Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Death of a Banker

In July a senior manager of a major bank in Hong Kong jumped to his death. I was in the USA then and did not pay too much attention.

Only recently did I find out that he was a schoolmate of mine, just one year behind me in secondary school. I knew him, but not well. He had worked for the bank for a long time and was responsible for one of the prime commercial districts in Hong Kong. I was told that he felt pressured by his superiors to achieve better results, and to pass the pressure onto his subordinates. He couldn’t handle the burden, so he jumped.

We all felt he had other options, such as quitting the job, or better yet, forcing the bank to fire him by refusing to carry out what he felt were unjustified demands. He was a successful man in the eyes of men. Even if he were to quit his job and not work for another day, he would probably still lead a comfortable life. Sadly, he chose to end his life instead.

After his death, the bank paid for all the funeral expenses. And many hundreds of the bank’s employees came to the funeral. Perhaps the bank felt guilty? And his colleagues felt the same as he did? All these happened before the current financial crisis worsen. We can imagine the pressure must be even worse now.

I believe Jesus was speaking about people like him (and us) when He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Indeed the best option is to trust in God and He will lighten our burdens.

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