Reflection On A Small Act Of Generosity.

Posted by Ivan Loh on Apr 11, 2019
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Last night, I was having a bowl of dessert at a food court near my home. There was a man sitting 2 seats away and having his red bean soup. With a third of the dessert left, he stood up and went to the stall to order 2 other desserts, having enough of the red bean soup.

As he was waiting, another man sat down in his seat and began to eat the leftover. I thought they knew each other, but that was not the case, as the second man promptly stood up and left after finishing the leftover.

It dawned on me that this is someone needy and I approached him, to ask if he needed a meal and I am happy to buy for him. He replied in proper English that he had not been working for a few years and is waiting for his CPF payout next year. And he only asked for $2, which I am happy to offer and a little more. He assured me that he has a place to stay and I left shortly, not wanting to probe further.

This incident reminded me of my late father's little acts of generosity when he was running a hawker stall selling noodles. There were occasions when needy people came up to him and asked for a plate of noodles. My father always obliged and gave them what they wanted, and sometimes even offered a few dollars to them.

I am grateful to him for teaching me generosity in small ways, without saying it, but through demonstration. As his death anniversary is coming soon, this incident reminds me even more of the values he taught me.

Ah Pa, thank you for the valuable lessons you taught me. May I continue to live my life, honouring you for who you are, by continuing the small acts of generosity in my daily life.

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Comments (4)

  • Ivan Loh wrote ...

    A small act of generosity that came along my way, when I was having a bowl of dessert.

  • Audrey Lin wrote ...

    Beautiful to read this, Ivan, and to think of the values your father has rippled forward in such invisible ways. :) Thank you so much for writing it out and sharing. :)

  • Karen wrote ...

    Thank you for sharing this story Ivan - and to know the legacy created from your father, and his father .... and you continue to grow this beautiful energy of generosity!

  • Victoria Crawford wrote ...

    Thank you Ivan for writing out the whole story for's a beautiful testiment to love in action......