This is May Leong. A white-collar worker. Died of work-stress, long hours working.
For a mere $2,500/month.
People die everyday. What makes one’s death more notable than the other? It is the struggle, hardship and sacrifice one made at the final moments of his/her life. To be honest, it is happening everyday. Look around you, the concept of living isn’t as free as you think. Often, you are given tough choices in order to advance in your life. But what choices have you made so far?
It is a cruel social structure that dictates your life journey. It is a set of rules that you have to play; if not, you are out of the game. There is nothing fantastic about the American’s reality show "Survivor" when we are living by that very same competitive spirit – outplay, outlast; if not, you may be an outcast. We are dealing with so many personalities in this world, but there seems to be just 1 standard set of rules to play. It is a common city illness, a social culture and stereo-types still survive in this State.
Can you afford to take a break not worrying about your life later? Can you afford to make a choice that you enjoy most? Can you tell MOE that you wish to stay in the science stream despite your poor academic performance in science? Would you dare to quit a handsome-paid job and persue your dream…Tsk, tsk, very blue-sky, not down-to-earth, many would say.
Very often, you are given very little time to prove your worth. You are pressured by time, competition, peer-pressure, social-demands to perform and excel.
What is a good environment? It is a State of Mind where you break free from those social cliche, chains, M-Prison and social-pressure. Give yourself a chance to live freely. Other sceptics will say it is very difficult – how to survive and take a break when you have little savings, high bills to maintain? Question is, why got yourself lock in a situation? Is it HDB, credit companies, the telecos or your car-loans? How many other contracts you have on hand that lock you tight?
Call me a naive thinker, but I do believe my money should work hard for me and not vice versa. Enjoy to the max of what you can earn. And not earn to the max of what you want to enjoy. If the job here is cruel and demanding, look outside this tiny island. With our professionalism and qualification, you can find a decent job anywhere. Question is: Will you be happier?
Is Failure that important? The fear of failure forces our mind and body to push through our limitations – at times, at the expense of our family and even our own life. Heed the grand old classic advice from Spider-Man 3 – "You can make the choice of your own".
And it is okay to fail.
See, Singapore isn’t bragging any more about being 1st in Airport, Airline and whatever crap? Why? Cause we have been taken-over by other nations. Does losing that Number 1 Spot hurt our nation’s pride? No. We can always do better elsewhere.
May Leong wasn’t that one exception case for us to reflect a lot of things in our life.
She just set it in a perspective that "shock" you off your chair and let you ponder about the extreme end. It is a preventable end but question is, how many of us are able to "walk out" bravely without the worry of how others look at us? Will we be seen as losers, quitters or freedom-fighter? Maybe our teachers and parents should reflect the kind of teaching we have for our next generation.
My mum gave me the best advice ever: "I don’t expect you to be first or top in anything. Just out-better yourself constantly." Since 9, I have been improving myself gradually, out-perform my own-self. Running my own race. Yes, you may say I am running at my own pace. But given the freedom and encouragement to run, I look around me, who care about the losers behind me or the winners ahead of me. The only person who care most – could be me myself. It is all about self-comparision to feel good and right. Humans need such comparision to win back ego, confidence and social security. To be honest, who cares!
Her death sparked off a nation-wide outcry. Just like the boy who committed sucide over PSLE. Or the mother who died of fever just because she wanted to save $20 for her son. Or the taxi-driver who juggled 3 jobs per day to see his son to university.
It is just news. And very soon, we forgot about it. New sad tales will fill our void of concern.
Have you done something to change your life or encourage someone to make that choice?
Remember. May Leong’s death is preventable. It is the choices you made or help made.