Listen… really listen

May 10, 2007 at 2:25 am | Posted in The journey within | 1 Comment

It’s late, and i was deciding not to get any scrapping done today. Don’t have much inspiration anyway, and i don’t want to do a bad job for the last LO, so i’m going to spend the rest of the days figuring what to do and just print it out on Sat when i go and collect the rest from the shop.

I ended up downloading scrapbooking freebies and checking my mail. One email i received was from a friend about the recent case where a young girl in her 20s literally (and was diagnosed as) died from overwork, where she spent 8 hours working on the laptop at home and she collapsed.

I don’t know the details cos i didn’t catch the article, but the bits and pieces i heard and read from this email prompted me to check out her blog, where there was an entry she wrote i think just before her death.

It was her first entry of 2007, and she wrote about the stress she faced, the recent spate of health problems and accidents, and the following:

“Just yesterday, I received an email from my job agency saying that a contract staff who’s working in HP as well, passed away from heart attack, leaving his wife & kids… deja vu? coincidental? a warning sign? I dunno. I don’t wanna end up dead for the sake of dough.”

This was really what striked me. I wasn’t very shocked to hear the news, cos i read a little book about this phenomenon of dying from overwork in Japan for a module in university, so this wasn’t new to me, and i knew it is prob more common than we think, though perhaps not as dramatic or publicised as this girl’s story.

However, reading the words of her final entry, and esp the quoted part, really got to me. Sometimes you think, these pple… they just don’t know any better, and there’s prob some part of their brain that’s just not working or something. I mean, it’s pretty easy to assume that these pple who do foolish things like these, and others as well, are just not thinking. They may be educated and smart and all, but they don’t think.

But it’s apparent here that this lady DID know better. She received the warning signs, and she even told herself that she did not want to end up dead for the dough. So it makes it even more tragic that her death should occur just after these words.

I guess one of the lessons could be that we really need to listen to what our heart says, and not to ignore it after that. I claim back my thoughts about pple not knowing better, cos it’s prob not true. Except for the truly ignorant whom i think are not many, pple prob do know better, most of the time. The only question is, do they make the choice to follow their heart.

I know that i often question what my heart says, not knowing if it’s true. There are also times when i know what my heart says IS true, and critical to finding happiness… and the thing is, i still don’t pay heed.

Do i not know any better? No, i do know better. But perhaps it’s a mixture of stubbornness, pride, and fear that makes me choose to go in the opposite direction, or just stay in the comfort zone that i am in.

I’m very sorry about this lady’s case, though at the same time, i also think this is a good wake up call that prob many Singaporeans need. Life here is just too stressful for us not to make a conscious effort to care for our health, despite the external pressures that make that seem so hard. It’s precisely cos it’s almost impossible for us to rest, that we really need to make the effort to try.

Like when i was discussing it with Mr Gua Gua just now, and he mentioned she couldn’t have quit cos she wld have to pay 1 month of salary to the company. I replied, even if she couldn’t have quit, she could have worked less, somehow. Mr Gua Gua gave his typical response, but then if she worked less, you don’t know what wld have happened. i.e. get fired, get into trouble with colleagues, or worse, the boss. (yes, he has a stressful job too, and his attitude doesn’t help him much with that)

My response was, yah, but if she didn’t, then the result was death.

Well, not to get into a long rambling philosophical post about priorities and choices and many more, but i’m kinda glad that this lady has this blog which has been forwarded around to pple. The news itself is tragic, but not necessarily impactful to the public. As i said, it’s easy to just shrug your shoulders, blame the victim, and say something like, she didn’t know any better, and i’m not like her.

But to read her honest reflections about her life, and to know that she was indeed caught in a dilemma, and she also had hopes and dreams, and she recognised all the warning signs…. and she died anyway.

She’s just like any of us. Any of us could end up like her.

If we don’t listen… really listen to our heart.

PS: Here’s her blog if you want to read that last entry… The previous entries i scrolled through made me realise she’s really quite a positive, reflective and spiritual person. Sigh… there’s much more i can say here, but these are things which are prob enough to just know and remember.


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