A Servant Leader
Throughout my experiences in MI, I try to hold on to this value of Responsibility, not just to self but to those around me. It has also influenced me outside of my school life, particularly in the area of volunteering. Part of the reason why I volunteer is due to my parents’ influence and my firm belief that it is important to give back to the community to the best of our ability. Growing up, my parents have always been my first and most important teachers who taught me the importance of responsibility to self and to others. They taught me that it is important to take charge and be accountable towards any work that I produce or am involved in. We have a collective responsibility to ‘leave no man behind’. Hence, this has encouraged me to reciprocate kindness with kindness.
I have been given the opportunity to put my beliefs into practice through my CCA, Service Learning Club. Two programmes have made a major impact on me: one of which was Adopt-A-Home held at All Saints Home. My main challenge was in terms of language barrier; although I could speak a little Hokkien, I was not proficient enough to hold an entire conversation purely in this dialect. During the course of the activity, I tried adapting to the situation by engaging in small talk with the elderly in broken Hokkien. While there was the worry about having awkward silence, I saw it as a good opportunity to step out of my comfort zone, having been an introvert most of my life. During snack time, we were given the opportunity to assist the elderly. It was then that I realised that while I faced difficulty in overcoming a language barrier, the people whom I was assisting were facing barriers of their own in society. In another volunteering experience, I encountered an elderly who was living alone in a rental flat filled with personal belongings. She was recovering from a stroke and was unable to travel by herself to run her errands. It was then that I learnt of social responsibility and how we have the opportunity to look out for one another in the community.
To end off, I hope to encourage others to instill a sense of empathy as well as responsibility, whether to others in the Institute, but also in the wider community. We should leave no man behind, and always pay it forward. This can be summed up in this quote by Oscar Wilde, 'The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.'