Monday, May 24, 2010

Final Lesson from Dr Goh Keng Swee

I watched in full captivity the live telecast of the State funeral of the late Dr Goh Keng Swee yesterday. Thousands of people had braved the elements just to pay their last respects to one of the greatest sons of Singapore over the past week.

Looking at Dr Goh’s funeral session which was attended by many distinguished guests, his family, friends and loved ones, and all paying tributes and offering eulogies to Dr Goh, the epiphany which has eluded me for some time now returned, overwhelming me: the epiphany on what life is all about.

Life is all about creating value to others and the society. Dr Goh was well-loved and respected by Singaporeans for he has not only cared for the society, he has created tremendous value to Singapore by helping make Singapore what it is today. Dr Goh Keng Swee has also touched the lives of many Singaporeans.

At your own funeral, what would you like to be remembered as to your loved ones? For those who have been stuck in the corporate rat race chasing for the millions and a premium living, I guess the same answer also applies: people do not remember you for earning that few millions but they remember you , long after you have gone, for how you have created, added value or helped them in their personal lives and the community in general.

The worst form of humiliation that can be accorded to anyone is to denigrade the value of an individual in any social roles he or she takes on: be it as a family member, as an employee, a friend or just as another human being. E.g. Many bosses treat their employees nastily, employees do not feel valued and hence leave the company. Dr Goh accords the requisite value and worth deserving of any individual to him or her.

So while we hope we will be valued in the social roles we take on, we can also help make the world or Singapore a better place by adding value to our fellow mates and community today!

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