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Letter from the Co-CEO, Lynette Lim "Too Little Sun and too Much Rain"

By Lynette Lim


Naming a child is one of the most important tasks of a parent. This is especially true for the Chinese culture where it is believed the meaning of the name of a child will be his future life.  It is not just a wish for the child from the parent, but the reality of what the child will be like.  I had a friend who was the first born and she was named a grand auspicious name by her father.  However, as a baby she became sickly and would get constant high fevers that did not subside.  Alas, her grand name had angered the “unseen underworld” of spirits and thus they had to change her name to something more humble, something that the spirits would not want to tear down.  But what would they name her?  Her father had an epiphany.  “Why don’t we call her something that will cool down her fever?” he said.  So they named her “Lin-Yu,” which in Chinese literally means to be drenched by rain.  And the irony of this name is that she now has a perpetually stuffy nose.  Perhaps she should change her name for the third time to “Sunburnt!”


Speaking about too much sun and rain in America,  the once in a life time event of the total solar eclipse on August 21st that made busy America pause for 2.5 minutes to look up at the sky, and a Chicago meterologist to cry on national television (see: Tom Skilling gets emotional and cries during the 2017 Solar Eclipse), has been overshadowed (pun intended) by Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas.  While the first event brought a sense of wonder at the world and all the beauty that nature brings, the latter has brought about the loss of 38 lives, displacement of 30,000 people and an estimated $190 billion impact on the economy. (See: Hurricane Harvey: How Many Billions of Dollars in Damage Will Historic Storm Cost?)  Hurricane Katrina in 2005 had caused 160 billion and experts are estimating that the cost of the damage would be even higher. And it is long from being over.


Picture of the solar eclipse taken from my friend Tricia who was in St. Louis, Minnesota


While it is too early to say what the extent of the damage will be, here are a few of my initial reactions to Hurricane Harvey:

  1. People seem to care a lot about abandoned cats and dogs.
  2. Why didn’t people evacuate earlier?
  3. I can’t imagine what is like to lose my home.
  4. Are oil prices going to sky rocket? 
  5. America is at its best in when in crisis.



The last point has struck me how people all across America from corporations, SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and individuals have so willingly availed themselves to help by donating money and their time so generously.  I especially like the story of “Mattress Mack” who opened up his mattress shop so that people have beds to sleep on.  And the public has loved this man so much that there were more than 100,000 people who signed a petition to have a “Mattress Mack Day” in Houston.



Yes, it is the random acts of kindness and generosity that tug at our hearts.  It is the benevolence of a person who is willing to sacrifice something for the sake of others, that makes us have hope once again in humanity.  It is in moments of great loss that we see the fragility of mankind but the silver lining is we also see the best of mankind in bravery and sacrifice. If only we could be this way in other times!



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