Celebrate the Legacy

It’s been a sombre week. I think most of us feel that way too.

I don’t speak on anyone’s behalf. Over here, it’s all about my own personal opinions and views on things.

I belong to the era where I was brought up by the generation who knew that to achieve what you wanted, you jolly well worked damn hard to get it. Nothing is a given. I was born in the period of time where the environment was much improved and life was generally kinder to people. So naturally, it took time for me to fully comprehend and appreciate that working hard and building a strong foundation for what you believe in was indeed a virtue.

I have been to poorer regions in the world, to do my part to help in whatever ways I can. Every time I see the hardships of the people in other countries, deep down inside I always count my blessings that I come from a country with my basic needs provided for, with no worries of crucial survival on my mind. I have come to appreciate that I have clean water for consumption anytime I wanted, whereas in some parts of the world, water is a luxury. There was this young girl, we brought her to our hotel room so she could have a good shower but she didn’t know how a shower head worked. She stood in the foreign looking toilet not knowing what to do. The 2-3 showers we enjoy daily, was something they had to spread out in 2-3months or more. There are people out there who still stay in houses made from the earth, literally, mud-houses. Many children do not even know what an elevator is, have never travelled the world, never sat in an aeroplane. Some don’t even get the opportunity for a good education because of corruption in their country.

I never had to worry about any of these issues in my life.

I am grateful for all the things I have in my life. I think that this gratitude and appreciation for what we have is important. It fills us with this certain sense of peace and happiness, reminding us not to take things for granted. There are people who complain. There are people who feel so bitter. They failed to see that life is still good compared to the life I have seen out there. I think we should instead appreciate the good things that we have and make the effort not to lose it.

I came across this poem and I felt that indeed, we should not weep. Instead we should celebrate the fact that this great man, Mr Lee Kuan Yew (1923-2015), left behind a nation we can be proud to call home.

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
– Mary Elizabeth Frye