Mailbag

Helping individuals counts too

I read with interest the article profiling three people who gave up their bread-and-butter jobs for work that pays less (Shedding The Suit For A New Calling, The Sunday Times, Oct 15).

Former legal eagle and current executive director of Aware Corinna Lim said: "When you do counselling, you're helping individuals. But when you actually make change at the systemic level, then you're really talking about change for many people's lives."

Her statement seems to be dismissive of those who help people at the individual-level.

While their work may not bring about change at a systemic level, it is still important.

It makes a difference to the individual who is being helped.

The work of Ms Evelyn Leong, an engineer inspired by special needs students, and Mr Edward Hoon, who picked up counselling in his 50s, demonstrates that point well.

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Not all of us are in the privileged position of changing overarching policy.

Let us be appreciative and supportive of even the smallest effort put in by each of us.

I am 56 years old. Like Mr Hoon, I made a career switch in my mid-40s. I took 41/2 years, studying part-time, to complete my master's degree in counselling. I am a freelancer and I work with prison inmates.

Judy Lim Sok Cheng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 21, 2017, with the headline 'Helping individuals counts too'. Print Edition | Subscribe