One of my favourite movies as a young adult was Independence Day, which opened in 1996 and starred Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, and Bill Pullman. While the most famous speech was of course the one made by Bill Pullman’s President of the United States prior to the humans attacking the alien invaders, the one that I also remember well was a conversation at the end of the movie, between him and another character, played by Jeff Goldblum. Goldblum’s character, David Levinson was an MIT-educated satellite engineer and technological expert who had just returned from a mission to plant a virus in the alien mothership.
The conversation simply went:
President of the USA: David … Not bad …
David Levinson: Thank you Mr President …
President of the USA: Not too bad at all …
In a similarly understated way, 2023 has also been “not bad … not too bad at all” for Meridian Secondary. Our Sports teams continued to flourish in the NSG – Double girls champions for Football, a Top 4 in League 1 for the B Boys, and National Runners-up for the Floorball C Boys. The Netball B girls managed a medal position in the Netball Schools Challenge League, and for the first time ever, the Badminton boys secured a place in the second round of the competition. Meridian continues to be a choice school for sports – during the DSA exercise, more than 130 applicants applied through the talent areas of Football, Floorball and Basketball.
Our Performing Arts groups continued to be excellent – in the SYF AP, our Band, Choir, Drama and Gamelan earned the Accomplishment award, while our Kulintang Ensemble, Malay and Modern Dance were awarded Distinction. In a first for the community, the Performing Arts Groups also decided to organise a performance showcase for the parents, many of whom were unable to see the live performances and were not provided with the recordings. Aptly called Viva La VPA, two showcases were held simultaneously in the school hall and auditorium, catering to an audience of more than 500 family members.
And finally, it would be remiss of me to not give a shoutout to Amirul, who was awarded the Lee Kuan Yew Award for All-Round Excellence in 2023. He is one of only 12 Secondary School students to receive this award, so we are really happy for him. Amirul was our valedictorian in 2022, and he has continued to return to school to engage and inspire his juniors.
“Not bad… not too bad at all.”
Were there things that happened that can be seen as “bad” in certain ways? Of course. Could some things have been improved? Most definitely. But just because not all things were good, should we say that everything is “bad”? The answer should be, “Of course not!”. That will be an unhealthy way to view life and our experiences – our goal while living a purposeful life is not to measure and weigh the “bad” things against the “good” things and come up with a one singular conclusion about how our life is. Every experience – “good” or “bad” – should be lived in the moment, and in its own terms. Our goal is to learn from each of these experiences, adapt our minds, body, and spirit to become better persons for others, and be the beacons of resilience to inspire others to look beyond themselves.
So, what other goals do you have for 2024?