Rarely do we see get a chance to see pure compassion and love for those who need it most and this is one incident that will hopefully serve to remind us all that there is still a lot of good out in the world and we are responsible for spreading that goodness.
Ms Noriza A. Mansor, 49 years old, was out grocery shopping at NTUC Fairprice supermarket in Toa Payoh when she detected a really bad stench in the place. She also noticed that many people were holding their noses and acting rather awkwardly because of the odour. She decided to find out the source of the stench and finally found an old man who was pushing is wheel-chair laden wife at the check-out counter. He had faeces on his shorts, shirts and even on his sandals. This was Tan Soy Yong, 76, who had apparently soiled himself while he was buying groceries with his wife, Lee Ban Yian, 76.
Ms Mansor went and bought a new pair of shorts from a nearby store and went into the NTUC toilet to get a bucket of water and some tissues. She brought Mr Tan and his wife outside to brick ledge and had him remove his shorts. She then proceeded to do what most of us will never entertain the thought of doing. She started cleaning the faeces off him using the tissues. She also washed out the faeces on his sandals using the water. She explained, “I was telling him not to worry and that he would be clean very soon”.
After wiping all the faeces off, she got him to change into the new shorts, and proceeded to accompany the elderly couple back to their flat in Potong Pasir before she went to work. There was kindness shown by some other passer-bys, including Mr Goh Rong Ren, 32, who was alerted of the incident by another passer-by asking him to assist Noriza. Mr Goh helped to pay for their cab fare home. He was so touched by what Ms Noriza had done that he got his friend to notify the press of this story.
“Her selflessness towards a total stranger moved me. It was pure and unadulterated kindness,” said Mr Goh.
The best part of the story? Ms Noriza was a divorcee who had five children aged 10 to 25 to feed. She probably has much more pressing concerns on her mind than most of us and no one would have faulted her, above the other people there, from avoiding this matter and rushing on with life. But she didn’t. She stopped and she helped.
It is at times like this, that we are all reminded of the depth of love that we all can show if we wanted to. We are so focused these days on conflicts, arguments, protests and all sorts of negative things that we forget that the world is what it is because of us. We like to take the place of a by-stander and point fingers at this and that person who is causing chaos and troubles around us, when we don’t bother looking at how we are not doing anything to spread more joy and love around us.
Sure, Ms Noriza probably has a heart that is bigger than most of ours, but surely we all can find something in ourselves to do something kind and good, no matter how small, when the situation calls for it? Surely one other person could have done something to help this elderly couple, even if it is just offering tissues or pushing the wheelchair of Ms Lee? Unfortunately, no one did.
Let this brave and exemplary example of Ms Noriza give us all a much needed wake-up call. If we want to see a society that is compassionate and loving, the onus rests on all of us to deliver that message through our actions and our lives. Don’t complain that this country is uncaring and unforgiving, when we ourselves are failing to spread the message of kindness and care. But more than that, we believe that as we begin looking beyond ourselves, and start caring more for others, we will find a satisfaction and a joy that cannot be found elsewhere.
So the Next time we are given this priceless opportunity to touch someone else’s life, let us all seize the moment and do something good, not just for the society, but for our souls as well.