The Secret That Should Not Be Kept A Secret

“It’s a secret I’ll keep beyond the last day of my life.”

Those words stayed in my mind and haunted me for awhile. It made such a deep impact on me that I had to ask for permission to craft the story behind them.

Let me start from the beginning.

My story began in a chance meeting with an elderly person. It was relatively uneventful until her parting words hit me hard and deep in my being.

While talking to that wonderful stranger and finding out about her family, she told me proudly about her son.

“He’s a good boy,” she said, “Went to law school and did very well. So well that he had a few job offers even before he graduated.”

I asked her, “It must be hard for you, isn’t it? To support your children and watch over them for so many years?”

She replied in a nonchalant way, “Yes, but that’s the job of every parent.” Looking at the lines on her face and the expression, I knew she had gone through many a difficult time.

“I’m happy that he’s getting married soon. More likely than not, he’ll be spending more time with his future wife and starting his own family.”

Her subsequent words reverberated through my mind.

“My house will be quieter and emptier without him.”

As she spoke those words, she was looking down on the floor. It was as if she was struggling to come to term with a vacuum in her heart.

Feeling uneasy about where the conversation was leading to, I changed the subject. We went on to talk about many other subject matters and then about my recent travel overseas.

It struck a chord with her and got her talking about her son again.

“Some years ago, my son had to go to the US as part of a student exchange programme. We were excited for him but at the same time, were troubled by it.

“We did not have the money to pay for his trip and we did not have the heart to tell him.”

“So, what did you do about it?” I asked her, more out of curiosity than concern. I had mixed feeling subsequently about mooting the issue.

She replied and again in a calm and casual manner. “I surrendered my endowment policy for him. It was supposed to give me a lump sum of money if I had kept it for another 4 years. The money was meant to help support me for my retirement.

“On top of that, I pawned my jewellery and the heirlooms given to me by my mother.”

Again out of curiosity, I asked her, “Did you manage to redeem them later?”

Her reply saddened me, “No. I went to a particular pawn shop that gave me a better price. However, the condition was that I could not redeem them.”

Then she looked into my eyes and said some words that went straight into my soul.

“They are gone forever.”

I immediately protested, “Now that your son has grown up and is on his own, you should let him know the sacrifices you made for him. He ought to know what you’ve done for him.”

That was when she told me, “It’s a secret I’ll keep beyond the last day of my life.”

I hope those words struck a chord in your heart. They inspire you as much as they did to me.

My friend, somewhere in the past, there are people who went out of the way to help you. He or she may not have made a fuss out of it.

He or she has decided to forget about it, sweep it aside, or keep it as a secret.

It may not mean anything to him or her and there was no expectation of a response, let alone recognition or reward.

Still, you owe him or her to revisit the incident and say “Thank you.”

It’s a way of paying it backward so that you and that person can be further inspired to pay it forward.

Somehow, I feel there’s somebody  waiting for you for that moment of closure.

Will you stop looking at your digital device and pick up the phone now?


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on

Visit my Inspiration blog at

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at

Please visit my website,

Please read my reflection and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


About Patrick Liew
About Patrick Liew Patrick Liew MBA, MSc, BSc is the Managing Partner of Global Enterprise Exchange Pte. Ltd.. He is also the founder and director of Success Resources, arguably the world’s largest personal development seminar organiser and a major shareholder of a company, which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. He was previously the Executive Chairman and CEO of HSR Global Ltd., a publicly listed company on SGX-ST. Previously, he was the regional director of the Gartner Group, providing strategic advisory and planning services to governments, banks and MNCs. He was also the regional head of sales and marketing operation for Dow Jones Telerate. Patrick graduated with a BSc in Estate Management from Heriot Watt University, an MSc with emphasis in global business and marketing from The City University Of New York, and an MBA from Henley Business School / Brunel University. He has also earned more than nine other professional qualifications. Patrick is arguably the first person to develop a multimedia e-learning programme on entrepreneurship. He authored a Chinese book on business systems and was also the co-author of a Times Bookshop best-selling book. Patrick has conducted both ‘brick and mortar’ and online lessons for participants from more than 60 countries. He has also conducted keynote presentations in many international conferences, including being the first Singaporean to teach at the National Association of Realtors. Through his team at Success Resources, Patrick has organised educational conferences for prominent leaders such as President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Tony Blair, Michael Porter, Richard Branson, Robert Kiyosaki, Donald Trump, and many other prominent leaders. Patrick provides leadership and advisory services to many professional and charity organisations. He is actively involved in supporting humanitarian, philanthropic and charity causes. He has organised three fund-raising events and in the process, help to set three national records in the Singapore Books Of Records. Patrick won the Entrepreneur Of the Year Award For Social Contribution, the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Award, and six other business awards. Patrick believes the best way to live your life is to live your life for others. The more you reach out to bless other lives, the richer and better your life will become. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A Personal Note to my Friends The articles that I post online; or what I term as Love Notes, are written with the purpose of inspiring readers to live at a higher plane in life. They are also meant to motivate those who are struggling in life and help them find handlers to overcome their conflicts and challenges. It is my ardent hope that we will form networks and alliances of like-minded people who will put to right many of the wrongs in our midst. Together, we will leverage on each other's resources and create a synergistic impact in making our world a better home. These articles are written as part of regular reflection about the vicissitudes of life. They are at best work in progress and at worst, grumblings, grouses, and gripings of a finite old man. I have deliberately decided NOT to delete many of the articles and pointers that I may not agree with or are outrightly wrong. This is to keep a record of how my personal ideas, beliefs, and values have evolved over time. In addition, I hope to encourage readers by letting them know that I also make mistakes and am struggling with many of the complexity and complication in life. As long as we hang on to hope and work on finding a solution, there will be light at the end of whatever tunnel we are in. I do not pretend to know everything or for that matter, anything of substance. In fact, the more I study, learn, and think about the vast wisdom and knowledge out there, the more I realised how little I know about life and the ways of life. Hence, I have always ended my article by asking readers to continue to teach me. For I, too, am a sojourner in the exploration of truth and the adventure of finding meaning, purpose, and significance for my existence. I am proud of and make no apology for being a Christian, albeit not the most exemplary one. I believe our Creator can lead and guide us to be the best that we can ever be. I bear full responsibility for the shortcoming and error in my life, including my words. The fault is entirely mine and not due to anyone else. Readers have and can exercise the power of choice. They can discard what will not work for them and adopt those that can propel them further and faster in the pursuit of better performance, outcomes, and fulfillment. If I have disappointed or hurt you in any way, form, or manner, I would like to apologise to you. Please do not hold them against me or whoever or whatever is related to me. There are much to pray about, learn, and do. And I'll work on them with a sense of urgency. I hold on to the belief that 'Anything worth doing is worth doing with passion and excellence'. I'll endeavour to live by it. Life is short. There's no dress rehearsal and neither can we turn back the clock to change the drama of life. Therefore, by the grace and power of our Creator, let's live a full life and live it to the fullest. May God bless you abundantly on the journey of life. Your online servant, Patrick Liew I hope this message will find a place in your heart. By the way, I have also recorded other reflections. Please 'Like' me on Visit my Inspiration blog at For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at Please visit my website, Please read my reflection and continue to teach me. Life is FUNtastic!

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