My first encounter
I was 18 when my school (Singapore Polytechnic) had a day where the whole class went to an estate of 1-room flats to help “spring clean” some homes occupied by old people. I’ve never seen such small homes, some of them had no one left to depend on, some weren’t very mobile anymore due to old age. It saddened me to see people living in this condition, especially in this era where we live in a relatively first class country.
Of course there are people suffering so much more in poorer countries, or experience much worse atrocities from natural disasters or political unrest; I feel helpless when I watch such sad news. Somehow you see it so often on TV till it numbs you, what shook your thoughts 5 years ago, might have less impact today; making you feel like you cannot do anything about it.
But I don’t want to just stop there anymore, to feel like I cannot make a difference. So I started this project.
In the grand scheme of things, this few thousand dollars raised probably won’t create such a big impact. I’m hoping to influence.
The first step
This is simply the first step I’m taking in the direction to help people who are less fortunate. For me, one step is better than no step at all. This would in turn hopefully bring more awareness in our society; it’s not about taking everyone on a guilt trip, we will soon realise how small our problems really are.
Donating your first $10 or $100 may be your first step. Don’t be discouraged by people who tell you that amount won’t change anything in anyone’s life, it is the simple act of giving and expect nothing in return that’s important. You might wonder whether all the money will go to the less fortunate, are the beneficiaries really in need of help, is that charitable organization already well funded by the government/corporate donations. If you have done your research and believe in the cause, why hold back?
So the main goal in this is to inspire people to take the first step in doing good. I must admit it is definitely not working very well as most people think the blog is ONLY about the Ironman because majority of my posts are about that. Most people are more receptive in seeing me suffer in my training than getting nagged into donating money. Hopefully this post can give a clearer picture of my goal in this fundraising effort.
The other goal is to actually nudge people into taking up a new challenge, to get out of that comfort zone! This one saw a bit more success where some friends actually started training and completed their first triathlon. Some started exercising more and enjoy the freedom and simplicity of running. It’s really inspiring to see friends taking up this sport, some of whom I’d never imagine would ever try anything that has got to do with endurance sports. You’ve probably inspired someone else around you to take up a new challenge in one way or another; it’s just like paying it forward.