Why is it important to create your own time capsule?

Walk Tall and Leave a legacy behind
By Raymond Anthony Fernando

"Spread love everywhere you go."
-Mother Teresa-

The late Mother Teresa has always inspired and motivated me to spread love and kindness – not just to my wife, and relatives, but to my friends as well, with special focus on the less fortunate in society, who include the lonely elderly, the mentally ill and children with special needs.

A legend in our time

Even my late wife Doris admired Mother Teresa so much that whenever this world-famous nun who devoted her life to care for the poor and the sick in India, appeared on television, Doris will call out to me hurriedly to catch the TV show with her.

During the screening of the show on the small screen, I had to often wipe the tears from my wife’s eyes.

“Darling, Mother Teresa is such a kind-hearted and loving person, sacrificing her whole life to take care of the sick and risking her own health in the process. I am sure more people will follow in the footsteps of this beautiful nun as she’s a legend of our time,” Doris spoke with certainty.

To make this a better world, we need to embrace the power the power of love and kindness as Mother Teresa did. And once we have these virtues deeply ingrained in us, we can ‘infect’ others to do likewise.

Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that Doris and I both regarded Mother Teresa as a legend.

The power of legacy believes in celebrating people who believe in the concepts of kindness, charity, compassion and empathy. People who make a difference in the lives of others and undoubtedly, Mother Teresa has done just that.

Infect children with the power of love

Children, who to me, are the biggest adventure on earth, will often look up to parents or grandparents for guidance and support. A growing mind can be easily influence by what they see and hear. If there is love between daddy and mummy and grandparents, with kindness shown to neighbours and the community, chances are children will be able to pick up these virtues and then be well positioned to ‘pay if forward’, so to speak.

Be prepared for any uncertainties

The average life expectancy for Singaporeans is around 82 years, However, persons with mental illness have a much shorter life span due to their condition.

During my journey with Doris, I often had sleepless nights wondering what would happen to my wife if I should pass on before her. How would she cope – more so when she had severe mobility problems and a severe mental disorder? How would Doris feel if I unexpectedly left her?

To be honest, I had secretly prayed that she would pass on before me – not because I didn’t love her anymore, but just the reverse: I love her too much, and always will. Even though, I had insomnia for one whole year following the passing of my wife, I was able to slowly come out my grief.

To prepare for any uncertainties, I wrote poems devoted to Doris, got it beautifully designed and printed on A1 size, and after it was framed, hanged it on the walls in the hall. Those loving tributes to her moved her deeply and every day, she would read it, sometimes twice a day. It was done to prepare Doris should I pass on before she did. Those tributes will constantly remind her of my undying love for her and hopefully lift her dampened spirits whenever my loss haunts her.

Where there’s a WILL, there’s a way

Next up, I got a will done by my lawyer, who the beneficiates were, and who to contact when one of us or both of us passes on. I then prepared all what was needed to be undertaken – such as details of my wife’s medical conditions and monthly payments to government agencies. This was then circulated to my church and my youngest brother.

Do good, feel good, but expect the unexpected

Today, you are here, tomorrow you may be gone, so it is so important to lead a good life. Never get caught into a situation where you don’t plan properly and get caught off guard.

When we do good, we will feel good. And when we do good, everyone, whether they are relatives, friends and even strangers will fondly remember you. To this end, walk tall and leave behind a legacy. To cut to the chase, live like a legend.

Going forward, through the on-going efforts of zinniaafternote.com, we hope more people can embrace the traits of kindness, charity, compassion and empathy that will enable them to leave a legacy behind.

Raymond Anthony Fernando