A little about myself. I was born and bred…now, I think it was the other way round, no matter, in Singapore. I was schooled in one of the finest institutions in Singapore – Raffles Institution. The school’s motto: Auspicium Melioris Aevi – That’s Latin for “To be The Hope of a Better Age”. And success is what we Singaporeans like: especially economic success.

Contrary to popular beliefs, I am not particularly bright, although it is quite flattering for people to exclaim – “boy! you’re  a genius!” People like me who are not particularly genius are normally quite taken by such euphemisms for “man! you’re so dumb!”.  My sec 1 form teacher told my class on the first day of school: “Don’t think you are so smart! We happened to open 1 extra class this year, and that’s why you’re here today. You’re in the last class you know?” He was right, I was in class no. 10. So much for a rousing welcome.

Later that week, this same teacher said, “You are the Best – among the worst, but the Worst – among the best” – so, really, what’s the big deal being in the top school in Singapore, right? Not that I cared about his remark. It was amusing, and still is. But he’s got a point, that was a reality check. And although I never really liked this teacher, this lesson in life stuck with me.

Sometimes, we Singaporeans tend to think too highly of ourselves. And that brought out the worst in us. The problem is, many of us have only travelled around the region. And what we observed in region only affirms our belief that we have the best things at home.

I do not dispute that we have some pretty solid stuffs at home. But if we were to travel further afield and also not to judge our success solely on the basis of economic achievements, we can perhaps begin to see beyond the facade of contentment we  think we enjoy.

Take for example complaining. We like to complain. We have honed our skills at complaining. I am quite sure besides Kiasuism, we will be champions at complaining. I don’t know when we have begun to be good complainers – but we are. But to complain so much would only mean one thing: that we are not really contented, are we?

Ask the Bhutanese: They measure their nation’s success with, not GDP, but the GNH – Gross National Happiness Index. Evidently, having money is not the most important thing in life for them. For that matter, recently, there was survey about happiness in the world. According to this survey, out of 155 nations, Denmark appears to be the happiest. Singapore ranks 81. And this position is tied with Hong Kong (not surprising), Iran and Japan. Judging by the results of this survey, it would appear that money has very little to do with happiness.

Do you agree?


One Response to “About”

  1. gdy2shoez January 23, 2011 at 12:55 am #

    Surprise surprise, I’m RI alumni too! Added your site to my blogroll

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