A few weeks ago, Mum dragged Dad and me along to attend a dinner function hosted by the Resident’s Committee of the precinct which I lived in. The precinct was throwing a celebration for the Singapore’s Pioneer Generation.
It was another of those sudden requests from Mum; Bro had another appointment to attend to that day, although too coincidental in my honest opinion. Unwillingly, I put my mountain of work aside and accompany my parents to the dinner.
I really do not feel like socialising that evening…
During the dinner, half of my mind was on my work. The other half was on the food. I also used my hand phone as a distraction to put my mind at ease when there were long awkward silences. I did my best to use it discretely during those long intervals as it was rude to be on the hand phone an the dinner table, often answering messages on my WhatsApp with a cringe on my face, making sure that I had the troubled look, acting as though I had to answer an urgent message which I needed to answer when it was really some casual talk about the weather with my friends.
Two and a half hours past on quickly and it was time to say goodbye to everyone at the table. Before we parted, one of the seniors at the table had this to said to me, he said it in Mandarin:
“Wow, so you are a lecturer! Great to see that you accompanied your parents for tonight’s dinner. You know, our journey ends here for us. We are no longer that young to contribute like how we used to. Our future, we are entrusting it unto you.”
~ One of the Seniors at the Dinner Table
As a lecturer, I had often thought about how my students and I can make Singapore a better and more lovable place to live in. Groom them today, a better society tomorrow. I need all the help I can get. That’s one of the main reasons why I go into teaching.
Currently, I’m working extra hard on improving myself everyday of the week, Monday to Sunday, in hopes that I can do even more. Technical skills, soft skills and leadership skills, health and wealth, deepening my expertise and broadening my experience. I had never realised that I have so little time left to learn everything that I needed to. I said that I want to make Singapore a more “livable” place and I knew for a fact that I have to do this together with someone else, with many people.
What didn’t occur to me was that one day, I too will grow old. I too, have a limited time which I can contribute at the pace which I want to. One day, I will have to let go and entrust this naive dream of little me to my students. Just as that senior at the table had entrusted his future to me. There will come a time it will be my turn to entrust our future to the next generation I guess?