Friday, May 12, 2006

Could This Happen To Me?

The Straits Times prints both a Life and a Home section everyday. But I think the real lessons in life are found in the Home section. It is here that you find many real stories of human folly and tragedy happening right here in our little country. Let’s take a few recent cases as examples.

The first case that comes to my mind is that of the elderly taxi driver who was engaged in a race with a young motor cyclist and deliberately swerved his taxi into the latter’s path, causing his death. The taxi driver paid dearly for his foolishness and rash act. When I read about this case, my first reaction was; “Now that’s a good example of a fool.” But when I thought deeper about it, I find myself asking; “Are you so sure it will not happen to you?” The frightening answer was No.

Then there is the ongoing case of the so-called Kallang Body Parts Murder which involved an illicit affair between a middle age supervisor and his young subordinate. A similar case happened just a few months ago. It involved another middle age man and his young colleague. Their semi-nude bodies were found in a parked car in a multi-storey car park not far from his home. Apparently they died from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by leakage in the car’s exhaust system. Both these cases involved happily married middle age men who professed to love their wives and children. I suspect there are many other cases that were not detected or reported. Again I find myself asking, “Why? Can it happen to me?”

I wonder what the man’s wife and children felt when they read this headline.

Why would a man, blessed with a happy marriage and a good job risk everything that matters in his life, and bring pain and misery to those he loved the most to indulge in this type of affair?

Is it for sex? Maybe. Nowadays we are bombarded by images of sex everywhere - from advertisements on our television screens, to readily available pornography on the internet, plus unsolicited emails on Viagra, penis enlargements and pornographic websites and even some popular blogs. Everybody seems to be so pre-occupied with sex these days. Do you remember the recent case of the despicable 64-year old man who went to great lengths to scheme and cheat a marriage agency into ‘releasing’ a young Vietnamese bride so that he can enjoy a few days of ‘free sex’ with a virgin?

Could it be ego? Just when you think you are already over the hill; with your hair getting thinner and waist getting thicker, a young attractive lady comes into your life and finds you attractive and showers you with attention. Gives a great boost to your ego and self-esteem doesn’t it?

Truth is, I don’t know. And what is the answer? How do we guard ourselves against such dangers at this stage of our lives? I am no expert on such matters; but still I would like to offer 2 suggestions?

One. Be vigilant. Learn the lessons from other people’s mistakes. Count your blessings daily. Think of the consequences, not just for yourself but those that you love.

Two. Fear God and keep His commandments (especially if you are a Christian). Remind yourself that God is watching you. There are many commandments in the Bible concerning how we are to lead our lives on this earth. Here are a few.

1) “Thou shalt not commit adultery”. (Exodus 20:14)

2) Take your marriage vows seriously. “When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it: for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.” (Ecclesiastes 5:4)

3) “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it”. (Ephesians 5:25)

We live in perilous times. It is unwise to think that we can overcome such evils around us with our own strength alone. We need divine help and protection.

Remember the Lord’s prayer: “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

May God bless you, dear Reader.

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