YOLO.. Not.

Recently, I’ve been feeling like I have been experiencing an inner drought. I feel empty and dry, like a barren desert under the sweltering sun. I realized that I haven’t been writing as often as I used to. I’ve been putting off writing for nearly two months now, with the excuse that I’ve been “lacking” inspiration. 


Truth of the matter is, I haven’t exactly been putting in the effort to search for inspiration. I’m a lazy writer. After putting much thought into it, I’ve deduced that inspiration is an excuse. It is an excuse I use to justify my laziness. If I’d chosen to put in more thought into something that I have seen or experienced, that would be inspiration enough to write a thought-provoking piece. 


So here’s today’s allegedly “thought-provoking” piece. It is inspired by a man who touched the lives of so many, including my own. At the ripe old age of 80, he taught me more than just Bible Knowledge to equip me for my SPM examinations. He taught me the meaning of selflessness, charity and love. 


I first met Brother Albinus when I went over to the La Salle Tuition Centre to register for Bible Knowledge classes. He was intimidating and spoke in his incomprehensible Irish accent. Even though I was in my public school pinafore, he asked me if I was from Lodge International School.  It was at that point when I realized he was the kind of man that I would grow to love.


My memories of him include him telling us off for being late for class even though we were 10 minutes early, trying to decipher his cursive writing on the board and on our testpapers and seeing him stomp around the wooden floors of his classroom, barefooted. 


I will not write about the timeline of his life, instead, I want to write about the man he was. He chose to answer God’s call at the age of 14, an age where most of us were experiencing a dramatic hormonal shift and were rebellious towards our parents. He then decided to travel halfway across the world to help provide education to the poor. Even during his final years, he dedicated his life to helping the underprivileged.


When all this was mentioned at his funeral, I looked back on my life. I will be turning 20 in three months , and I haven’t done a single thing to make a difference in other people’s lives. In no time, my life will pass me by and I am certain that I will have a list full of regrets when I am rendered too old to do much. 


I truly wonder what my purpose in life is. God has blessed me with the ability and passion to write. But what can that do for others? Yes, it could probably promise me a chance to live my dreams of being a writer one day, but in what way would I be helping others?


We live in a selfish world, and to find a man as selfless as Brother Albinus was, is like finding a diamond in a pile of rocks. I am ashamed to admit that I live my life selfishly every day, for my own benefit, without even a second thought about others who are more underprivileged than I am. 


Sure, I put a few bucks in the biscuit tins of the blind keyboard players on the sidewalk, and I occasionally buy food sales tickets that aim to raise funds for the underprivileged. But that is hardly enough.


I have always believed that the core of Christianity is charity and love. What is being Christian if you go to church every Sunday, go for youth gatherings every week, but can barely practice one of the most basic teachings of Christianity, which is to love?



One day when I am at my deathbed, I want to be able to tell my grandchildren that I lived a good life. I want to be able to give a high 5 to St. Peter, who will be waiting to greet me at the Pearly Gates of Heaven. It will be a long and arduous journey, but I want to make my life worth living. 


I urge anyone reading this to do the same. I read somewhere that YOLO is unnecessary. If you live your life right, then one life is all you need. Make this life the only one worth living. 

Author: Natalie Ha

I remember being enthralled with the written word ever since my parents started reading fairytales to me at a young age. Seeing the power it has to influence behaviours and mindsets, I have learned, over the years, to translate my thoughts onto paper, in an attempt to positively disrupt the lives of others. Having my written works published in various forms of media has empowered me to weave stories that people can resonate with. I look forward to the life-long process of perfecting this craft, and hope to see my work touch the hearts of many in the future. This blog attempts to do just that - and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy penning it down.

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