I love my weekends.
I get to do lots of socialising on weekends – going out with friends (yo, Lisa! When are you coming back to Penang?), finding out new places to makan, discovering little gems in Georgetown (man, I love Penang!) and sometimes, even hanging around my own apartment is fun. I like to relax by reading at my balcony, no matter how cramped it is; surrounded by my plants (yes, I do the odd gardening now and then) – the odd chili plant, a rebellious bamboo plant, aloe vera, cacti – and my two pots of colourful guppies.
So this weekend isn’t that different.
Last night, Nic and I joined Erina and Lawrence (of Cooking Island) as well as Lillian and her family over at the Children’s Protection Society, Scotland Road to have an early Xmas celebration with the children of the home.
Many, many thanks must go to Erina for inviting Nic and I to bring some cheer to these children and share our Friday night with them – many have had difficult pasts and painful histories.
While Erina brought food for the simple dinner for the 13 children whose ages ranged from five to 17, we brought them gifts of stationery and chocolates. Which child doesn’t enjoy chocolates? Lilian and her family brought pizza and gifts of toys.
The children started off quietly taking their dinner but once they got to know us 6 adults, it was quite a riot. They loved the attention and their happy grins told us all we needed to know. The smaller children were lively and funny, each adorable in their own way while the older ones were a bit more reserved.
It’s hard to understand why these children were neglected or abandoned by their caretakers or guardians, which in many cases are their parents. Some are in the home because their parents cannot take care of their children properly. Some parents are unfit to be parents. It’s devastating to think that some of these children will grow up alone, not knowing why they were dismissed from their parents’ lives.
I sometimes think we humans are the only creatures in the world who have the brains to think logically yet sometimes do the stupidest things. We who have the ability to know right from wrong, good from bad can go so far as to abandon our children; even animals don’t do that.
Which is why I always say that it is a tough task to be a REAL parent. One who teaches, guides and nurtures a child to be a human being of the highest potential is a real parent. Just because one can pro-create does not automatically make one a parent. It is a label to be earned. Pro-creating unnecessarily makes us no better than animals but even animals know the right time and place to start another generation. We humans like to justify our lusts.
Anyway, this won’t be our last visit to the home. Nic and I hope to go more often now that we know we can make so much of a difference to these children. Even a short visit made them light up like Christmas trees.
It is true that the giver gets so much more than the receiver.
We get the gift of perpetual prosperity – riches which cannot be measured in ringgit and sen – when we give of ourselves, our time and our kindness.
I love my weekends.