Sunday, January 11, 2009

Soft Sift in an hourglass

A few days ago, my husband passed me a book entitled "Soft Sift in an hourglass" by Rosalie Shaw. This book is a collection of stories told through the eyes of Rosalie Shaw, a doctor from Australia who came to Singapore to help set up the home care service of the Hospice Care Association.

Ironically, though the stories were about the end of life and death, there were much hope and resilence that resonated. Through my limited interaction with the volunteers at hospice care, many told me that they have also benefited as much, if not more than the patients from the volunteering experience. The hospice patients showed immerse courage in light of their health and continued to shoulder on, determined to live life to the fullest. They taught the volunteers that it is not about what life brings you, but what you live it that matters. They have such indefatigable optimism that rubbed on to the volunteers too.

I recalled my own experience of volunteering to deliver groceries to the poor. Though they were not rich materially, they were honest and generous with their thanks to a fault. They truly exemplify what Oscar Wilde said "Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.”

Before I end this post, I will like to quote a reflection from a volunteer. "Many a times when people volunteer their services, they expect to learn about sufferings, pain and sadness. It is only after one steps in that one learns about love, joy and what it truly means to live."

Life can be unfair but it is still beautiful. Cherish it. If you could afford the time, help the less fortunate.

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