Another Week Beyond – 1950

Beyond Another Week Beyond, Community

Dear Friends,

One reason I write this weekly note is for me to reflect on what we are doing. There is always so much to do, and it is so easy to let our “busi-ness” justify our existence.  Thinking about the value of what we do regularly, helps us to keep in sight the intentions and aspirations of our practice.  For the last 4 years or so, Professor Ann Wee who is often described as the founding mother of social work education in Singapore has been on our mailing list. Almost every week, she would respond with her take on what’s written and always with a warm note of encouragement for my team and I to keep going.  I did not always reply but I was always grateful for them and I let her know every now and then.

My note last week about an important question parents should ask their children was inspired by a response   she had sent the week before.

What parents can teach?  Home from school, first year; in time for family tea – and…..“Was the world a better place to-day, because you were there?” Not a bad lesson, long remembered!!!
As ever, blessings for the good work!

After reading last week’s note, she responded as follows:

As usual…important lessons thought through!
Re listening, I was present when a fully qualified psychotherapist was asked what “school” she followed. She replied that there is one “school” that all should start with…”shut-up and listen”.  Nice answer!
Blessings as ever…

I have never been in a class taught by Professor Wee but I am immensely grateful for her keen observation of our work, wise counsel and friendship.  When she visited us 4 weeks ago, she reminded us that despite our cultural and social backgrounds, we can still be a helpful presence when our care is genuine, respectful and delivered with a dose of humour. As she presented us her book, “A Tiger Remembers,” she spoke of writing another one and joked that it would probably be all her letters to the newspapers that were not published. These letters were mainly about social issues she felt our society should take note of.   At 93, she continued to care about making the world a better place and this is something all of us could do too in our own way each day. Rest in peace Professor Ann Elizabeth Wee, you have taught us well.

All at Beyond Social Services