Bouquets: Choosing to see the good in life

Choosing to see the good in life

As a psychotherapist, I usually find myself in a position of helping others.

Perhaps unconsciously, I had come to see my default role as a provider of compassion and support, rather than as its recipient, which is why, when recent circumstances placed me in a physically vulnerable position in need of consideration, I was emotionally overwhelmed by the many spontaneous acts of kindness I received from strangers.

Having undergone knee surgery to repair my meniscus, I was dependent on a leg brace and walking stick for about a week.

The sight of a lady hobbling around with a heavy-looking bag must have tugged on the heartstrings of the many people who came forward to offer their kindness - from the people in a taxi queue who insisted that I go ahead of them to the security guard who assisted me with my bags despite his own advanced age to the little boy who chased after my dog when it bolted out of my garden.

The most touching experience for me was when an elderly gentleman, himself physically frail and using a walking stick, supported me as I climbed a flight of stairs.

There were many more little acts of kindness that I received during the week of my recovery.

But more than their physical actions, it was the genuine care with which these people offered their time and energy that moved me tremendously. I saw compassion in their faces and heard it in their voices.

In the bustle of our busy lives, it is perhaps easy to overlook or discount such goodness.

But to see only the negatives would make us cynical and emotionally numb as individuals and as a society.

These recent personal experiences have reaffirmed my faith in the good that exists all around us.

Life does appear brighter when we choose to open our eyes to goodness, no matter how small. There is undeniable beauty and love in the world, in our society and, most importantly, in each of our hearts.

Jessica Leong (Dr)


Grateful for bus driver's kind act

I would like to thank the kind SBS bus captain of service 70.

On March 27, I was on my regular morning run but it was a hot and humid day. I was feeling faint and dizzy and badly needed to hydrate.

My usual practice is to carry only my mobile phone, with no wallet or spare cash. As I was quite a distance from home, I realised the challenge I faced without any cash.

I hailed a taxi, explained my situation and told him I would pay him back when I reached home, but the driver flatly declined. So I made my way to a bus stop, and prayed that I would encounter a helpful soul.

Along came service 70, which I boarded at around 10.15am in Upper Paya Lebar Road.

The bus captain, whose name I was unable to get, was a friendly middle-aged man. He smiled and greeted every passenger who boarded. I explained my situation and he allowed me to board. Kudos to the driver. You were a great help.

Daniel Chang Chao Wan (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 29, 2018, with the headline 'Bouquets'. Print Edition | Subscribe