Monday, April 30, 2012

On volunteerism.. and the freedom song

I've got the tickets to Jason Mraz in Sg!!!
Uber looking forward, but i know it's gna get crazzzy squeezy..

I had become a fan since everyone was a fan,
(yea i admit i was one of those followers),
and so is Deon!

Deon Toh's an amazingly talented singer-songwriter i met,
a couple of years ago at NUS Jazz Band..
and we're now working together, writing songs weekly at his Thunder Rock School (:
So you can look forward to some collaborations between me and Deon in my upcoming EP!!

Here's a video we did in the wee hours of the morning (:

Well, the reason why i did this song was because i recently heard
the newly recorded version by jason mraz,
and i was just duper excited because just some time back,
i was putting the acoustic version of this song on repeat,
wondering when the recorded version is gna come out!

Of course my love for this song was due to the story behind it.
A while ago, my sister showed me this video
where Jason goes to Ghana to visit former child slaves at Challenging Heights,
a rehabilitation centre where these kids are taken care of after their traumatic experiences.

"this is a shelter, a rehabilitation centre, where they are cared for, 
they are given proper nutrition, and are slowly explained what's really been going on, 
and if their families have really been looking for them. 
And after they get through the rehabilitation process, 
then they are reintegrated back into their communities. 

So this is like the halfway point between being slaved.. and being back in the free world." 

In the video, the freedom song was introduced,
and I teared watching it,
because i realized there's so much to be done in this world,
so many lives to save,
yet all i could do is to sit in front of the screen at home and tear at a video,
before going back to my normal life.
Jason goes to Ghana

"Come on along, 
i know you really wanna hear our song,
we've got some life (light) to bring, 
we've got some joy in this thing"

Will simply spreading awareness ever be enough?

I've always wanted to be part of a volunteering group,
but never had the time and enough commitment to dedicate myself to it/prioritise it above others..

But i've done some community service during my schooldays
and this brought back fond memories..

I wish volunteering stems from teachings of love & compassion,
from the desire to make the world a better place,
than from a requirement for graduation.

Even now as i look back,
as pure my intentions were to help others,
i can't help but feel sorry that i had spent those few days bonding with the kids,
only to abandon them in their shelters later,
never to return again.

I mean, i'm sure there are many volunteers who return every single year,
but what about the rest that forms the majority?

These kids' lives were filled with hopeful volunteers,
who went,
and left.

I can't figure what is the best form of volunteerism.
Are all volunteerism beneficial for the community served?
Does the age-old quote regarding compassion and starfish even make any sense?

sigh.. :(


  1. Perhaps these words from your friend, Stephanie Seow, whom I interviewed sometime ago, would offer you further inspiration:

    "The sufferings of people might seem very distant from us because we don’t usually see them. But if we can just pluck up the courage to step beyond familiar grounds (even locally), then we will be able to see so many more life stories of others. Be it the children whom I met in Mongolia, or the elderly back in Singapore pushing carts of card boxes to make ends meet, these are the people who need our attention. I believe that once you have seen and heard their stories, then you will be compelled to help and no other reasons will bind you down."

    And " will see helping not as something noble but something very integral to your life)."

    Ngai Meng

  2. hi ngai meng, thanks for the comment. Steph said it well ((: i guess we all have to start somewhere, somehow..