Monday, January 17, 2011

Images of Singapore

I was in Singapore for a short trip, about ten days ago.

Several images caught my eye..... no 'beggars', at least in the central part of the city we were staying ....but we met a number of people selling tissue of the most touching was the man on a motorized wheelchair (looked like he has a form of cerebral palsy) outside the MRT station. Others were little old i ended up with enough tissues for the whole trip!

The other image was the new casino at Marina Bay Sands that i was told by my relative is likely to cause many social problems. I was curious and would have gone in, but i probably misread the sign and thought that even foreigners have to pay the 100 dollar levy!

Then another sight was the view of Singapore from the fifty seventh floor of Marina Bay Sands hotel - from the so called viewing deck that extends a couple of hundred feet out of the end of the building. Not for those uncomfortable with heights, but it gives a birds eye view of Singapore.
Life is full of paradoxes. On one end you have the high standards of living that seem to define the word 'success'. As i walked through the hotel complex, i wondered whether those staying there were really conscious and grateful for the gift, or had the experience become mundane for them - just the next new hotel to try out. On the other end, we sometime meet very real people, who live quite authentic lives, even if in some hardship; people who do not know that they do make the day brighter for those who are willing to 'see' through the simple trappings. i struggle sometimes with just wanting to give a couple of dollars and not take the tissues - but i reckon it would give the person much more dignity to be treated like any other person who makes an honest living (and not a mere charity case).
Dear Lord of all, all the rich and the poor and the in betweens, help us recognize and appreciate all gifts that come our way - gifts wrapped in gold and ribbons and also those that are much simpler and much more ordinary - yet gifts all the same, from a loving God. Amen

No comments: