What do you live for? – Celestine Yeo
Thank you to everyone who came down that early morning to sing our hearts out for the people of St Joseph’s Home! It may have appeared that the elderly people weren’t engaged by our music, but I’m very sure that we have made one day in their lives that much happier and more hopeful. There was the little girl that sang her heart out, the lady who kept rocking back and forth in her chair, another lady who was trying her best to follow all the lyrics of the songs we were singing, the gentlemen who sang shyly into the microphone and at a closer look most of the elderly were moving parts of their body along as we sang (:
When we interacted with the elderly people, I found myself talking and helping and elderly woman with her food. As I was sitting with the lady, many times we dropped into silence and I tried my best to think of ways to engage her and come up with questions I could ask her about her life. However, her replies were short and brief and she just stared into the distance. As I sat there holding her hand, it struck me that like her, most elderly people have no reason to live anymore. I thought back about my own grandfather, stricken with dementia, who now sits at home, not knowing what to do with his life anymore and just living each day as it is.
I tried to stand in the shoes of them for a moment. Imagining waking up every day, not knowing what to do, having nothing to work towards, and having no support system anymore. Why would tomorrow even matter?
As young people we look forward to our future, a future of possibilities. Nothing prevents us from doing what we love. We are young, we have energy and we are creative. We have ambitions, we have dreams, we want to help people, we want to travel, we want to eat good food and the list goes on and on….
If I could not do all these things anymore, what would I live for?
As I thought about this question, I realised that the only thing that stays constant throughout my life is God. Amidst achieving my dreams, being happy, loving others, God is at the centre. One day, even the people I love will leave me. Thus, the greatest gift that God has given to us is himself. There are 7 billion people on earth and God chose to reveal himself to me and you, not just anyone, but us. Every day, it is a privilege and blessing to be able to have God with us. When things go well, we can praise him. When things don’t go the way we want, we can trust that he has a better plan for us. We are never alone when there is God in our lives, and it is indeed a blessing to know him and just to be Catholic. We can always hope in him and be comforted that he will always love us for who we are and in whatever state we are in.
So what do you live for? (: