Take 5 : 17th August 2015 by Mrs Serene See Toh
- Taliban attack near Kabul Airport kills 5 injuries – Aug 11, 2015
- Twin attacks on Istanbul police station, U.S. Consulate – Aug 11, 2015
- State of emergency in Ferguson as tensions rise – Aug 12, 2015
- ISIS truck bomb kills at least 54 in Baghdad market – AUG 13, 2015
- Not forgetting the terrorist attack in Paris in Jan and June this year.
Good morning Mdm Tan, Mr Lee, Mr Tan, teachers and GESSIANS.
These are some of the headlines which I read from the newspaper before. I count my blessings that I am living in safe and secure Singapore, while parts of the world are plagued by differences and war. These headlines make me feel that any problems or challenges that I face are tiny compared to the problems faced by the people in those countries.
However, just because I am enjoying a peaceful and secure life in Singapore doesn’t give me the
right to take these blessings for granted. How has Singapore maintained its racial and religious harmony? To me, it has to do with the value of RESPECT. Being ‘RESPECTFUL’ means having due regard to the elderly; treating others with deference; and being considerate, thoughtful, attentive,polite, and cultured. Our multicultural society is closely knit because of the respect we have for one another.
I remember when I was a little girl, my grandmother would expect me to greet everyone whom I saw when I reached the door step. If I did not do so, my grandmother would be so upset with me that she would refuse to talk to me for days. I was young then and I did not really understand why my grandmother needed to be so upset over such issues. But now I know why. To her, greeting one another is a basic form of respect, which she had tried to instil as a habit in me. Respect requires one not just to greet the person but also to be sincere when doing so.
Should this respect be eroded, what will happen to us? Will the peace and security that we enjoy be taken away? And when was the last time you were truly respectful?
I have observed that during special occasions, when the uniformed groups are dressed in their
uniformed groups’ uniforms, the school would sing the national anthem and the school anthem and
recite the national pledge with greater gusto. This is surely commendable, but what about on other 2 days, when all students are in the school uniform? I have asked myself if one should sing an anthem or recite the national pledge differently depending on the uniform one puts on.
I would like to appeal to all Gessians that the respect we accord to our national anthem and pledge should remain consistent regardless of what we wear and regardless of the occasion. As we continue to commemorate SG50, let us accord respect to one another and to the nation. Let us
continue the work of the pioneer generation in making Singapore a harmonious place. Let us uphold the values espoused in the national anthem, the school anthem and the pledge by singing and reciting them with pride each day. Onward!