Tuesday, 6 November 2007

An inspiration to all

I'd like to share something I read today....

Some 150 social workers took time out yesterday to be at a rare gathering to pay tribute to "the father of counselling' - Mr Anthony Yeo, veteran counsellor and head of the Counselling and Care Centre in Singapore.

He pioneered formal training for counsellors here and over the years, trained close to 1,000 and stayed on at the centre for 35 years. He's been lauded as genuinely humble, kind, gracious, forgiving and truly an inspiration to all.

Delivering his keynote address on being a resilient therapist, he dared his peers and the Government to acknowledge that that there is no such thing as an ideal family or a traditional family comprising a 'mother, father and children'.

He said, "Drop the phrase 'dysfunctional families', because every family is trying to function at its best in its own way."

He strongly feels it's time the Government articulate clearly a proper family-life-policy for Singaporeans recognising the wide variety of families. Such a policy should include the destigmatisation of divorce, the affirmation of children, especially those with special needs, and recognising the dignity of the elderly.

To this, I say, "Bravo! Mr Yeo!" Since I became a single mother, I've been labeled 'dysfunctional' which I still find hard to accept. It's a social stigma that I can't simply shrug off.

Here are more exerpts from his speech which I find very enlightening:

On divorces...
"Divorces are not going to go down, no matter what we do, because human relationships, being human relationships, are quite fragile.

And marriage is not a very easy institution. In the past, there was more stigma, so fewer people divorced. Through the years, we have made it easier for divorce to take place.

Many people may not be legally divorced, but that does not mean they are not divorced. You can be divorced emotionally, sexually, economically, spiritually. I think there are far more couples in Singapore than you realise. They have not gone to the courts, but they are disconnected, as husband and wife."

On parenting...
"It's a struggle to try to make children into a certain kind of product. And sometimes, I wonder if parents want their children to be robots, you know, the way they manipulate them. It's very hard for parents to accept variations in behavior and lifestyle of their children. They all suffer from some form of anxiety or another."

Why relationships matter most...
"I value relationships more than anything else. I value quality over qualifications. At the end of the day, it's relationships that bring us together.

When you're dying, you can be a billionaire, but who takes care of you is important, isn't it? You can employ all the best people to take care of you, but they won't be your family members."


WaterLearner said...

This is a good one. What he has said is really an inspiration to all.

The World According To Me said...

Here, here!

Very wise words and refreshing to read.

Amel said...

BRAVO, Blur! This is indeed a WONDERFUL post and I LOVE the quotes!!!

I guess being in Asia is tougher on you in becoming a single mother, eh? I mean I see lots of single mothers here or unmarried couples here and I don't feel any bad stigma at all.