Archive for the ‘Gerard Ee’ Category

In the Singapore Straits Times recently, it was reported that there were 401 suicides last year compared to 364 a year ago – more than one a day. Samaritans of Singapore identified the 20-29 age group as “high risk” – 51 took their own lives, almost double the number from a year before. The increasing rate of suicides, especially among the young, is an increasing problem of developed societies like Singapore.
                I personally struggle with why these people who are jut beginning life are so desperate as to take their own lives. I wish I can advise them otherwise.
                Some friends of mine suggest that perhaps some are badly in debt and cannot see their future as bankrupts. Or they may be heartbroken over unrequited love. Or they may not want to face up to mistakes they have made. We all make mistakes but we should learn from our mistakes and get on with life.
                I believe that it is the feeling of self worth that makes a person do foolish things. We need to have a greater sense of self worth. The worst thing a person can do is to depend on other people’s perception for their worth. Doing that is allowing other people, including those with bad values, to define who we should be. It should always start with each of us. We should look at ourselves and start counting our blessings.
                The majority of us with the blessing of sight, hearing and mobility should realize that it places us way ahead of the many who are disabled. If persons with disabilities can face the challenges of living, then surely those of us with sight, hearing and mobility can do better.
                Do we judge ourselves by our possessions?  What is the use of having lots of material things but to be heavily indebted because of the overuse of credit? During the economic recession, the richest people were those who were debt free or had little debt. After all, one does not need much to have a decent life. It is not the material things which bring happiness. There are few things which we need in order to have a life – nourishment, shelter, and clothing are the main items. Most other things like cars, big houses, annual holidays and branded goods are nice to have, but they are not essential.
                People allow themselves to feel depressed when their relationships break up. They are heartbroken. That surely is self inflicted torture. Usually depression results from having formed a crutch on another individual and then feeling betrayed, feeling regret from that attachment. Love cannot be forced on others. We should love freely and true love should not be conditional upon the response.
                I find it tough to imagine what can possibly be so bad as to drive a person to suicide. I may go into a period of depression and desperation if I were to suddenly lose my sight. But I will eventually snap out of it and get on with life. After all there are millions of visually impaired persons coping well with life.
                I wish everyone will start off the day counting their blessings and be grateful for them. Waking up in the morning with sight, hearing and mobility should be enough to make us happy and be mentally ready to face the challenges out there. Mental states are usually a reflection of our choice of thoughts. Why choose depressing thoughts when there are so many things to be happy about. Live mindfully. Appreciate that cup of coffee, bowl of noodles, the smile of a child, the wave of a neighbour – we are surrounded by happiness. The sprouting of a new blade of grass gives hope as it is life after being trodden on. A butterfly bursting through its cocoon, tadpoles hatching from eggs almost invisible to the eyes, – there is life all around us.
                I wish I can tell those who commit suicide before they do: Don’t give up your life just like that.


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Charities exist to help the poor and the needy. However, well-run charities are few and far between.

            The key reason is that the same compassion that drove the formation of charities and their work can result in poor governance, low performance, poorly paid workers, and a narrow focus on the needs of the poor.

                To solve this, we need to remove the element of compassion when it is not necessary or appropriate in the workings of charity. Only then, will we have high-performing charities that can effectively deliver on their mission.

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