Teresa Hsu Chih (1898-2011) – tribute & lessons learnt. December 20, 2011Posted by @Karen_Fu in change, ethics, faith, human quality, life challenges, real power, Singapore.
Tags: Compassion, education, Human Spirit, Learning, life, Life lessons, Overseas Chinese, Passion, Singapore Icon, sustainability, Teresa Hsu Chih
[Image from the Star.com.my; modified to use on DaringToChange at WordPress]
I don’t know how to chant. Neither do I know the actual culture of praying in the religious sense. I only know ‘amitabha‘ for Buddhism and ‘the lords prayer‘ for the Roman Catholic. Teresa Hsu used to be a Roman Catholic before she was converted to Buddhism. I supposed it was uncanningly a perfect fit somewhat. So I decided I’ll just shut my eyes, knelt down and just prayed in my style at a temple. I probably did it all wrong and I hope someone who knows how to pray could mend it up. She instructed no ceremonials or rites, but she didn’t instruct people not to offer prayers.
I never believe that a life that is lack of love and sensitivity could bring up a harmonious society. It is logical to educate people not only on ethical aspects but as well as the skills that we need to learn. But I am afraid that I have over emphasized the value of education itself when I see some elites failing to or rather choose to ignore the voices of the common ground of layman and the disadvantaged. It is in such a materialistic society usually in a highly sophisticated and urbanized setting that people tend to care for themselves. Where the extreme class disparity spells hatred due to the short of genuine communication. Surely some people are lazy to be upwardly mobile. And some are just born to be bad no matter how much energy you put in to drag them out into the positive light. However it seems in today’s context, the misgivings of top education where prestige and material benefits over weigh the justice in life do make a lot of people hypocritical. It also boils up uprise of demonstrations and riots from the ground because fairness is absent. Shades of grey are chosen over the distinct colors of black and white where your eyes and your heart knows what is right and wrong.
With only a Senior Cambridge qualification, she worked as stenographer and could have been very well off given her character and intelligence. But at the age of around 47, she chose to be a a nurse. A profession that was not highly paid with very tedious work to do. She never seeked fame and humbled herself despite the obstacles she had faced. At many times, I am so glad she lived long enough for us to discover her. Just when we started to know her, her health began to frail.
She should have at least allowed people to collect her remains. Though she had no immediate family of her own, she is part of our Singaporean family. In duty, we should collectively collect her remains because she died with no family of her own. She treated herself almost like thrash when she treasured others like gold. That made me very upset.It is the most unusual and rare human trait that she illustrated with her life that could shame us all.
Change has come in my opinion for the next year. Why? Many have come to believe that current systems fail as they cannot solve social economic problems that are in the world. Would we be damn foolish to stay corrected when problems are not solved? And that the quality of human character changes for the worse as a result?
2012 will certainly be another step to the turn of tides. People will question more and with the tearing down of barriers of various kinds.
Here is a human being whose education was deprived. She had no degree, nevermind a PhD. but she strived to learn beyond books and education systems could deliver. She kept 2000 books at her hougang residence. Why? Because she had the curiosity to explore with the positive zest of life that most people don’t have.
She should know that when people start to ask where she was when her active lifestyle suddenly stopped, and when people wondered where she was. You can’t stop people and the media to know about you because you are a special person.
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