It used to be about the paper chase. Grades at PSLE, ‘O’ Levels, ‘A’ Levels, and the GPA you were getting out of classes in the university. But as I grew up, I realised that there was more to this obsession with grades – it wasn’t just about competing with your friend on who got the A+ or the Dean’s list, it wasn’t just about acquiring more knowledge to make better sense of the world around us, it wasn’t just about graduating valedictorian so you could have your 15 minutes of fame before the entire school.
There was a different kind of education going on, a more insidious kind, conditioning us to be competitive, to be selfish, to have more than the person next to you. And at the core of all this was money. Money, money, money. The more the better. The easier the merrier.
And what do we do with all this money? We spend it on ourselves, of course! To purchase status symbols, to eat at the better restaurant, to go on more and more luxurious holidays – so we can show our friends, family and peers that “I am better than you“. That is how our world today defines success. A never-ending comparison of me versus them. And then, we die.
And nothing goes with us.
For those of you wondering what’s this all about – no it’s not a new project I have.
Stories will all be kept confidential (unless you specifically say you would like for me to share it), and I would just like to know the people around me more.
Because even though I may not be able to help you, I can at least listen to you.
That’s all there is to it. The email is firstname.lastname@example.org – and meanwhile I’m working on a story, long due. I hope to be able to share it with you soon.
Can’t say I have been proud of Singaporeans lately.
I’ve been thinking about the xenophobic reactions regarding Feng Tianwei’s win and I feel quite bad for her. The extent to which some people go to put her down is disgraceful, and is cyber bullying on a national level.
She won, representing us. The Singapore flag rose at a Olympic ceremony. So we are upset about that because?
If you don’t think it’s right, you have an issue with the sports body who made the call to send her as our representative, not the individual.
You have the right to not watch her games or support her. But to hurl insults, calling her names, and even going to the extent of rooting for her opponents (just to spite her) is a bit over the top.
I personally have my own reservations about China-Chinese. But making a sweeping judgement against anyone from China who decides to come to Singapore to carve out a living is a bit unreasonable – there are bound to be good and bad ones. Just like taxi drivers.
And how does all that cruel criticism make us look to the rest of the world? Is that the so-called national identity that we are afraid to lose, or trying to protect from these ‘immigrants’?