Sunday, 8 March 2009

Social work

The weekend's over too quickly, a usual case of too much to do, too little time. The air was so still this morning that I was drenched in sweat at 6.30am after walking Rusty. I could smell another tropical storm coming. Luckily I remembered to bring my freshly sowed lettuce seedlings into the shelter before I left home. I cannot bear to see any more drownings/casualties in my garden.

At the office, I started my day by watching a very heart warming documentary on Noah's Ark animal sanctuary. We went to the sprawling sanctuary last september and walked away totally impressed with the way the stray animals were given a new lease of life. The volunteers had done a great job in giving the dogs, cats, horses, a monkey and a goat a beautiful home. I wished I could become a useful volunteer too.

That's when I realise that these are indeed a special breed of dedicated people. While we normal people are griping about not having enough time to complete housework or pursue our hobbies, the volunteers sacrifice their weekends, travel long distances (in this case, they have to endure long hours of traffic congestion at the Johor-Singapore Causeway) and have nothing but love and compassion for the animals.

Don't they have chores too? Or are they robots who don't need time off for rest and relaxation? Maybe they excel at time management or helping others is their priority, but whatever it is, they are admirable. We should be thankful there are people like them around.

Unfortunately they are a rare breed. Even people who are paid to do their job don't do it well because they lack the passion and right attitude. Can this be taught or is it inborn? Sometimes I wonder if public education will be of any help.

While having lunch at the popular Ikea Cafe last week, we saw prominent signs upon entering - "Clear your tray. Don't leave any trace". They're plastered everywhere, at the cashier, on billboards and every dining table. Yet, we saw people walking away after their meals, leaving plates, cutlery, bones, tissue paper and cups scattered on the table.

These were educated folks with young children in tow. Don't tell me they've missed the signs? What kind of examples are they setting for their children? It made me disappointed and sad. If we can't get the message across to the young and affluent, then how are we going to educate the rest of our nation?

9 comments:

Fresh Fry aka 福星 said...

which is where i also feel, tonnes of self-help books around, many people own at least a few copies, read thoroughly yet, nothing done.

i think in this era, help is everywhere but people are too lazy or feared to pick it up. they think there wouldn't be results.

i've my personal story to share in one example.

my sis + i hadn't talked for 8 years in our growing up years and after the 1st POP workshop session, i told myself i gotta change it. but i held off off for more than 2 months, 'cos i was afraid.

i was afraid my sister would reject me. but in the end, when i called her up (she was in NZ for an Uni attachment), we cried over the phone and had a long chat. and from then on, we built everything up again.

my bro is a hermit in the family, eventhough i dun have the wars with him like with my sis, he nevertheless dun really care abt people around. i took a few weeks to sit in boring football matches in his room, offered to bring in snacks to munch together and the ice melted. to where we are now, best pals in the family.

it's all about patience and determination to anything in life, and keep remembering they're not as scary as we think. 1st steps looks like a dance at the Devil's, but when we're really in there, we find there're many angels backing us up.

=)

Blur Ting said...

You are right. Once you open up and talk to people, you will realise that your own perceptions have been wrong or distorted. Only when you have tried, then you'll realise things may not be what it seems. Too bad, many people fail to make the first step.

Blur Ting said...

I'm glad you did. Look at you all now! One big happy family. Isn't it great?

Nick Phillips said...

I see that a lot here too. People who just don't bother clearing up after them though there's countless signs all around ...

I have to agree the weekend sure passes by in a jiffy but thank god it's a pubic holiday here today :D

Fresh Fry aka 福星 said...

my next project now is aligning my folks and dealing with them the better way. big project nevertheless, and i foresee a longer shot than my siblings (old people are harder to receive), still, it's a project i gotta do before i'm to proceed on any personal venture.

auntielucia said...

Hi Blur:
1.Besides being a prolific, good and insightful writer, I think I must add "good weather vane" to your attributes. The storm since 11.30am today shows u are as good, if not better than our Met Office with all their experts and equipment.

2. Animal sanctuaries: I hear that some sanctuaries (not Noah's Ark) collect animals and when their premises run out, they release the animals back into the wild!

3. I saw yr Forum page letter regarding traffic along Geylang Rd. I think we shld cut away our dependence on ST Forum to elicit official response. Why not harness the power of the Internet and viral response to get the Govt to take legitimate, serious online views with the same respect it accords to ST Forum letters?

4. I'm not a big fan of the return your trays campaign. The need to clear and clean tables offer work to people who need it. The campaign shld be on eating tidily and tidying up your table after u've eaten. We always do, so the uncle and auntie cleaners have little trouble picking up our used crockery when they come by with their trolleys.

Blur Ting said...

Nick - You lucky one! The weather here is perfect for a good snooze.

Blur Ting said...

Fry - I am sure your parents will appreciate your effort. It is every parent's wish to see harmony within the family.

Blur Ting said...

Auntie Lucia -
1. My weather instincts only started to develop after my morning walks with Rusty. I rely on good breezy mornings to air-dry my hair, so I have become tuned to weather conditions.

2. Funny how many charitable organisations are founded with good intentions but they are run by human afterall, so undesirable things happen along the way.

3. You're right. I have written directly to LTA about traffic issues before and was surprised they rectified the situation very quickly. Even the PR officer called to follow up after that. Quite impressed with them!

4. There were cleaners at Ikea to help put our trays away even when we brought them to the sorting station. They were also around to wipe the tables after that. I agree that the least we should do is to tidy the table after we've eaten. It's good manners even for the next person who has inherited our seat when we leave.