The Lunar New Year is often a time of receiving rather than a time of giving for most youngsters. However, like Christmas, for not-well-to-do donors, it's the worst time of the year, when they're expected to give hong baos or gifts to the younger generation, many of whom think it's their juvenile rights to receive these red packets.
|An extra zero is always welcomed! |
From: The Straits Times, Feb. 18, 2015. p. A24.
In recent years, more shops and supermarkets are open during the Chinese New Year, because foreign workers and non-Chinese Singaporeans are willing to work overtime to serve locals, who would otherwise be inconvenienced when it comes to buying household items; or having a wallet-friendly meal, while they go around visiting friends and relatives. Not to say, foreign-born doctors and nurses who are on stand-by to look after local patients, who are admitted to hospitals during the Chinese New Year public holidays.
There is no better time than the Chinese New Year to show our appreciation to the financially disadvantaged and to tens of thousands of migrants, who help sustain the economy, when most Chinese Singaporeans are having a good time catching up with relatives and friends.
A Dozen Deeds for Singaporeans of All Sizes, Shapes, and Ages
Here are a dozen simple numerical deeds many could afford to do during this festive season, especially after receiving fat hong baos from senior family members and relatives.
12. Give some iTunes or Google play gift cards to children from disadvantaged homes for them to purchase some educational apps or ebooks.
11. Donate a math ebook, or offer a sample chapter, or book voucher to someone whose child might benefit from it.
10. Overtip a waitress.
9. Give ten bucks to a street musician or blind person.
8. Compliment three strangers every day during this festive season.
7. Give a gift certificate or cash voucher to a beggar.
6. Bless a poor child with a Rubik's Cube.
|Not all Rubik's cubes are made equal!|
5. Offer ten percents of your income to charity, on top of your tithe.
4. Surprise an old friend overseas with a phone call.
|A value-for-money grade 3 SG math book|
2. Settle the restaurant bill for a family of four strangers while they are enjoying their meal.
1. Buy a seasoned train ticket and give it to a poor person.
The time to spread happiness and joy is now, especially among foreign and migrant workers and the economically disadvantaged. For the young, it's never too early to be a cheerful giver! Let the spirit of giving be extended far and wide vis-à-vis disadvantaged Singapore citizens and residents!
© Yan Kow Cheong, March 1, 2015.