I was at the Kwan Im Hood Cho Temple in Waterloo Street on Feb 5, after a sumptuous lunch at the Ritz Carlton, courtesy of the Association of Banks in Singapore which always throws a grand event to mark Chinese New Year.
And I always like to go to the Waterloo Street temple when I am feeling good, après or before events that make me feel good.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, what I witnessed before I entered the temple — and after I left it – made me feel even more at peace with the world.
I saw a handful of uncles, aunties, young men and women, handing out $2 notes to the elderly and sometimes handicapped tissue paper sellers who are always around the temple.
Some took the tissues in exchange. Others just gave outright.
Why did I feel good to witness such gifting?
Because it’s always my view that most of us can spare $2 to someone apparently in need. Better to be cheated by 10 fakes than let a genuine needy case go unassisted. Better to be cheated by fakes of $2 a piece than by one mega-fake about which we keep reading in the Straits Times
I hope my $2 non-campaign campaign would catch on.
Most of us can’t spare anyone a million bucks but there must be at least 450,000 Singaporeans who can spare $2 a day for a needy stranger?
Meanwhile do read (below) what I shared with some friends who were knocking our G for not being able to clear the poverty mass from our view.
Me: We all can rave, rant and rate G lowly for the continuing mass of poor in our midst. But didn’t Jesus himself say the poor will always be with us when Martha rebuked Mary Magdalene for wasting money on precious oil to anoint the Son of God, when the money according to Martha could have been better spent on the poor?
And he is not wrong: the poor will always be with us, because in a pyramid, the base will always be larger than the apex. Also, if you think of it, the Bible also says, to those who have, more will be given.
It’s pure maths. The rich having a critical mass will naturally become richer, even if they do no more than sit on their backsides. The poor even if they work hard may not make a lot of headway — or not the same amount of headway unless they experience a windfall through their own acumen or through pure random luck.
I think the more effective way to help this naturally skewed distribution is for those of us who can spare a little is to arm oneself with plenty of $2 notes n give to the ah mahs n ah peks one comes across in all corners of SG to buy snax n kopi. U wld b surprised how they all accept gratefully, if you treat the “gift” as a treat rather than a hand out!”