Connecting local responses around the world
This is the first blog post I am writing. So, in advance, thanks for reading :)
In my role at Beyond Social Services, an NGO in Singapore, I do not get the privilege of working closely with the community we serve. My colleagues have that privilege and I often listen to their experiences, and stare at them in awe. Isn't it wonderful that people share their lives with us? That they trust us enough to include us in their world, when they don't really have to? So I jump at every chance when any one of my colleagues walk into our office, and not finding Gerard (our boss) to consult on a problem that one of the families/youth is facing, turns to me and says, "Ranga, can I talk to you?" I listen, and share my thoughts, and suggest ways to address the issue, and I hope I am helpful, if not all of the time, at least some of the time. Just observing, listening, engaging in conversations, reading, being silent, are many different ways I have "absorbed" what it is to be helpful. And, I am so grateful for that, as I don't think I could have learnt it in any school.
Today started out like any other, with a new lesson for me. It was an interesting start and a meaningful end that I felt was worth sharing. Over lunch, with a businessperson, I heard that most people are motivated by either Greed or Fear!! From politics to personal decisions, this person felt that the root for our decisions in life were these two human emotions! Between the soup and the main course, I got really disturbed as I knew there was more to life than that, and then between the main course and dessert, I was figuring out where Love and Compassion fit in. Things got clearer by the time coffee arrived, and defintely by the end of the day.
Now comes the meaningful end to the day. Marilyn, my colleague, walked into the office and asked me to look at an email she was sending to all the staff. It was an intro to a weekly email that six colleagues who had gone on a SALT visit to Jogjakarta will be sending out. Her intro, which was very well written, reminded me once again what it is to be human, and all that we had shared in a previous group session. It put a smile on my face :)
I want to thank my lunch partner and dear Marilyn for today's life lesson : It is not about running our lives based only on greed or fear, and but it is really about community, and all that we share as human beings, which includes to a smaller or larger extent, emotions like greed, fear, compassion and love, among many others. I am so very happy to be where I currently am, doing what I am doing, with humans who come in all colours and different shades of grey.