Before I begin, I would like to say that this article isn’t written with the intention of offending anyone. It’s written for us to realize something that we already know deep down in our hearts. We Singaporeans can be characterized by many traits which make us who we are, including some ugly ones. Can we blame society for engineering us to be this way?
I personally believe that the moment we hit adulthood, our minds are mature enough to differentiate right from wrong, and we gain the power to decide who we truly want to become.
With SG50 coming in just a couple of days, let’s take this opportunity to embrace positive change as we celebrate the day of our independence as a beautiful nation. It’s time to look inward, commit to change, and let this be a start to a great new beginning!
1.) The Excuse of No Job Openings
The path of a young Singaporean is pretty routine. The day will come where you will find yourself having just graduated from 2 to 4 tedious but crazy years of university, all ready to embark on your journey into society. A job hunt ensues, with you submitting pile after pile of job applications. It is a typical excuse for those that stay unemployed a little longer than usual to always claim that there are simply no vacancies for jobs available. You might even find that your bosses simply do not appreciate your talent or skill. After all, you’ve studied for so many years and worked so hard to get your degree. You’re certain that all this mistreatment is the fault of the foreign talent.
Is it really that difficult to find a job, or could you just be a little too picky?
When I was hunting for a job several years ago, companies in the industrial areas always seemed to have job openings. I came to the conclusion that perhaps, working in the industrial areas is just too unglamorous for a university graduate like me. I preferred to dress up nicely for work and be closer to all my friends in the CBD. I liked the idea of being able to tell my friends I worked in the CBD. The thought of having to dress in work overalls and to not be able to have insta-worthy postings about my aesthetically beautiful meals was too…unthinkable…
Like many other Singaporeans, I could not find a “proper” job for a very long time. And it was surely because of all the foreigners coming into Singapore and stealing our jobs.
Please do not agree with me.
2.) It’s Not My Fault
This brings me to my next point.
Singaporeans are really bad colleagues. I had some TERRIBLE colleagues that would always screw up my assignments. They would make me look bad in front of my bosses, and somehow, I felt like I was always the one being picked on. Every single day, I would think of ways to destroy my colleagues and make them suffer for their insolence. Somehow, even though I was MOST DEFINITELY the best employee there, I was stuck at my appointment for 3 years…
It is disturbing to hear that employees of established organisations, receiving a decent pay, actually spend most of their time diverting blame! Everyone has a side to their story and they never ever match. If taking responsibility for your actions is something you have a problem doing, wouldn’t it be better to do it right, in the first place? With the right culture, a happier and more conducive working environment can certainly be achieved. Can you remember the last time you had a gossip session about something that was ‘obviously’ not your fault? If it really isn’t too long ago, why not engage in things that revolve around self-realisation and self-improvement instead of shifting the blame around?
3.) The Bandwagon Hopper
It is believed that every individual is defined by their unique characters, personalities, behaviours, and beliefs. It is quite apparent on social media however, that our locals seem to have characteristics, personalities, and preferences that change with what the media deems as ‘cool’ or ‘uncool’.
We do not have to proclaim that we are on a gluten free diet when in actual fact, we do not even know the meaning of gluten! We also do not need to drastically change our sense of fashion just because the whole class is doing so. Remember that time when the uniform to visit Orchard Cineleisure was Dr. Martens high cut boots, outlandish hairstyles, skin tight jeans, with a cigarette in hand? Not everyone could pull of the scene-kid look that some worked many hours of part time jobs to achieve. Or recently, when a significant number of Facebook users felt the need to add a rainbow filter to their profile’s display picture. How about that one time, you were at a party and you started speaking in a Caucasian accent just because you were talking to a Eurasian?
Instead, why not adopt a diet that is beneficial to you because you know how it will help you? Or, why not, adopt a fashion sense that suits your appearance? Carve out your own identity and it better be something you are comfortable with. You wouldn’t want to risk looking like an idiot because really, not many Asian faces look good with long hair or outlandish hairstyles.
4.) The Smartphone Worshipper
Ever since the inception of smartphones, we don’t really give a shit about personal relationships, do we? Be it a dinner, gathering, or simply a meet up to casually hang out, smartphones are always present to be a barrier to the beauty of companionship. If you’re with a group of friends and you’re browsing through your social media updates, I’m guessing you regret your decision meeting these friends today as you seem more interested in those who are 10 kilometres away. If it is a game that you are playing, I can only imagine how boring your friends are.
I’ve seen couples having their dinner and both parties are constantly on their phones. So seriously, why do they even meet? Do they see too much of each other? In my opinion, these are actually signs that there is a serious problem with the relationship! The last time I had a meal with a pretty lady, I don’t remember looking at my phone at all.
Not only do the excessive usage of smart phones bring disregard to your physical meet ups, but being pointlessly engaged with your smartphones also creates a barrier to your potential success. Cutting down your game time by 30 minutes a day can actually change your life.
Do I also need to state the obvious? It also deters you from experiencing reality around you. Well, maybe you aren’t exactly oblivious, but it’s just a way for you to keep your seat on the bus while the patient old ladies strengthen their calf muscles.
5.) Time Waster, Wastrel, Complain King/Queen
Continuing from my previous point, most parents would probably agree that smartphone games are an absolute waste of time.
It is not difficult to realise, that you will have many people around you who are part of the second or third generation above average families. These are your teenagers who live life generating complaints and keep wanting more, not because they are ambitious, but because they are never satisfied. They feel that their luxuries in life are necessities and more disgustingly, they feel that they are deserving of this fortunate life.
When I was still schooling, I was often fascinated by how my peers often complained about the model of their continental car (that is bought by their parents), and make such a big fuss when a family member needs to borrow it. I think they might have forgotten that a majority of our population take the public transport. I was also astounded that certain friends (who could afford many things) would throw tantrums when we would not be celebrating a certain occasion in a restaurant (with many others who cannot afford it).
I am sorry for bursting your bubble of a comfortable life forever but if the parents of these children do not own legacies, their complacent attitudes will be bringing them to a playground called ‘debt and misery’.
I do not mean to present it to you this way, but you will never ever be deserving of whatever cent you earn in future. Simply because, there are children from really unfortunate families, who have made it to your level through pure sacrifice and hardship. They did not have parents to sign them up for private or foreign universities when they could not qualify for the local universities, they could not afford the comprehensive tuition that you have, and while you were busy enjoying with your parents hard earned money, they were taking up several part time jobs to feed the family.
How can you ever say that you will be where you are at because of your capability? You were simply given a springboard to leap over the rest, only to land at where everyone else is. All of your so called ‘achievements’ would be nothing if not for your parents.
I always feel that the individuals who deserve respect are those who went through the grind, and not those that had things handed to them. Even if things were handed to you, you’re not to be condemned right away. If you are hardworking and intelligent enough to evolve to the highest of levels, I believe you deserve some respect too.
Put it this way, if I give you the best 11 footballers in the world, even the stupidest manager can remain in the top flight, and even maybe the top four.
Why not, start living life like how you should. Do whatever you need to do in order to feel that you are deserving of your current state of life, and always strive to be better. Quit playing games when you are free! Instead, look at yourself inside out, and think about the possible areas of improvement. Do you lack general knowledge? Do you feel aimless? Are you clueless about your aim? Are you out of shape? What is your passion?
If you’re still too lazy to get out of your comfort zone, I wish you a very fulfilling yet delusional life ahead. May you continuously convince yourself that you have made it.
6.) The ‘Original’ Businesses
Businesses in Singapore are mainly established and they serve the citizens well. However, it is usually always a duplicate of something that originated abroad. Have we lost our creativity? Or is copying those who have already made so much easier? There is no real fulfilment in fulfilling the latter!
I remember during my days in polytechnic, finding the best content online and then paraphrasing it so that it looks like our own was a must have skill. Nothing was ever originally thought out by us. This would explain any pause in learning or growth, because all we can do for now is to wait for big boys to take a new step, before we can start copying them.