I never know "detachment" is
a virtue until I attended the workshop entitled "The Virtues Project - the
Singaporean Experience" delivered by Dr. Phyllis Chew, Professor of
National Institute of Education, Singapore. She explained with stories how the
52 virtues can help create caring campus and kinder children. Because of time
constraint, she could only elaborate on several of the 52 virtues.
One of the stories went like this. Dr.
Chew had a doctoral candidate who kept postponing the completion of her thesis.
It had been close to 5 years already.
Dr. Chew asked her to withdraw and yet
she pleaded for half a year more saying that her child was taking up too much
of her time. That had been the reason presented all these years though her
daughter was already 10 and there was a domestic helper around.Dr. Chew asked us which virtue could
help her. I looked at the list of 52 virtues and asked if the virtue of
"detachment" could. I was right. It was like an awakening – very
often we are depressed, distracted or disorientated because we are too
attached. Our body and soul are into that something or someone. We grasp it or
him/her as though there would be no tomorrow if we let go! We lose objectivity.
Then it’s time to back off a little to give ourselves and the people around us
a chance. The virtue of detachment can be helpful.
All the participants of the workshop agreed
that they would not only try to implement the Virtues Project in their schools
but would also apply this positive mentality to their own lives as this can
bring about peace of heart and energy to move on.If you want to know more about the
Virtues Project and the 52 virtues, please visit:http://www.virtuesproject.com/education.html
I am that kind of person who writes
own feelings all over the face and verbalizes thoughts without modifications. Of
course, experience has taught me hard lessons that I cannot simply pour my
heart out to anybody anytime anywhere I happen to be. I have to practise euphemism and delay
criticisms preceding each negative comment with two compliments etc. I think
all these are absolutely necessary when it is professional relationship we are
But then when we are among family
and friends, we become relaxed and less tactful assuming that we can be our
true selves. When friendship develops, conversations become more personal. Words
become more direct. Do we still have to decide what is to be said and what not?
These days, with the widespread use of the smart phones, sharing has become
more than just chit-chat. Messages, photos and videos are posted on the
Facebook. We used to say “I am telling this to you only!” We might have to think
twice. When friendship falls out, secrets might be broadcast for the whole wide
world to know!
Maybe we should re-visit George
Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four written
in 1949 or The Truman Show, by Andrew
Niccol written in 1998.