Monday, July 04, 2005

Are Singaporean pampered?

My observation, would be "yes", and I didn't realize that about myself too until I have spent a few years overseas. It is funny how we cannot see our own faults until we step into other people's shoes. It is always tough to take criticisms, but it is like bad tasting medicine - they are essential to making us better.

But another problem with Singaporeans (generally speaking, again), is that, they want to rebuke, explain, and use excuses to justify their actions, without first considering why the criticism are raised. They are too eager to offer a response, that they refuse to look at things from the critics' perspective.

Back to the pampered issue. Why do I say so about Singaporeans? Well, we're too sheltered, having the system spoon feed us in every way, always having rules to control our behavior in the society, etc ... these in one way or another, resulted in a parental disciplinary kinda of attitude the government has towards us, the children. And as a result, this kind of attitude gets filtered down to the kind of upbringing we're subjected to - the parents who never allows the kid to do anything unless permission is given, in a way to protect the kid - thus the kids will grow up teaching their kids the same thing. A vicious cycle. They see that the kind of "sheltered upbringing" is keeping them safe, and prosperity. They see that by believing what the government tells them to do, our economy will prosper, our children would be safe, and everything would be great.

The system works, so everyone in their own comfort zone, learn to obey the rules and see everything else (outside Singapore) as not as good as what you got at home. "We are Singapore. We are Singapore. We're a nation strong and free forevermore" sings the children. "We have the best airport, busiest port .." as we are taught. The system has instilled in all of us a sense of elitism that we close our minds to the fact that "we're not No.1 in everything".

But reality now comes back to bite us. We are not as dynamic as we should be in a slump of the economy. The people are inflexible. Now the pampered Singaporeans who follows the rules are realising that following the old rules doesn't seem to pull our economy back on its feet ... and the now a few crazy ones wants to revolutionize and make things better. But the "crazy ones" are the, minority. But they are ones who wants to create, and inject changes - something the pampered system would resist.

However, the system understands that it needs the crazy ones to work with and improve the system, and not to shut them out entirely. The system understands that it is the crazy ones who will create new markets and new opportunities.

But the crazy one says ... "I am a quitter. I can't fight the system alone. I will leave and find my opportunities elsewhere". So the system will have to find a way to work with, and not fight the crazy ones. Or the system might one day drown in its own delusional elitism.

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