In loving memory of Peter Jezreel

Today I got to know that one of my friends have passed on. He was age 32. 

I met Jez in polytechnic. He was one of the brighter ones in class. He first went to ITE, then to polytechnic and finally to NTU. During NS, he also became an officer. Post-graduation, he signed on.

We did not contact for many years as they have graduated much earlier than me. But I did reach out on a few occasions, such as inviting him to my wedding or checking in on him. The last time we spoke, he shared with me that he had brain cancer. He seemed to be fine from the way he responded. He told me that he was going to conquer it. We said to each other that we should meet soon. But we didn’t. And now, we no longer could.

I felt compelled to share this with the colleagues that I have just met in my new role. Perhaps it is because of their age, or maybe it is because they are regulars too. I felt compelled to share this to remind them that we all have limited time here. I am not sure about them, but death wasn’t a frequent topic in my twenties. It should not even be a regular topic at my age. But quite a few of my friends have already left.

At the end of what I shared with them, I appended a part of Steve Job’s speech.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. – Steve Jobs

Rest in peace, Peter. You have left good memories behind.

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By ben@sgben.com

Hi, I am Benjamin. I am a Singaporean son, born and bred. I came from a modest background, just like most Singaporeans and went to mainstream schools like most middle-class Singaporeans. What makes me different is my unconventional choices and journey in life, giving me more profound insights. Entering a secondary school infested with secret societies in the earlier days exposed me to a different side of Singapore. I graduated well despite having a volatile phase. I chose one of the youngest polytechnics despite having a score good enough for JC, even as others tell me it is not recognised, and I would not make it into university through that path. During my National Service, I also went through a difficult phase of rediscovering the purpose of serving. My university was another defining chapter, spanning over nine years, involving many adventures and endeavours. As you can see, I seldom bother myself with dogmas. I strongly believe in Steve Job's speech at Stanford University. I hope to lead others by example, inspire them to do the same and empower the decisions they have to make in their lives. Reach me at sgBen.com.

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