Speaker Spotlight



Every week, we will be featuring a different speaker in our "SpotLight" column.

This week, we are featuring Roslina Chai.

Justine, SpotLight editor:

What made you decide to be a speaker?

Roslina: Two reasons.

Firstly, a quiet insistent calling. I grew up on stage, and have always known that the stage is a part of my destiny but I neither felt ready nor worthy, until now. As there is a time to every season, it is today in my 40's that I feel ready to commit the necessary mindset and discipline to nurture my voice. And so I am stepping out, and focusing on taking one small step at a time.

Secondly, to give back. I could never quite understand how topics such as violence could be a (healthy) public discussion until one day, after hearing incalculable talks, the penny simply dropped, and I understood. And no longer felt so alone. And that instilled in me the conviction that I too can find a dignified way to speak publicly about topics I thought I should be ashamed of and never air publicly.  In so doing, I hope to extend a hand of camaraderie to someone out there so that he/she too can feel "I am not alone".

Justine: What plans do you have in the next few months you’d like people to know?

Roslina: Two things.

Firstly, I am excited to be embarking on my Doctorate degree in Paris. In part because I look forward to enriching my keynote topics by complementing my lived experience with academic rigour that draws on the collective wisdom of 4 continents. And in part because I look forward to being challenged by my peers to further distill and refine the essence of my domain expertise.

Secondly, I have finally started to publish my writings, beginning with a LinkedIn series on Catalytic Conversations, and contributing to a forthcoming Keynote book on professional speaking from a female perspective.

Justine: What was the most important lesson you’ve learned in life that you wish to share to others?

Roslina: The impermanence of all things, as elegantly encapsulated in this story said to be of Taoist origin.

“There was a farmer whose horse ran away. That evening the neighbors gathered to commiserate with him since this was such bad luck. He said, “May be”. The next day the horse returned, but brought with it six wild horses, and the neighbors came exclaiming at his good fortune. He said, “May be”. And then, the following day, his son tried to saddle and ride one of the wild horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. Again the neighbors came to offer their sympathy for the misfortune. He said, “May be”. The day after that, conscription officers came to the village to seize young men for the army, but because of the broken leg the farmer’s son was rejected. When the neighbors came in to say how fortunately everything had turned out, he said, “May be”.”

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