Hong Kong is an affluent society where people enjoy basic human rights and their needs for food, clothing, shelter and transport are met, if not exceeded. As an affluent city, it should have empathy for other poor and backward countries or people. The emergence of charitable organisations is an example of organisations developed out of love and empathy.
Does an affluent society mean happiness? If the answer is ‘yes’, there should be no mental disorders in the city, no sadness, no tears, no pain. People living in affluent cities would be the happiest people in the world. However, according to a recent report published by the World Health Organisation, a total of 1 billion people in the world will suffer from mental disorders in 2019, and there will be a considerable number of people suffering from mental disorders in both rich and poor countries; and mental disorders have also been prevalent in Hong Kong as an urban disease in recent years. It can be seen that wealth does not guarantee that people will be happy.
The answer is to love others. What are the benefits of loving others? One of the benefits is that love overcomes our fears. Loving others also brings out the best in us. When we let go of our non-urgent problems and serve others, our problems suddenly disappear, and so does our fear.
Because people live in groups, the person who seeks to be alone does not make the most of his greatest talents, because there is no room for them to be honed.
The International Day of Charity is celebrated on 5 September each year and was established to commemorate the efforts of Mother Teresa, charitable organisations and individuals around the world. For more than 45 years, Mother Teresa has provided relief to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. She was a Nobel Peace Prize winner and a symbol of love and compassion throughout the world. Mother Teresa died on 5 September 1997 at the age of 87 years.
Love can be passed on to future generations, and only love lasts forever. How selflessly you give of yourself is what will be remembered longest in the mind of the other person, not your achievements, your speech or your wealth. If you reach the end of your life, do you long to be surrounded by your loved ones or by wealth?
As Mother Teresa said, “
“It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing. It is not how much we give, but how much love is put in the giving.”
Love is the secret of Mother Teresa’s personal impact on the world, and on the world at large. Love was Mother Teresa’s lifelong goal, her highest priority and her greatest ambition.
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◢ Elva Lai enjoys creating art, reading, travelling, hiking and making a cup of coffee in the morning. She received her education in Singapore, the United States, Germany and Hong Kong.
Authorised for re-posting. Opinions are solely those of the author.
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