In any country and society, there will always be people who fall behind the rest of the population and fall through the cracks of the social welfare network for whatever reasons it may be. Even economy powerhouses today like America and China still have people living in poverty, homeless and rough sleepers.
It is the duty and responsibility of the government to help these people through its sound and robust policies. It is also the obligation of the society to look out for one another and give a helping hand wherever it is needed.
Most importantly, it is the responsibility of the person in need of helps to help themselves, they must be willing to accept helps when it is given, they must be willing to do something, take the step forward, make changes to change their life.
Can the government do more? Sure! Can the society do more? Definitely! Can an individual do anything to help? I have no doubt in that, there is always something we can do to help someone in need as an individual.
People are in their plight due to various reasons and there are situations and reasons that they do not wish to be seen as needing helps or willing to open up themselves to receive helps. They may be poor, down and in dire straits, they may have nothing left, but the last thing they have is dignity. The last thing we should do is to take away the only thing they left with, DIGNITY. We need to be sensitive to these people, we should not hurt them any further with our action intentionally or unintentionally. If one really cannot help, the best thing to do is to keep quiet.
To offer helps and snap pictures to post online is not truly helping, it is causing more distress to the person in need. It is worst when one do it with an ulterior motives, with an agenda. It is utterly disgraceful, distasteful and unscrupulous and downright despicable. It will only create more divides, more hatred, more suspicion and distrust in a society. And yes, it will make the person rendering helps an internet sensation, a hero, but will not improve the life of the person in need.
There are many ways we can help someone in need depending on situations. It could be cash, food, a place to stay, some advice, some attention or even just a hug and words of encouragement. We can refer those in need of helps to the relevant agencies such as the Ministry of Social and Family Development, Social Service Office, MPs or charity organisations, etc.
Let’s not misuse social media, it’s a double-edged sword, it can help or destroy a person. Let’s stand together as a society to help one another, care for each other, pull along those who dropped behind us, give a hand to those who fell and help them stand up, let’s do it the right way.
– By Steven Lim