Let’s imagine that you’re a student in a neighbourhood school. In order to make ends meet, you have to work part-time in McDonald’s.
Getting a pass in your subjects is good enough. You hope that you’ll finish your O-level soon as you intend to work full-time and study part time for your diploma, and then your degree.
You’ve a friend who is from a prestigious school. He wonders why you’re so unambitious —happy with a pass, getting a private diploma and not aiming for Harvard. In other words, he looks down on you. He thinks you’re just stupid or lazy.
It’s happening, and unfortunately, it happens a lot more often in Singapore than other countries.
To sum up, elitism is very real in Singapore. Have you ever been abused by elites’ subjective views, or maybe, you’re guilty of being one?
Firstly, it’s almost impossible for elites to understand that what they’ve got, at this moment, is not something that is entitled to all people, but a privilege for a few but it looks like an entitlement.
For example, a twenty-year-old Singaporean studying full-time for his degree. Is it an entitlement? Think about it before reading the next paragraph. No, I would argue. He would need to spend four years without an income. That would be an opportunity cost of $24,000 a year (should he earns $24,000 annually with his diploma). With $24,000 a year, he can support his aged parents and pay part of his school fees. If he had studied full-time, like many would, he would not get the $96,000 in the last four years.
I’m saying this because I do know people who like to use the premise of “I should study full-time instead of part-time because it’s an entitlement for a person of my age, and there’s no opportunity cost.” No, you just want to enjoy the campus life because you have the privilege, NOT the entitlement, to do so. The correlation is the same as elitism.
Not everyone, my dear elite or elite-wannabe, has the privilege to have one tutor per subject, go for Adam Khoo’s self-help course or has a superfast computer.
Not everyone, my dear elite, has a study room to do his or her homework, or the time to do revision. If you have these privileges, then keep your mouth shut instead of judging others.
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