Sunday, October 14, 2012


This week, I learned quite a bit about the importance of kinship. 

Encounter 1:
This week during my volunteering activity in a hospital, an AIDs patient (in his 50s) told me that his sister would be fetching him back home the next day. He was beaming with joy and I could not forget the smile on his face. In fact, most of the patients are longing for their family visits and support (and may be acceptance).

Encounter 2:
A friend who was studying in Australia for the past few years decided to return to Singapore. A few years ago, she was quite happy with her new life in Australia - new environment, more nature, more space, more laid-back, less stressful, less crowded etc... But recently, she grew sick and tired of the place, as she did not have a support of a local community and family. She was quite lonely. At least, back in Singapore, she could always count on her family and friends.

Encounter 3:
Visited a friend whose infant daughter was recently discharged from the hospital. His daughter did not breathe for 20 mins after birth, and as a result, she suffered from severe brain damage (she was warded in intensive care unit for days). She could not do instinctive things like sucking or swallowing. My friend (an ex-convict) had a difficult relationship with his father, but during this period, his father and extended family had shown tremendous support - emotionally, financially, physically. He was very touched by it. 

I was also very touched when I saw how my friend fed his daughter through a tube (which was inserted from her nose to her stomach). His infant daughter needs to be fed every 3 hours, and each feeding takes 1hr-1.5hr. Parents' love is indeed selfless and unconditional.

Well, it is really in times of trouble and difficulties, we know who are the people who really love us and stand with us and not deserting us. It is in time of trouble we see great human spirits and love. 

I am very fortunate to be born in a family and a culture that value strong family ties. The main contribution by Confucius is really emphasizing the importance of Filial Piety and kinship in a Chinese society.

I read this on BBC:
"It is no accident that the Chinese write the family name first followed by the given name. It reflects the overriding importance of the family in Chinese history."

On Saturday morning, my niece came to me and said 
"舅舅 (Uncle), I love you." 
I gave her a hug and that made my day!
It is priceless.