Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Generous Justice Part 2: Reason for Empathy

Hi all this is part 2, apologize again for having to take so long to post this.
This 3 part series I'm posting may get a little too religious for some people, but keep an open mind and hopefully you will learn a thing or two. Put it into perspectives of your own and see if they resonate with you.

Part 2: Reason for Empathy!
- Empathy and Compassion through Christ as a source for finding happiness

In Christianity, Empathy is a crucial element in our lives. Why? Here are the two main reasons.

1. To see God's creation with joyful awe
Since we are all made in the image of an immortal God, then all of us are not just equals but the most precious creation of God, deserving of the utmost respect.
Hence racism and elitism in this perspective, greatly contravene "right Christian behavior".
This is as we are all infinite in value to God and when you do harm to your neighbors you do harm to God's creation. Much like vandalizing or destroying what is not rightfully yours. Only difference is that a "life" is not simply a property but a being which is most precious in God's eyes.

And that same principle applies to other living beings. We are essentially stewards of God and not the owners. Hence, we ought to appreciate and care for all living beings around us, least we be filled with wicked pride and greed, and exploit God's granted resources to no end.

In addition, this applies to even your "rivals", "enemies" and the "wicked". God loves them all!
Hence, instead of judging them, think of how you can show love to them. Yes, to many it may seem to be a naive notion, but only through (Genuine and Generous) "Loving kindness" can we change a person with the heart of stone and evilness.
Nevertheless, that is not to say that you are to give foolishly, but instead give "lovingly". Having full faith and/or knowledge what your gifts will actually help him change. And that "faith and/or knowledge" would logically be dependent on whether you are reasonably equipped with the appropriate information or understanding, or perhaps even faith or burden that you are the person to be responsible to ensure that "change" happens.

2. The second reason is for you to experience God's true grace in redemption
This is to mean that we are to Love like Him, and specifically to adopt a truly sacrificial love towards every being around you. We ought to live in a sacrificial lifestyle, giving not only money, but also ourselves.
Our prayer, our time, our heart and genuineness to provide a helping hand to those who may require our aid.

To do so, we need to first empathize with them, to feel what they are feeling. And often that may even involve living with them or experiencing what they experience, before we can derive the true essence of their emotional state.

By truly comprehending what the disadvantaged goes through, it would bring us greater appreciation of our personal gifts and wealth, and happiness can be easily found by having a thankful heart for whatever we possess.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


This is a great example that even the "poor", can innovate, think and make a difference. =)

As long as there is passion, purpose, and drive, everything is POSSIBLE.
Oh and let me not miss out the "Just do it" attitude. :)

Generous Justice Part 1: Education, Family and Financial Literacy

I've just completed reading a Christian book on Social Change and Social Justice; one of the primary responsibility of a passionate and faithful Christian. Its written by Timothy Keller, and each page brought new insights and encouragement to my personal walk as a social change-maker.

These are my reflections with association to its application in Envisage, a Social Enterprise that brings social education programs to high schools in Singapore.

This first post is part 1 of a 3 parts series which I will be posting within the next few days to come.

Part 1

There is a higher purpose to why I am so fervent in introducing Poverty Simulation into high Schools, which follows the 3 Pillars of Poverty Simulation, advocated by Envisage that is a greater appreciation for Education, Family, and Financial Literacy.

(a) Education; It has been identified by many social change-makers that education is a key aspect of poverty eradication. Through education we can create a more civil society that has the capability of engaging in logical debates on what justice means to each individual, rather than resorting to violence whenever disagreement arise. Education also provides us with the knowledge (and consequentially the responsibility) to act on social injustice whenever we see them.
But more importantly, it is the teaching of moral values, which each individual base its perspective of "justice" on. ("Justice" is a complicated concept which can be perceived differently from multiple ethical and religious principles, of which will not be discussed in detail in this post)
Without moral values, social injustice will be difficult to identify and hence wrongfully tolerated by the society.

(b) Family; Another critical component of social change, where values if properly transferred from one generation to the next, will bring about positive moral growth to our society.
Nevertheless, it seems that it is also currently one of the most critically missing component of Singapore children's education. Where most families have both parents laboring hard at work each day to create a "better" life for their own family, yet missing out on the importance of developing their kids into morally upright individuals.

(c) Financial literacy; The knowledge of how to manage one's finances wisely, so that resources are not wasted on fruitless endeavours, and that extra wealth created could and should be shared amongst the disadvantaged of our society, instead of wasting on vain recreational activities beyond what is really necessary.

Hope that my sharing in Part 1 provides you with some useful insights. I promise to post the other 2 within the next few days.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Japanese motto for teaching young leaders

One of the great admirals in the history of Japan, admiral Yamamoto, had a motto in teaching young leaders.
He says.

First, teach them an example by showing them how to do it by yourself.
Second, let them do by imitating,
And then if they fail,show them again until they can.
And then If they managed successfully,then praise them.