Early on Sunday morning when I was just having breakfast with my mom at home I had a surprise visit!
An elderly couple lived next to me and the lady came knocking on my door. She relayed to me that she has tried to visit a clinic but all the clinics she has tried in the region were closed. On close examination, she had a superficial infection of her right foot. Immediately, I rummaged through the little "pharmacy" at home and managed to find some antibiotics for her.
Before she left, I advised her for a follow up visit to monitor how the condition is. She agreed.
This was three days after and I met her around the neighbourhood and was happy to see that the redness across the foot has disappeared.
All of us start somewhere. As long as we start by doing what is necessary, soon we will do what is possible, and finally, collaboratively we can accomplish what may seem impossible.
Let us contribute what we can to our neighbourhood and make it a better place!
Performing for children stricken with cancer has always brought warmth and tears to my life. Warmth because of the joy that they experience through the performance. Tears because of the knowledge of how much they have to go through and yet they still endure, they still stand strong in front of me. Smiling, standing, walking, onwards.
It was amazing to be inspired strongly by this quote that I found in their play room where the performance was held.
Likewise, let us now dwell on how we cannot change the world, but let us join hands and do the parts that we know we can , that we can change the community.
Every new day brings new experiences, new inspirations and new warmth to my heart as I see how others interact with each other to forge this community that we live in.
Whilst getting off the bus today, one of the passengers was on a mobility chair and the bus driver kindly got off his driver's eat and came to the disembarking area where he assisted the lady in her mobility chair off the bus. His happy mood brightened the day for the lady and also that of others who saw his kind touch.
Life isn't about finding a community where we belong. It is about creating a community where we belong!
It was after lunch and I had brought along an umbrella just in case it rained. As I was walking back from Clementi I noticed a middle aged lady who was supported to a large extent by her helper. Her body was contorted in a way that matched her facial grimace. She was in pain.
I went over and asked her what was bothering her and what i could do to help. She told me that she had sprained her knee and was unable to bear her weight well, as such, she was clutching on to her helper for support. She mentioned that if she could just get to the bus stop, she would be fine. Without much hesitation, I decided to pass my umbrella to her and gestured that she can use it as a form of support. Incidentally, I like to fit all my umbrellas with a rubber stopper such that they can double up as a form of support for walking. What a timely coincidence!
After she managed to get on using the umbrella, I told her that she could keep and use the umbrella as it would help her a lot more at this point of time. She thanked me and we bid each other farewell.
Giving of ourselves to others brings the warmest kind of feeling to your heart! Let us continue to pour out our love for others in our community!
Today my wife and I were around the corner off the market and we chanced upon a small booth where we were given a coupon earlier when we purchased our meals. The coupon allowed us to play a game of spin the wheel.
While we were queueing we were approached by a domestic helper who asked where she would be able to get the coupon as the elderly lady in the wheelchair that she was helping was keen to have a go at the lucky spin.
We told her how we got the coupon where it was through a purchase of our meals earlier. A thought struck us and we decided to give them the coupon in our hands. They thanked us and proceeded to the queue.
We were midway in the queue when this happened. What was more amazing is after we have exited from the queue that people queueing behind us are sure that the elderly lady and her domestic helper to the space that we have been queueing at. This was a heartwarming sight to behold. What is more is that the people right behind me were just young children. Young children but big in their hearts.
Eventually the elderly lady got two packets of nutri milk as a prize! She was happy and we were happy for her!
An amazing day of love in action in the community!
The way to forge a stronger community, is not minding who gets the credit for each contribution.
Giving of ourselves towards making the community a better place is not about ourselves, but it is about the end goal of creating a stronger, tighter community.
Reserving seats during lunch hours at a food center has become a norm for us Singaporeans but we can lead a change by taking one step together. The time taken for us to queue and purchase our food could easily have been the time given to another person to sit down and enjoy his or her meal.
If each of us take the same steps forward with the same mindset, there would not be a need to "chope" seats with tissue papers or cards.
What is freely available to us such as lunch time seats, let us also avail it to others freely.
The best way to forge a strong community is to step up and create it.
Today I would like to share a story of kindness without barriers. Dr YY, one of my good friends was driving along Telok Blangah street on 5th October when one of the car tyres punctured. He put up the road hazard sign and contacted road assistance. He got off the car and tried to manage changing the punctured car tyre. To do it along was no easy feat. However, it was the evening and everyone was rushing to get back home after a long day of work. Many cars whizzed past and continued with their journey.
Yet, suddenly he noticed another car pulled up in front of his. An Air Force uniformed personnel emerged and introduced himself as Mr Low Leong Hwee. Without hesitation, Mr Low saw the situation and immediately lent a helping hand towards changing the tyre. Only after the tyre was changed in entirety, did Mr Low bid farewell to Dr YY. That kind gesture impacted Dr YY that he shares the whole kind act with his friends and hopefully inspires all of us to do the same.
It was an amazing testimonial to hear and I believe that all of us can continue to step up in our community and be the light to shine and help others whenever we can.
A small act of inconvenience on our part may mean a memory for a lifetime for the person we help.
We are all part of a larger community and this community is only as good as the individual building blocks - which is us.
Had breakfast today at one of the hawker centres and was offered a seat to join a middle aged lady when she saw that though I already had my food purchased, there was no available seats for me. Even though the table was half full with used cutlery and bowls , she went beyond that and started to shift some of these used cutlery away. All this when she was enjoying her breakfast!
After I placed my food down, I started to clear the used trays and cutlery as the tray return station was nearby. We had a good chat and found out that she was one of the hawkers selling roasted pork and meat.We went on to chat about which stalls had excellent dishes and ended when she had to head back to man her stall. I would definitely visit her stall one day!
As long as we have it in our heart to serve others, likewise, in certain most unexpected situations, we will find someone rendering the same help back to us! Give and we can forge a stronger community together!
Its been close to a week since Food for Thought came about. Have been sharing this with many of my friends and a common question always arise - would the hawker take the funds and not give out the food?
I believe that when we give the best of ourselves, we will also discover the best in others. This way of outreach will not be one where money will solve all issues. This campaign requires us to take the extra step to talk and engage the hawker and know them deeper before initialising the Food for Thought programme. If we have determined that the hawker shares the same heart and vision, then we should go ahead with full conviction that they will also do their best!
Let us all take the step out to do out best, and also discover the best in others!
The best form of love is meeting the needs of others.
During my ride with a GRAB driver today, we happened to chat about hawkers and food and it forms an integral part of our Singaporean culture. In fact, it is even considered and proposed as a UNESCO heritage.
Yet, on the other side less seen, are some of the elderly people who roam these hawkers and ask fellow Singaporeans to buy them a meal. They do not ask for money, but they ask for a basic necessity of life - food. A meal, just to keep them free from hunger.
I remember how it felt when I heard this, my heart was shattered and tears welled up in my eyes. These people are mostly involved in the development of Singapore into what it is today - a developed country. Yet, they are amongst those that fall through the cracks as the society progressed, leaving them to fend for themselves.
This GRAB driver frequents Jurong West Ave 1 hawker and shares that she encounters them on almost every visit. She revealed that though she is the sole breadwinner for her elderly parents who are hit by chronic illnesses, she still makes it a point to reach out and buy a meal for these elderly who are only seeking basic food.
How much does it cost for a meal in a hawker in Singapore? 3-5 dollars can allow us to get a decent meal. What's more is that some mixed rice stalls providing 2 vegetable dishes and 1 meat only charge 2.5 dollars.
With that, I hope to introduce Food For Life - a revolution that only with the help of every Singaporean, we can hope to achieve. $20 dollars may not mean much to you, but it will bring about 5 precious moments of thanksgiving to our pioneer generation. I truly hope that what we do today, can help to nurture the future leaders of tomorrow, but at the same time take care of those who have shaped our society when it was developing.
You can join in and shape our community! Simply print out the image below, write your name and explain the rationale to a willing hawker. Ideally, it will be a hawker who shares the same vision, one who actively reaches out to others.
Please help to spread the word. I will look to create a separate sub-page where hopefully we can also share the progress as we reach out to those in need. A little sharing goes a long way!