The world today continues to be fraught with increasingly more uncertainties and challenges with key events like US-China trade war and Brexit on the one hand and climate change and humanitarian crisis on the other.
In the face of these changes, many responsible governments work together to address these concerns. Singapore, a little red dot, is also playing an active role in engaging these global issues.
As a student of Economics, we understand that TIME is a very limited resource, and yet it is also the most valuable resource. While we deliver our best to excel in both sports and academics, we must also give time to consider such wider societal issues through caring for others, especially the less fortunate.
Therefore in our alumni, bursary funding for the undergraduates and participation in community service are integral to our existence, and are ranked as priorities in our annual calendar of events.
In my personal view, success in life reflected by a successful career and family life must always be complemented by “giving back” to society.
During my days as a teenager, I habitually gave some coins to a beggar who stationed himself daily along Victoria Street. One day, a friend remarked that some of these beggars are part of a syndicate and they may not benefit from the offerings. In fact, it was added that in fact I could be encouraging such unhealthy social behaviour. Since then, I became cynical and hesitant about giving alms to beggars.
Many years later, I could not remember when my mindset was completely changed. However, the reason was clear – compassion overrules logic. It dawned on me that there was really no need to ascertain whether these beggars were genuine. What matters was if the beggar was a fake, my loss would be limited to the $1 to $2 donation. If I was wrong, my concern was that this donation could mean the next meal for the beggar. Ever since, I would no longer hesitate to give to every beggar on the streets regardless of their race, religion or residence. Besides, I also experienced joy when I saw the smiles on their faces. It is truly more blessed to give than to receive.
As time passed, I began to embrace a lifelong goal of putting a smile on 3 faces daily, whether by way of kind words, acts of good service, or just a simple donation. Very often, money provides the most opportunities to achieve this goal. In a year, I will be able to put 1,000 smiles on people’s faces, and by God’s grace, another 20 years of earthly life will add another 20,000 smiles to mankind. Giving is becoming a part of my life. As written in Matthew 10:8b of the Bible “freely you have received, freely give”. I am sure that an attitude of sharing will make every society and this world a better place for all.
President, NUS Economics Alumni