cruise season for us.


What keeps us going year after year, season after season – 2015 makes it 10 years in this business for Sofresh Offshore Supply – is knowing that everything we do, down the line, ultimately leads to people and taking care of their needs. There’s a lot of satisfaction that we derive from all that we do, and that translates to a lot of mojo that keeps powering us on.


So finally as 2015 comes to a close, from all of us at Sofresh Offshore Supply, here’s wishing everybody good health, great joy, and rich blessings for the New Year: Happy 2016!


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