A Never Ending Vicious Cycle

9 Mar

Without going into in-depth detail of everything that could be said about this article, maybe let’s just think about some words that might pop up into your mind after you’ve read it: “rich”, “younger generation”, “wealth”, “lavish expenditure”, “materialism”, “safe”, “home”?

What comes to my mind?

Success-driven. 

Whether or not Singaporeans are materialistic is in itself a slightly skewed assumption. After all, materialism seems to exist throughout the whole world. Perhaps more so in certain countries than others, but it is still prevalent nonetheless. Yet, having said that, one cannot deny that it is very much a one-track route for Singaporeans. If not for anyone else, at least for me.

School -> University -> Job -> Marriage -> House -> Car -> Children -> Big, fat savings account -> Nice retirement home

Not to say that all these things are not sensible things to invest into. But I sometimes feel that this way of life is overly elevated. What about those who crave a simple life? In fact, many of us desire that. We just want a comfortable home to share with someone we love. To be with family, and make those we love and the people around us happy. I believe I grew up with a very sheltered mentality of Singapore. Well, the country is tiny and it’s so easy to live in a bubble. To feel happy and at ease because everyone else seems to be. I never truly understood the idea of the truly wealthy, or as the author states, the “average millionaires”.

Yet, a bubble is a bubble. It can burst anytime. Same for success. It is fleeting, isn’t it? Yet we seek it all the same. Why? Perhaps a feeling of satisfaction fueled by the desire to “be happy”?

I recently sat through a presentation in one of my classes on “conspiracy theories” in relevance to the economy and the government. Though a lot of what was shared is out of my league, I do agree that it’s almost impossible to run off and try to survive on your own. Even the example of the man who left to start a farm and live secluded, as far away as possible from the government, stayed connected via the internet.

At least if you were in somewhere like Canada or America, you could very possibly, at least, have that option. But in Singapore, where would you run? To a land that would probably be built into some 70-storey condo in the next 5 years? Singapore is so incredibly small. Though I commend the effort to do the best with what they have (ie: Gardens By the Bay), nothing beats the real deal. Not to say that I don’t think “hiking” up Bukit Timah hill or cycling around Pulau Ubin is extremely fun, but honestly… nothing, nothing beats walking to the bus stop to go to school and having mountains, just on my left, in clear view.

I guess it scares me, because I wonder where the nation of Singapore will be in 5 years. Or in 2 years for that matter. I am still rather ignorant, but from the little I know, I am uncertain about where I want to be when I graduate. Could I survive in a country that seems to exert such pressure from all sides?

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