As Singapore progresses onto its next phase of continued progress and governance, Singaporeans are observing the elections this week as the country heads to the polls in a few days. As a first time voter, I am observing the elections with keen interest and this is a crucial phase in Singapore’s history.
My belief is for government officials to hear the voices of Singaporeans especially those struggling such as the ones with low incomes and the needy of society. The government should be united in caring for the people of the country and not compete among themselves. It is about finding alternative solutions and listening to both sides of the story to make things work for everybody. Compassion is a much needed value in today’s society.
The gospel illustrates another miracle of Jesus where the people brought him a deaf man who had a speech impediment. The deaf man begged him to lay his hand on him. The reading states,“Jesus put his finger into the man’s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue; then he looked up to heaven and said to him, “Ephphatha!” – that is, “Be opened!” – and immediately the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed and he spoke plainly” (Mark 7:31-37).
This shows Jesus being compassionate even to a complete stranger and that his love for humanity has no boundaries. Many a time, in sickness and in ill health, we fail to see the small acts of compassion despite the anxiousness of the situation. Acts of compassion would be loved ones taking time off to care for the person, family members being closer together and having unceasing prayers. Are we open to the acts of compassion that we encounter everyday?
I want Singapore to be a more compassionate society and government in working together with the different parties for the benefit of the people of Singapore. Nobody in society should be left behind or be rejected as everyone should be accepted and given the help that they need.
In the second reading, it says,“My brothers and sisters, show no partiality as you adhere to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. For if a man with gold rings and fine clothes comes into your assembly, and a poor person in shabby clothes also comes in, and you pay attention to the one wearing fine clothes and say, “Sit here,please.” while you say to the poor one, “Stand there,”or “Sit at my feet,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil designs” (James 2:1-5).
As Catholics, we should not be partial towards anyone but learn to respect and treat each other with dignity and compassion.
As a compassionate creator, Jesus shows his love to all of creation in the beginning of time by providing for us and for the animals with food and shelter. He gives us free will to make our own choices and entrusts his beautiful creation to us. Jesus continues to do things for us and he asks us to pass on the gifts of compassion and kindness to the people around us.
I have a strong interest for social justice, in being a voice for the voiceless of society and empowering them through constructive ideas and solutions. Compassion is like a flame that is meant to be passed on to people so that others may receive the light and warmth. In turn, everyone should live and value the virtue of compassion which is to help a little, give a little and receive a little for the common good of others.
I have seen acts of compassion such as bus drivers helping the elderly and disabled get on and off a bus, elderly couples caring for one another and people helping the needy through outreach initiatives and referring them to the right channels to seek help. This should be the common goal of the government whether PAP or Opposition, and they should work for the betterment of society in aspects that are in need the most.
I came across this informative article which was titled,”7 Life lessons that we can learn from politician Mr Chiam See Tong” that brought out the value of compassion so that despite being in an opposition party,he still respected the views of others.
Mr Chiam said,“The most important thing is that you have to respect an individual, whether he’s got six Cs or six As and whether he’s a brain surgeon or a dustman. I think we should give him the same respect. If you don’t give respect to your own citizens, I think you condemn them forever.”
He remained grateful and humble in serving his residents and did all he could to improve the lives of others.
Despite all the differing views, Singapore must never lose sight of the bigger goal which is the implementation of solutions and ideas to improve the people in society and the infrastructure of society through humility and compassion. May God guide Singapore towards a better and brighter future for all! God Bless.
Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong