Lesson 1: Less Passion, More Compassion

Today, I had the fortune of running an experiential session at a Boys’ Brigade camp in Fairfield Methodist Primary School, as part of World Vision Singapore’s youth engagement effort.


During our presentation on the plight of the Cambodian children, what I realized was that the primary school students could not sympathize with them. A lot of the usual reactions erupted (“Eee, drink water with worms in them??”) but few valuable insights made (“I also suffer a lot in Singapore what!”).


It made me realize that perhaps, we have gone ahead and instilled a wrong mentality towards values in the younger generation. Sure, we make Moral Education a compulsory subject, but the mentality the students take towards is becomes that of a purely academic sort – lots of knowledge on the wrongs, few true values or attitudes formed. This is the very reason why the rich can live alongside the poor and still continue their lives as it is, as if it were perfectly normal and natural.


This made me think about passion, and what ends it should reach toward. We all strive to be able to pursue our passions, but what is the result we are looking towards in the end? Does it edify the future generations, or have any social benefits whatsoever? Perhaps, we should strive to be compassionate rather than passionate.


Remember the phrase (by a certain spidey superhero), “With great power comes great responsibility”? Well, I believe that with great passion, comes great responsibility – to be greatly compassionate.


Lesson: Passion can end up being a selfish aim, if we do not see it as a vehicle to make this world a better place.




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