A Tortoise and The Mountain Inspires Perseverance

Mr. Lim Soon Hock’s fifth charity book, A Tortoise and The Mountain, is based on his experience climbing Mount Fuji, hiking up Tiger Nest in Bhutan and trekking in the forest of Pahang in search of the rare Rafflesia plant. The allegory is also coloured in with lessons from over 20 years of military training, and nuggets of wisdom shared by Mr Lim’s friends who are avid mountaineers and trekkers.

Mr. Lim (pictured above second from left) is an experienced CEO, board member, technopreneur and private investor with over 25 years in public and community service. Among his many appointments, he is the Honorary Chairman of Centre for Fathering and the former Chairman of the National Family Council and Halogen Foundation Singapore.

The main character in this book, Torii the tortoise, encounters a series of gruelling challenges on her journey to reach the peak of Mount Hap. She refuses to give in to her desire to quit. Instead, Torii grows stronger in her resolve to overcome, but not without the guidance of her grandfather. 

This is a wonderful bedtime story to read with children and a timely reminder that being a father or a child is a continuing journey of identity. It requires patience, perseverance, and a heart to understand. 

The book was launched at a fundraising event on November 12, 2019 with Dr Ang Hak Seng, Deputy Secretary for Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, Commissioner of Charities and Deputy Secretary of SG Cares (pictured first left above) as a special guest. Donations of $20 per book and $50 for the autographed version support the Centre for Fathering, Halogen Foundation Singapore and Honour (Singapore).

Both youths and adults can learn from the moral values and virtues in this large “Aesop” fable comprising of several smaller parables. Metaphorically, Mount Hap represents a person’s many goals in life while Torii’s climb represents the challenges that need to be overcome to achieve these goals.

Mr. Lim said, “I have learnt through my mountaineering adventures and career that no effort is too small and no skill or action too insignificant. Our success depends on trying our best, never giving up, taking risks and doing it well.”

He added, “When we treat the virtues and moral values of persistence, determination, a can-do attitude, tenacity as gifts and blessings, we can succeed no matter how challenging the way ahead is.”

Torii’s late grandfather was her most reliable compass, often pointing her in the right direction in her dreams whenever she faced difficulties and needed advice. He had taught her to only believe in the possible as the apparent impossible will then become possible.

“We are blessed if we have mentors in our lives, who can inspire us to scale lofty heights. Torii had one in her grandfather. Her timely recollection of his wise words, ‘Life is meant to be adventure..’ spurred her to complete her mission. May fathers inspire their children and grandchildren to dream gloriously and embrace life with joyful fulfilment,” commented Mr Richard Hoon, Chairman, Centre for Fathering and DADs for Life.

“Be the Best You Can Be” is possibly the most important life principle for a world and a future so unpredictable, so uncertain, so unknowable.  Anything less is to fail to honour our individual talents and abilities. Yet discovering the limits of “best” needs all the tenacity and resilience and venturesome we can muster. Soon Hock has well captured such a drive for discovery and accomplishment in his little story about a tortoise who tries beyond limits,” said Mr Lim Siong Guan, Chairman, Honour (Singapore) & Joint author with Joanne H Lim of “The Leader, The Teacher & You” and “Winning with Honour”.

“Torii’s story is symbolic of all the many values we grow to learn, when we overcome life’s mountains. As Torii’s story exemplifies the years of hard work we have to put in before we can sometimes attain our dreams, this allegory also brings a poignant reminder of having a “never give up” attitude to our daily goals,” said Ms. Ivy Tse, Chief Executive Officer, Halogen Foundation Singapore.

She added, “We want to continue sharing many more ‘Torri’ stories with our youths and communities to spur them on in their own pursuits. With the same zest, wonder and grit as Torii carries, our young people will be sure to climb many more Mount Haps and new frontiers in their lives.”

Make a $20 donation for a copy of A Tortoise and The Mountain:

Make a $50 donation for an autographed copy of A Tortoise and The Mountain: