Wednesday, July 11, 2007

On Being Notable...

Late at night, sleepless, I decided to do something for a couple of my friends. Googling them previously, I found that they were mentioned in the media but didn't have any entries in Wikipedia.

So I put my research and writing skills to work and wrote up an article respectively for Donna Ong and Namiko Chan.

The thing I learnt about writing these articles was that there are REALLY things about them that you didn't know. And that perhaps you don't really know your friends at all. And that they're actually more notable than you think.

Like Namiko. I knew that she was an artist, but I didn't know she had just won the UOB Painting of the Year Award. Holy Canoly! And to think I still remember her as that law undergraduate staying just one level below me in University. She was a great artist even then, designing our block t-shirt. And to think, that I threw away a "Namiko original". Wonder what it would be worth now?

Donna was introduced to me as an artist, but little did I know she was awarded the maximum amount for a scholarship to study art. And had won numerous art competitions. But then again, perhaps people are merely modest.

I learnt quite a bit. I knew that they were both notable artists in their own right, I learnt about the awards that they had won. I learnt their hobbies, their experiences, the schools they attended, what their fears, hopes and joys are represented in their works.

If you had to write an article on Wikipedia about your spouse, family or friends, what would you write? Would you even know enough to write an article about them? Do you know what their achievements have been in life?

But what else could I take from this experience? That the people you meet will be the famous people of tomorrow. That 10 year old nephew of yours playing with the toy soldiers? He could be the next minister of defence. That the girl next door who likes drawing could be a famous artist. "Do not despise the day of small beginnings."

Finally, not just other people, ALL OF US. Including you. Believe in yourself. Do you like drawing? Or telling stories? Or entertaining your parents with your antics? Or planning, or assembling things together? These are the seeds of greatness waiting to be nurtured.

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