Meet Dr Andy Ho, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Fellow in Thanatology, School of Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He has been doing death and dying research for over 13 years and counting. After being headhunted, Dr Andy created and pioneered the first death and dying undergraduate course in Singapore ‘The Last Dance’.
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF IN 1 LINE.
I would say I’m an advocate for life and death education.
TELL US SOMETHING MOST PEOPLE MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU.
Whenever I have time, I do photography as a side hobby as I find it very therapeutic and it keeps me grounded. Especially when I have to manage multiple projects, being immersed in the experience and being able to capture the essence of the moment which allows me to develop self-care. I’m also a mindfulness practitioner and lastly, I love snowboarding and playing winter sports. I love snowboarding as it’s just me and nature, being immersed in the clean, crisp cool air with my music on – which simply is just the best feeling in the world.
WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
It may not be a particular piece of advice I have, but an advice from what I’ve learned in life. In my household, I don’t often receive praises and I end up looking for affirmation from people. After meeting my most important mentor, what she did was acknowledging what I did good and letting me know what I can improve instead of praising me constantly. We need to be able to acknowledge the goodness of people, at the same time we need to think more critically. It’s okay to be critical, but individuals need to evaluate what is important and understand that while being critical, we need to be constructive in our feedbacks in order to help people improve.
TELL US ABOUT A TIME WHEN THIS PIECE OF ADVICE CAME IN USEFUL.
When I first started my career as a teacher, I used to be very critical in my teaching methods. I wasn’t the most popular teacher due to my straight-forwardness, but I’ve stepped back and reflected on my own teaching methods. When I realise after putting my shoes in my students, I realised I wouldn’t want to be constantly put down. Thus I changed to become more empathetic and compassionate in acknowledging the strengths and giving constructive feedback based on critical thinking.
^Photo Credits that were hanged on the wall, goes to Dr Andy himself!
Want to find out more about his story? Stay tuned to his full interview and follow the Facebook page here to find out more about what The Good Death is all about!