Fallen But Not Broken – A Story About My Father, A Foreign Worker.


It is sad that sometimes, no matter how hard I try, I always end up at the same place over and over again. However, my father showed me that is not a reason to give up.

My mom is a housewife and my father has worked in Singapore since 2008. As a foreign worker, he not only faced cultural challenges but also social and political challenges. Throughout the 2 years he spent alone, every day was a struggle.

His work environment did not give him much of a breather as well – because the pressure at work is real. He gets a scolding for every little thing. Whilst others took 3 months to be a permanent employee in a company, it took him 1 year. The employees were surprised that he even managed to stay that long. In fact, even his boss mockingly remarked “Oh, you’re still here ah?”. All this, we only found out after bugging him for details at work.

You see, my father never complained. He never blamed anyone. He never raised his voice at my mom or me. He focused on the things he must do. Finally, after 1 year and a half of working in the company, he got a promotion and he stayed there for 7 years. It was only last year in 2016 that he became unemployed, whilst I was halfway through polytechnic.

Because of this, problems after problems came and they still continue to this very day. But I know it will be okay, as long as I persevere, just like how my father did. He faced so many challenges and was most exposed to struggles which he overcame without whining. He has always remained positive that God is planning something in his life and that one should not rely on his own physical strength but God’s strength.

He smiles when the whole world is crying. He is the real example that it is not about what happens to you, but what you do with it. He stood firm even when going got tough. He needed praises, not insults. He needed encouragement, not criticism. He needed acceptance, not rejection. Unfortunately, my mom and I did not manage to provide any of those. And as I am writing this, my heart still burns. It is painful to think that all this while, we knew that he was hurting, and yet, we chose to ignore those feelings. We chose to express our dismay. We chose to hurt him even more.

Yes, he made a mistake of risking it. He didn’t know. Nobody did.

But if there is something I know, it is that all my life, my father has given me so much. He worked so hard, sacrificed a lot, took on so much pressure and worked alone just so he could give me what I wanted in life. And I couldn’t even give him the tiniest, smallest, effortless action that he needed the most – a hug.

For all the fathers-slash-mothers or mothers-slash-fathers, parents working abroad, financially-challenged parents, distressed parents, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for doing what you do. The troubles of the world might be really overwhelming but please stay strong, please don’t give up, please have hope.

For sons and daughters, if you manage to see your parents, please do yourselves a favour. For all that they have given and done for you, at least give them a hug.


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