Our e-community promotes self-help, business partnerships and entrepreneurship development for those who want to balance work and home life. Our social profit is derived from a pro-poor project focusing on eco-baskets production and service provision to empower women to embark on social-economic self-reliance. If you are interested to know more, please contact us at 603 7726 5271 or email us at email@example.com.
“Empathy is about finding echoes of
another person in yourself” – Mohsin Hamid
months in the hospital, my body was still weak and my legs were still painful but I was
starting to be able to stand long enough to be transferred to a wheelchair. One
evening, my sister put me on the wheel chair to visit the nearby convenience
store located at the hospital.
she was about to leave me outside and enter into the store alone (the store was
narrow and filled with goods, hence it was not convenient to bring the
wheelchair inside), a tall Malay boy in his late teens or early twenties came out
of the convenience store. Suddenly, he stopped walking and started to stare at
me. Then he approached me.
noticed that his head was misshapen, had stitches and was dented at one side,
an indication that he had undergone a brain surgery.
He looked curious, “What happened to
you?” while pointing to my head which was covered in bandage.
I was startled by his blunt and direct
“She was burnt,” my sister replied.
could feel my sister was hesitating to leave me with this boy outside of the
Waving my hand towards my sister, “Don’t
worry, I will be OK. You can go in.”
However, my sister was still in a protective mode.
Before entering into the shop, she gave a warning to the boy.
“You can talk to my sister but
don’t touch her, there are a lot of germs.” She was not actually trying to
scare him, I was having MRSA infections (a type of super bacteria that is
resistant to common antibiotics) every now and then.
I narrated to the boy about the gas
explosion. He then asked, “How long have you been in the hospital?.”
I replied, “Around 8 months.”
Suddenly, I could see tears coming out
from his eyes falling to his cheeks.
“Don’t cry.” I said to him without
thinking and started feeling emotional myself.
I then asked, “How long have you been in
Wiping his tears away, “3 months” he
At that moment, there was a short
Although our sickness and pain may not be the same, it felt like there
was a sharing and bonding between us, a connection of suffering between 2
Trying to comfort me, and also perhaps
comforting himself, he said, “have patience”. At the same time, a woman came
out of the convenience store and he quietly followed her.
person who has suffered is able to relate and show empathy towards those who
are suffering. I find this true in hospitals, especially among the patients.
International Women's Day is here once more. Some celebrated it. Some feel should not as a celebration of womanhood should be everyday. To me, these days can be served as a reminder to us. We can be preoccupied with our responsibilities, activities, our families and of life that we sometimes even forget our own birthday.
Today I reflected on the women who have impacted me. Because of these women, they inspired me to write a woman song in 2018.
Women Song sang on 8 March 2020, dedicated to all women readers here. I wrote it in 2018. There are so many women out there who made a big impact on me over the years since a teenager until today. Let me list them whom I can remember offhand:-
1) Anne Subashini - founder of The Inclusive Outdoor Classroom. I have the privilege to get to know her since drum circle days. Her passion is infectious. Her faith, her belief that there should be no division between children no matter of their backgrounds, no matter of their health conditioning is emp…
The birth of Patrick changed my marriage life from the two of us to the three of us, a family. We were excited, happy, worried followed by all kind of emotions for our baby son. So many things to learn, to experience. Breastfeeding, constant thoughts on our baby's well being especially when his jaundice appeared to rise during his first month. The lacking of sleep. There were moments I observed his breathing while he slept. We were amazed by every new mannerisms that Patrick displayed. We were so charmed when he first smiled to us. I would observed how gently my husband would treat Patrick and how Patrick would looked up to him, listening to his every word.
We were enjoying ourselves as new parents until something happened in the middle of November 2017 that changed our lives forever. "There is something not right with his stools."
My sister in law remarked to me while I tiredly changed Patrick's diapers. Mentally I can be exhausted as new mothers would be. We visited my s…
looked at his pale face and frail body on the hospital bed. Lines and tubes on
his legs and neck. There was a bag at the right side with yellowish looking
water inside. The liquid was not urine but water which had to be pumped out
from his stomach cavity. It was difficult
to see someone whom you have known since young to look so weak. He had lost
weight and aged considerably. It
was the second day of Chinese New Year. My sister and I took a trip down
to Kuala Lumpur to visit relatives. We visited a cousin at the High Dependency Unit,
he had liver cancer and was complaining of diarrhea. Visiting hours were 11.30am
to 1.30am and 5.30pm to 7.30pm. We had to take turns going in as only 2 guests
at a time are allowed.
having the experience of a prolonged stay at the hospital and being immobile, I
was tongue tied. I didn’t know what to say or how to comfort him. I could
only share with him of my previous struggle at the hospital. On
our second visit before our trip back to Penang, …