My Eulogy

By Ting Chee Kheong (Project 1 - IceBreaker, April 2001)

Good Evening Toastmaster of the Evening, Fellow Toastmasters and Guests.

As I was preparing this speech, I stumble on the question: "Who am I?"

I mean, ladies and gentlemen, I have no identity crisis - I know my name, my gender, my age, my job, my family, and for that matter, my NRIC number and the Reservist Unit that I belong to!

However, my question is: "Do all the above define a person?"

Are you just a mechanical unit that makes up a larger machine called family, society or THE human species?

Or are you an unique individual, with roles to play, with a conscious, with a mind, and with a soul that is limitless and boundless?

Ladies and gentlemen, I once came across a book that says that our identity living on earth is defined by our mind, our values and our principles in life.

These values, are best clarified through the different roles that we play in our life, and the best way to do so is to imageine that if you were dead yesterday, what you you want your spouse, your family, your friends or your colleagues to say about you?

And hence, tonight I thought it is appropriate to introduce myself, by imagining what my eulogy at my funeral would be like, if I were dead yesterday!

First of all, I hope more than 1 person will stand up and proclaim that I was their best friend.

I hope that they will say that I have been a trustworthy, honest and sincere friend, that I have always lend them a listening ear when needed, or lend my companionship when they simply want to keep quiet.

I can imagine my best gal friend will talk about the time when we spend overnight in a chalet alone, and woke up the next day affirming that platonic friendship does exist! And my best guy friend will talk about how we almost fight during our industrial attachment time, but we became best drinking buddies and partners in crime!

Next, I hope that my colleagues from my company and industry, will attest to that I have been a person of integrity, and how I have contributed back to my industry by sitting voluntarily on various industry committees. I hope there will be clients, who have became friends, to testify that I have given good advice, been professional and looked after their interest first. That truly, a family, or a life, has breathed easier, because of life insurance.

Finally, I hope, that my fellow actors and actresses from my Chinese Drama troupe, will talk about my passion for Chinese culture, about our comradeship during our lengthy rehearsals, and our selfless devotion to organizing our biggest public performance.

Ladies and gentlemen, I could have gone on to talk about how my parents, my siblings, my boss or for that matter, how you, my fellow toastmasters, will talk about me at my funeral, if I were dead yesterday.

However, I guess I have made my point - our identity living on this earth is very much moulded by our values and beliefs we have in our various roles that we play in our lives.

And I end this speech by asking retrospectively and rhetorically - "WHO ARE YOU?"