It’s 9.30 p.m. in Malaysia. A family in Perak is watching TV, laughing and commenting about the looks of the actors. A couple in Melaka is on the beach, planning their future.
It’s 9.30 p.m. in Singapore. A father living in Jurong is still in the office, completing the proposal he has promised his boss. A son living in Tampines is doing the tenth question in his TYS, for he has a mock examination the next day.
See the difference? The truth is, this is really happening.
Some Singaporeans have forgotten why they’ve become so competitive. I might not be impartial in my words, but if you agree, share this and think about it.
Singapore has one of the longest working hours in the world. Drive along Singapore roads and you’ll be high-beamed or honked if you’re driving within the speed limit.
Go to any universities and you won’t find a seat. Go to any office building at 10.00 p.m. and there would be at least five offices with their lights still on. What are we fighting for?
If you ask around, you’ll get these answers: “I can’t lose to others”, “I’ve to complete everything if not I’ll be fired”, “I need to be the first.”
The thing is, I know people who give these answers, and I’m sure you do, too.
But is there any truth to it? Analyse deeper into their answer: Are they really being so competitive, or is this already our culture?
I have the chance to speak to some of my readers from UK and US, and when I asked them what they think of Singapore, guess what 80% said? Competitive society. Highly educated. High-tech.
I was expecting words like “clean” or “hot”. Unfortunately, no. So, as we continue to be competitive, have we ever wondered whether we are just part of a culture to be tortured, or do we really can’t lose to others?
If someone needs to change this unhealthy culture, can you be the one?
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This article was first published on goodyfeed.com in 2014 and revised on 13 November 2017
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