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Another Day In Paradise.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

I had such a moment last week when, walking to look at the progress made on the construction of my new home, a man asked me if I had $1.60 because he didn't have the money to take the bus back to his hostel. 

I paused, thought about it for a second and gave him the money.

How likely was it that he was a fraudster? I don't know but I guess giving him the money was erring in the direction of kindness. 

$1.60 was an amount I could afford and it could have meant the world to him.

Related post:
Kindness of strangers.


EY said...

Hi AK,

Hey, the true spirit of a scout has shown up again. Really proud of you! :D

After all these years, listening to 'Another day in paradise' brings a different level of emotional response.

Make somebody's day and lend a hand whenever we can. A really nice mantra to embrace.

Thanks for bringing back the nostagia and the timely reminder that we are indeed in paradise. :)


Elaine K said...


I have to applaud you for this kind act. You didn't just give away $1.60, but have shown grace and kindness beyond dollars & cents.

THe man was probably down and out, struggling to keep sane and was probably ashamed to have to ask for bus fare. You gave him hope and kept his pride intact - priceless.

As Christians, we are often reminded to be "light of the world". Be kind, do the right (usually not popular) things, and be a guiding light to those around us.

We cannot stop people who doubt our intents and expect the worse in mankind - they have probably been betrayed or denied in the past, thus their hardened hearts. Ironically, these are the people whose hearts will be most warmed when they finally see the light from the consistency of your kindness.

opal said...

Reminds me of the movie "Pay It Forward". :)

AK71 said...

Hi Endrene,

It is a very old song, isn't it?

I think it was during my JC days when I first heard the song.

We really have to count our blessings. There are always people who are worse off.

Sometimes, people just need a little lift in life to help them along the way. :)

AK71 said...

Hi Elaine,

It was quite late at night. Maybe, past 9pm. He was a bit wet from perspiration, had a backpack and looked as if he was in his best polo t-shirt and pants, all somewhat stained.

As he asked me for money, he looked away. He didn't dare look at me in the eyes. When I gave him the money, he didn't look happy. He looked like he was going to cry.

I was rather affected. :(

So, if I can help people in need, I will. Of course, I know there will always be cynics. I just hope I do not live to see the day when everyone becomes one.

AK71 said...

Hi opal,

I know the story but I didn't watch it. Maybe I will do that this long weekend. Thanks for the idea. :)

MrNg said...


From what u describe, he is definitely not a fraud. Lets us hope things get better for him. 1.6, sigh... Can imagine how he is struggling even when he is back at his hostel

MrNg said...

On a side note, I enjoy reading the humane side of your blogs as much as or even better than reading the hard numbers and anaylsis of companies. Keep it up, that's why keep your blog unique. We all pursuit happiness, money or financial freedom is just a small part and. A mean to that.

AK71 said...

Hi Mike,

I think it was genuine distress too. That was my impression.

Incidentally, this was a young Indian man and I don't think he was local.

I have read stories of how some foreigners came to Singapore after spending a lot of money on "agent's fee" back home. When they arrived, they found themselves exploited or, worse, had no work!

We are really lucky to be Singaporeans.

AK71 said...

Hi Mike,

I decided very early on that I would blog about anything under the sun which interests me.

I didn't want my blog to be a financial or investment newsletter. So boring, right? ;p

I also realise that I can do more good through my blog as I am able to reach out to more people. So, I also, from time to time, blog about charities and being charitable.

A big donation drive here in my blog was for the triple disaster in Japan. I don't know if you were reading my blog back then yet.

Here is the link:
Help Japan. Donate generously.

This is one of the most rewarding things for me as a blogger. :)

Gary said...

Hi AK, scouts motto!!! Always Be Prepared!!!!! =)

AK71 said...

Hi Gary,

Never be without a war chest! ;p

Spawnily said...

A fraudster wouldn't ask for a specific amount like $1.60, that's probably the exact amount that gets him home on the public transport.

AK71 said...

Hi Spawnily,

I agree. I have met those asking for anything from $10 to $100 before. Seriously. :(

MrNg said...

I always wonder what is the most charitable act, while I think I will never be able to be there, I think the most charitable act is to run a country strongly, make sure most ppl have a job to sustain themselves, and help the vulnerable. To this, I think Singapore has done a great job. With all it's shortcomings, such as inequality of income, and some lousy policies, it is still very much a heaven on earth, if u look at places with natural disaster and man-made calamities to corruption and injustice. There is no perfect world, because human are not perfect, but our home is really cool. Happy birthday Singapore !!

AK71 said...

Hi Mike,

I agree that we should be thankful for what we have in Singapore. It is not perfect but I rather be here than somewhere else. :)

E H said...

1800 222 0000.

AK71 said...

Hi E H,

Thanks for providing us with the toll free number to


AK71 said...

We live in a country where we have to be financially savvy.

Some people told me I am making my niece money minded but as long as our hearts are in the right place, it is better to be savvy in money issues in Singapore than not.

I donate to a list of charities in Singapore regularly. So does my sister. My niece knows the importance of helping the less fortunate.

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