Aaron’s school is organizing a food drive for CNY. The objective is to teach the students the virtue of giving and loving others. I’m not sure if his teacher actually went through the letter with the kids, emphasizing why it’s important that the school achieve its target of having every child bring at least one food item to school, for his uppermost concern was that he needs to hand it in by tomorrow.
But I don’t have anything at home. Do you accept biscuits? I asked.
No, must be the items stated in the list, like can food. So when are you going to buy? I’m not going with you, He replied.
It’s your responsibility, so you have to come along to buy, I insisted, furious to be arrowed with the task.
Then no need, I won’t bring any, he replied flippantly.
I can’t stand it when the kids bring home tasks like that and expect the parents to do it for them without having to do anything. The older boys had brought back donation cards before and would not feel ashamed even if they return them to the schools with the cursory single donation from the parents.
Why don’t you go around and ask your aunts and uncles? I’d ask.
No need, they’d reply.
Of course you don’t need the money, but can you spare a thought for where the money is needed and why you are asked to do this? I don’t know why I get so infuriated by their nonchalant attitudes.
On another occasion, Mom brought home a donation tin and promptly left it at the table, untouched for days.
Aren’t you supposed to fill this up with donated coins? I asked her after a few days.
No need, she said.
Now, is this nature or nurture at work?
I hate to brag, but this wasn’t the case when I was young. When Nanyang needed to raise fund for a new library or a new wing, I took the pink donation card given and went house to house at Faberhills with my sister, asking for donation (I was told by Andreas that this is not allowed now by schools). I remember once at F Pk, an Alsatian rushed out upon hearing the door bell. My sis and neighbour quickly ran off, leaving me standing alone at the gate. The expat owner came out, apologised and donated $10, our biggest ever donation that day.
Aaron needs a lesson immediately on altruism and the first lesson will begin at NTUC today.