Doing Social Work

by Patrick Liew on August 25, 2011

In January 1981, I was at a crossroad junction in my life.

I had completed my formal education and served my National Service. I was ready to join the workforce.

Deep in my heart, I wanted to be a social worker. To me, that was the best way to make something meaningful out of my life and to give back to society.

After going through a series of job interviews, I decided to join a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) to help resolve the emotional and spiritual needs of – would you believe – soldiers.

Even though I was not cut out to be a regular soldier and I have a deep contempt for war, I had enjoyed my time in the army.

Call me an idealist if you wish, I felt at that point in time if I could influence National Servicemen at that young age, I could groom a whole new generation for society.

Shortly after, the job interviewer who was supposed to be my superior gave me a shock.

He told me, “Patrick, I have resigned from my job. I planned to move to a new profession.”

That announcement killed my dream.

I decided to heed the advice of my friends, “Patrick, your dream can wait. Why don’t you go out to the market and chalk up real-world experience.

“That way, when you still decide to become a social worker, you will be in a better position to understand and help people.”

My journey in the real-world took more than 30 years and what a ride it was.

I became an entrepreneur – a real estate agent by profession.

I went through what the Chinese would call ‘the sour, the sweet, the bitter, and the spiciness’ of life.

I never turned back and tried to be a social worker again.

While reflecting on this experience, it suddenly dawned upon me – I am a social worker.

An entrepreneur can also be a social worker. However, a social worker may not be an entrepreneur.

All of us can and should be a social worker – even if it is not our chosen profession and we do not earn an income from it.

All of us know that there are many among us who are poor, weak, and disadvantaged. Our environment is being polluted most of the time.

Planet Earth is sick and some people have predicted that it may not last beyond our generation.

Governments cannot solve these problems because politicians are dependent on popular votes.

Universities and other educational institutions cannot solve these problems because they are focused primarily on the pursuit of knowledge.

Charity bodies have been around for thousands of years. They cannot solve these problems because they lack money and other resources.

To solve these problems, we need a fourth key – the business community.

If every one of us in the working world join hands and do our part to spread love, compassion and kindness, we can solve these problems.

We can start a revolution! One person at a time, one act of kindness at a time, one day at a time, one community at a time…

Someday, in the not so distant future, the next generation will point to our generation and say,

“That’s the generation that started a revolution of love.

As a result, they eradicated war, violence and cruelty.

Poverty became history.

These people started to inspire each other to greatness.

A new age of love began…”


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please go to ‘Notes’ found below my profile picture.

Visit my Inspiration blog at

Visit my Transformation blog at

Please read them and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


Question: How can we do our part for social contributions?



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