About me

I love beauty, truth and justice. These three words best describe the core of what moves me. My passion is being able to connect ideas and people to build communities through design and processes that promote brotherly love and growth. Much of my time is spent just reading and thinking, understanding, combining ideas and making judgment about things to add creative value. My energy comes from real experiences in the real world, meeting real people and getting into it all.

My favourite quote:

For every beauty there is an eye somewhere to see it. For every truth there is an ear somewhere to hear it. For every love there is a heart somewhere to receive it. ~Ivan Panin (1855-1942)

My Thoughts

Truth and justice are inter-related, truth being the bedrock.  In an increasingly inter-connected world, one’s action in one part of the world can affect another significantly. In this regard, my mind goes back to a famous question that a lawyer once asked of Jesus, “Who is my neighbour?” (Luke 10:30-37) A simple question but with profound implications.

Lord Atkin’s famous neighbour test that “people must take reasonable care not to injure others who could foreseeably be affected by their action or inaction” provides us with the answer of “who is my neighbour”.

All this follows from the great commandment that

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. (References Luke 10:27, Mark 12:33, Matthew 19:19)

Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD. (Leviticus 19:18 KJV)

Love and Justice

“Love, in fact, finds its primary expression through Justice…” (Christianity and Social Order, William Temple,)

I love this short story.

In one instance, Denning recounts how Temple who, in an address at the Inns of Court, commenced his message by saying, “I cannot say that I know much about the law, having been far more interested in justice.”.Denning opines that “[t]he rebuke was well merited”, as the hearers (all lawyers) “had been brought up in the philosophy of John Austin”and “[t]hose who believe in that philosophy regard the law as something separate and apart from justice”.Denning challenges what he terms “this facile assumption”, not least because lawyers are responsible for the law and, hence, any injustice that occurs.

(A Passion for Justice, The Natural Law Foundations of Lord Denning’s Thought and Work Part 2, Andrew Phang)

Loving the Downtrodden and the Place of Restitution

In the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus turns around the question of “Who is my neighbour” and asks instead the questioner, “So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” (Luke 10:36) Jesus threw wide open the question and now asks, who are you responsible to as a neighbour. In Lord Atkin’s neighbour test, it is anyone whom your actions (or inaction) would have an impact on.

If we were to look around, we will become aware of the cries of many nations that have suffered under colonial powers in the past, and are now sinking in a tide of ‘corporatization’ where big multinational corporations from rich and powerful nations buy up lands and natural resources on the cheap. For many such downtrodden nations, injustice is the byword.

“Underlying all the law of restitution is the conception that no one  should unjustly enrich himself at the expense of his neighbour.”

Unfortunately, we see on a global scale the rich nations enriching themselves at the expense of their neighbours.

People in the “Third World” are not cheap resource, cheap labour and markets where expired good can be dumped, but precious human beings in the sight of God. He does not forget. God has the eyes though we are blind, the ears to hear though we are deaf and the heart to receive all who call to Him in distress.

I ask myself then, how do I live out my life today. What does love mean in a wider society?

“It is axiomatic that love should be the predominant Christian impulse, and that the primary form of love in social organisation is justice.” ~William Temple

My Work

Little girl from Carteret Island, Bougainville, Nov 2009. Photo by Donald Tan.

I work with a small team of folks, just like me, who care about people. We try to live out what love means in this global interconnected world. We have been privileged to be given the opportunity to “be neighbour to” communities that need a little brotherly help. Truth be told such efforts are not “help” but rather restitution. To be their voice and in some small way a bridge to restoring their land and communities and ultimately hope gives us much joy. Let me know what you think? Bless you!

My work  Carteret Islands Transformation Project and Natural Resource Ventures

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