Published on 03 April 2022
Live a life that is worth living
Professor Joseph Sung
Dean, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine
On Friday, I attended the last day of the Student Assistantship Programme for our Class of 2022 which marks their final day as a medical student. As we took a group photo, I felt particularly excited to be with the first graduating class I met in LKCMedicine. Starting from today, to each and everyone of them, I would like to say: I will not call you students, but shall call you colleagues, brothers and sisters.
Quietly in my heart, I pray for you. I pray that after you leave school, you will live a life that is worth living. You may ask: What is a life that is worth living?
First, live a simple life. Having gone through your studies and curricula in the past five years, you are now equipped with ample knowledge and professional skills. I am sure you will start a splendid career. Some of you may even be wealthy and prosperous. Let me remind you that happiness has nothing to do with money and material wealth. A cozy home, simple clothing and healthy meals are the best you can ask for. Living a simple life instead of craving for luxury is more likely to give you infinite satisfaction.
Second, live a noble life. The dark sides of society are many: unfairness, exploitation, and deception, to name a few. I urge you to honour your alma mater and your profession by carrying yourself with dignity. Help the sick and poor, do not take advantage of the underprivileged and be fair to everyone. Do no harm to yourself and to others. A noble life is one with a clear conscience, an abidance to justice and an uncompromised standard in morality. If you do that, your reputation will become jewels on your crown. A noble life is a rewarding life.
Third, live a humble life. Be humble as a servant to serve others as needed. Always think of the betterment of the patient and family, the society, our nation and mankind as a whole. A humble doctor does not talk down to his/her patients. He/she listen to their needs and try to relieve their suffering. A great person does not always look up to the summit of the highest mountains, but kneel down to wash the feet of his brothers. A great doctor heal the person, not just the disease he/she is suffering from.
If you can live a noble, simple and humble life, you will have a fulfilled life. You will love your family, cherish your friends and take good care of your own health. You will love your job and not counting the hours of work, as you see this as an honourable duty. You will ask NOT what society can do for you, but what you CAN do for society.
The success of a university education cannot be measured by the monthly income of her graduates, by the type of cars they drive, or the boats they sail, but by the impact and contributions to mankind they’ve made. You will be representing Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine and Nanyang Technological University wherever you go. Make us proud.
Brothers and sisters, I pray that you will live a life that is worth living.