The Inspiration behind the 20|20 VISION Calendar
The 20|20 VISION calendar captures some of my most significant moments in Oxford, where my son, Jay, recently graduated. As I was unable to attend my own university graduation ceremony back in 1986, Jay’s Oxford ceremony more than made up for it. Seeing him adorned in ceremonial garb in a nearly millennium-old ritual filled me with a deep sense of accomplishment. And in a way, it cleared up some feelings of inadequacies.
My journey into fatherhood began 24 years ago. To me, the best characterisation of fatherhood is that it is an evolution, and every father takes a unique path.
The joy of receiving Jay into this world, followed by his brother, Jin, twenty-one months later, was initially so overwhelming. That sort of top-of-the-world feeling carried with it a sense of inspiration and aspiration. And it challenged me to go beyond myself and what I thought were the limits of my capabilities.
In addition to love and care, I suppose being a father has a lot to do with providing security, both in the form of protection and financial stability. Though mothers today are perfectly capable as providers and breadwinners, which makes the father role a little less defined in our contemporary social context.
Nevertheless, I felt an enormous sense of duty and, like most parents, wanted to provide the best for my children. With this duty came a constant sense of self-doubt and questioning. And each time there was a drastic change in the environment — career roller-coasters, having to transplant the family overseas (2003 – 2005), absence due to frequent business trips — the questioning intensified.
On-the-job training, as a father, is sometimes reactionary. It’s a continual trial-and-error experiment, each time a new situation arises. And I had to learn to cope and balance the needs of the child as well as the mother’s, who was the dominant parent in my household.
As a father, if there’s one thing I think I did well in, it was teaching them to serve others and be generous. Perhaps that is what being a father is really about. As the beneficiary of the countless generations of fathers before me, I hope this will be the greatest contribution to my legacy. And then one day I will see the two of them become fathers themselves. My only wish is for them to be better than me.
Inspiring Others through Art
I find I am the most fulfilled and satisfied when I spend my time in service to others. And this 20|20 VISION calendar project was spurred by such a desire — to help raise funds for worthy causes.
If you’d like to support the making of this calendar, a portion of your donation will go to Limitless.sg and the Zen Dylan Koh Fund.
Limitless (UEN 201713769M) is a non-profit organisation that helps youths build hope, find worth, and live destiny-driven lives. Through Limitless, the Zen Dylan Koh Fund was set up to help at-risk youths deal with poverty, mental illness, social inequality and bullying.
Just as with calendars, we sometimes find ourselves stuck in a cycle that is driven by work or other obligations. And we forget about others. We dedicate our time to enriching our tool sets, forgetting what the tools are meant to do: provide for those we love most, and share with those who need it more.
How to Make a Donation
The PayLah QR code links to my account: 004-2-021326 (DBS Savings).
Alternatively, you can also make your contribution to Total Sense LLP (UEN T07LL1703B)’s company account: 107-900157-2 (DBS Current).
A portion of what you give will go towards Limitless and the Zen Dylan Koh Fund. To keep transactions in either accounts transparent, you can follow this page for updates on the account records.
Your transaction will remain private. Tracking your contribution will be done using an identifier (e.g., date and the last four digits of transaction/mobile number).
I hope this 20|20 VISION calendar brought this opportunity to your attention, and will help to offset some of the cost of the calendar while also fund-raising for a worthy cause. I understand, too, if you prefer to give directly to the Limitless Zen Dylan Koh Fund. The goal is to give and to share, calendar or not.
Let me thank you again, for your attention and for reading this.