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!
A strong and positive new generation is the best possible preparation for the future of Singapore! Doing our part to nurture and encourage the youths and children can impact them strongly and they are the key leaders of tomorrow!
Back to NUH CCF to make the day brighter and happier for some of the children. Whenever they smile, it is a sense of warmth admidst the cold fact that they are actually hit by diseases that need further management. Hoping to do even more for them every time! They are all heroes, strong to battle these illnesses even as such a young age!
All of us can engage in small acts to commend the heroes in our lives!
These heroes extend all the way to everyone that we meet, as each of us plays a crucial role in our community! Take this hawker at redhill for example, I was famished and ordered a duck noodle set and to my pleasant surprise, it tasted really good! There was a generous portion of meat and he went the extra mile to ask me whether I would require any condiments. And all this time, with a smile on his face, dedicated to his work.
I commended him after the meal. As long as we strive to put in small acts of love, we can continue to make our community filled with everyday heroes!
The only way forward to improve our community is to get everybody involved!
Performing at a birthday party celebration for Leon over the weekend left the kids and adults pleasantly surprised and mystified. And children are the purest form of joy.
Just take Crystal as below (consent for photo obtained from parents). She displayed a great depth of interest towards balloon sculpting as I was making balloon sculptures for the other children. On further probing, she has always wanted to do balloon sculptures but found it hard to get balloons for sculpturing. Without second thoughts, I decided to give her a packet of the balloons that I was using!
Her joy cannot be expressed in words! And yes, the sculpture that she is holding are the small steps that she has taken to make bigger sculptures! Crystal, may you continue to practise and also be able to bring the same joy to other children next time!
Let us remember that the children today are the future leaders of tomorrow. What we do and say can go a long way to impact the future of Singapore.
A seed of kindness that we plant today will go on to impact the future generation, where words of thanks will only be heard then.
It was heartwarming to see all the passengers on the aisle of the first storey of a double decker bus shifting inwards to make space for an elderly gentleman on a mobility device. It seemed like everyone concurred and had the same thoughts to play a part in showing concern for this gentleman. Together, we can play our part and plant seeds of kindness that infuses our younger generation with such values.
The only way forward to build a tighter community, is to get everybody involved!
My wife and I had lunch at one of our culturally distinctive places - a hawker centre, on Sunday. We bought our food first as usual, before trying to seek out a table to enjoy. Thankfully, we spotted a middle aged couple who gestured to us to join them. We thanked them and sat down to enjoy the meal.
Subsequently, we spent an amazing hour to share about our lives and talked from family all the way to food that they love and patronise regularly. Indeed, sometimes all we have to do is to take the first step out, we will never know what pleasant acquaintances we will meet!