The story of a refrigerator

13 12 2010

I have recently discovered the joy of volunteering.

The last time I actually volunteered was during uni days, where a bunch of us sang Christmas carols at an aged home. They often say giving is more rewarding than receiving, and I guess nobody can fully appreciate that statement unless you have been in that position of helping others in need.

The most gratifying thing I have done all year may not have made financial contribution to the corporation, but certainly for a few of us, it was alot more rewarding than sitting in the office (ie. we would rather have preferred toiling it out in the hot sun).

I organised two house builds this year as part of CSR- one in Guangzhou and one in Thailand. Seeing the living conditions of the villagers actually gave me a huge sense of guilt.

I met this young chap in the Chinese village who had the responsibility of taking care of his old grandmother and mentally unstable mother. They do not possess a refrigerator. Instead they owned one of those ancient looking huge jars made of china, filled with uncooked rice grains. Each time, they would place their unfinished food into the jar and cover it with the rice grains, which would somewhat preserve the food. I had to keep myself from tearing when I saw this, because I never imagined how anyone could live like this. And we did noticed that this young chap talked to us with his head bowed low all the time, avoiding eye contact as if he was feeling inferior about his situation.

Despite the indifference that some people in the company might have felt towards the project, I actually feel sorry for them. If one never leaves his comfortable cocoon, he will never learn to appreciate life and what he has. And never learning to appreciate something you have, even down to something as basic as a refrigerator, you can never fully appreciate life.

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2 responses

31 12 2010
Suzanne

I am glad that you did it, and felt strongly about it. I think we have had an easy life growing up in Singapore and can do more about understanding life in other developing countries.

Having said that, tell me a bit more about the CSR project that you put together as I am supposed to work on something similar too.

4 01 2011
bohorhapsody

hi babe, yes i guess it was probably the best thing i did in 2010, something i m really proud of..

basically we did 2 house builds with Habitat for Humanity, one in thailand and one in china. the one in Thailand, we actually recycled our glass bottles and used them as building material for the ground..so there is an environmental element to it as well..

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