Reporter's take

Causes Week 2017: Keeping an ear out for the needs of others


Today's two causes showcase how much listening to and telling stories well can help society extend a hand to those around them.

Help does not need to start from big corporations or the Government - these causes can mobilise and inspire the desire in everyday Singaporeans to get involved.

Whether in the form of getting students involved in listening to the stories of complete strangers, or shaping advocacy reports for those in need and yes, inspiring empathy and a giving spirit in everybody through videos and stories, the causes show everybody can make a difference.

In AdvocAid, you have a non-profit organisation that tells the stories of those who do not qualify for government aid, to help them with crowdfunding appeals.

Listening to another person's story develops empathy. Retelling them can lead to a compassionate society.

It exposes many Singaporeans, especially the younger generation, to aspects of life in Singapore that they may not have known existed. Stories of incredible sacrifice, enduring hope, entrenched poverty and love are tucked away behind the doors of many homes.

There is much good that can be done in society. It starts with us listening.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 08, 2017, with the headline Keeping an ear out for the needs of others. Subscribe