Living Moments (Part 23)

by Patrick Liew on April 26, 2012

This evening, my mind travelled back in time, back to a small little village. The lights were dim, the air humid.

A group of people, ordinary looking people were sitting closely together – rows after rows in a cl…assroom setting. All eyes were in front, their minds transfixed as the training facilitator recounted the crises and shared about the failures in his life.

I know this scene well because I was that facilitator. This and other similar scenes were an important part of my life. It was an integral part of my social missions and I believed passionately in it.

Education, to me, was one of the greatest equalisers in life and by doing my small little part in this area, I was confident it would help disadvantaged people improve their lot and enhance their quality of life.

While I had noble intentions, I must said that teaching lifeskills in many of these small villages has brought immense joy and fulfillment to my life.

Strangely, I never had close to any of such feelings when I appeared before even bigger crowd. There was no similar sense of satisfaction when I addressed more ‘distinguished’ people and in a classier setting.

I have conducted keynote presentations with great men such as Harry Reid, one of the most powerful men in American politics. I have taught at the National Speakers Association, the body that represents many of the best platform speakers in the world.

I have shared the stage with the CEO of McKinsey and other major enterprises. I have done presentations in a conference that attracted more than 20,000 people from all over the world.

Obviously, as a founder of one of the largest seminar organizers in the world, I have been fortunate enough to share the rostrum with some of the greatest speakers and trainers of our times. I have conducted both ‘live’ and online trainings to audience in more than 60 countries.

Still, these engagements didn’t thrill me and uplift me as much as when I taught in small villages. Oftentimes, I had to use very much less sophisticated mode of travel to reach these places but I considered them to be part an exciting adventure.

Recently, during a sharing with fellow grassroots volunteers, I asked them a question, “Are you serving the people for yourself or for them?” I believe that a more balanced answer is not based on a either/or but both/and situation.

While we are rendering help to others, we’re also helping ourselves. The outcomes for ourselves far outweigh financial and other material benefits.

While teaching village leaders, I have come to realize that I learned the most in class. As a result, it has helped me to change, improve, and achieve better results in my life.

To all of you out there who gave me a chance to share my life, thank you. I’m eternally grateful for the life-changing experience.

I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Visit my Inspiration blog at

Visit my Transformation blog at

Please read them and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


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