Sunday, December 08, 2013

Wilfred Lai, RIP

I was having lunch, at the end of a busy week working in Hanoi when a colleague texted me to tell me that Wilfred jumped to his death at the M(ain) Building on campus. It was quite a shock. He has been helping us publicize service-learning projects in the past couple of years. And he has always been smiling and friendly.  The fact that he jumped at the workplace, and that he left a note complaining about pressure at work, made it quite clear why he took his life.  Naturally, there has been a lot of talk around campus about this. 

Some of us placed flowers at the site in memory of him.  He has been working here for 20 years.  He has a lot of friends.  His death also caused many of us to think about our own working life here. 

I do not believe that it is ever worth it to kill myself because of work.  On the other hand, I can understand how sometimes pressure can seem unbearable.  I can only hope that he is now at a better place. And I resolve to do my best to not place undue pressure on people that work with me. In fact, I will work to create an environment in which we can all enjoy working together.  

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