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Welcome to this week's issue of The Birthday Workbook!
We hope that everyone is staying healthy during the ongoing COVID-19 situation. Singapore has come together and overcome such trying times before, and we will surely do so again. To highlight some of the qualities that will help see us safely through, we read a piece by Genevieve Ding, a grassroots leader and former Foreign Service Officer. She reflects on her interactions with the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, and the lessons he gave her on the importance of fear, courage, and resilience in building today's Singapore. 

Before you read the article:
Watch the following video.
National Day Parades, 1966 to 1969
In pairs, consider the following questions:
  1. How does the video make you feel? 
  2. How did the National Day Parades change from 1966 to 1969, and why do you think those changes happened?
  3. How do you think the significance of the National Day Parade has changed from the 1960s till today?
Now read the following article: 
Read on TODAY
Consider the following questions:
  1. What reason does the author give for Mr Lee taking some younger ministers with him on the trip?
  2. In the 6th paragraph, the author writes that she "can only imagine what his (Mr Lee's) emotions and reflections were, on a trip back to a country he had fought so hard to unite with, and which had thrown us out in a moment of public anguish." Why do you think she chose to include this sentence near the beginning of the essay? How does it help set up her main point in the essay?
  3. In what way was a mobile column drive-past of "18 newly acquired AMX-13 light tanks" at our National Day Parade "an outward display to Malaysia that we were playing the long game"? What is the "long game" that the author refers to?
  4. How did the author initially think that "larger-than-life" figures like Mr Lee were different from most people? How did her interactions with him change her view on the way in which he was different from most people? 
  5. The author writes that "Singapore at 52 faces a whole new set of challenges". Why does she describe these challenges immediately after she compares Singapore's post-Separation development with Malaysia's? At 55, do we face any new challenges?
  6. Has reading the article changed any of your answers to the earlier questions about the video? How so, and why?
Share what you think with us. Send your response to the following task to thebirthdayworkbook@gmail.com and stand a chance to be featured in a future edition of this newsletter. 
 
All of us have fears. Some should be overcome, but others prevent us from reckless risk-taking. What fears do you have about the future? Explain one you would like to overcome, and another which you think may be better to keep.

Finally, please stay safe and healthy, and take all necessary precautions during this time. With calm heads, strong spirits, and a substantial amount of hand-washing, we can all do our part to help manage the COVID-19 situation :)
Further viewing
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