Is this the life you want?
Recently there were more attention put on the demand-side of the picture when it comes to the modern Singaporean lifestyle. Woke Salaryman had a post about being average (more about the real average rather than your imagined one); and CNA had an article around the resurgence of the FIRE movement. Whether it is a movement or not, and the direction that people choose, there had been a long-time recognition that the kind of fire and hunger that Singaporeans used to have in earlier days of nation building is no longer the same. There is more questioning of what exactly are we pushing ourselves for.
Of course there has to still be the political narrative, being a community, united and being aware of the threats. But we cannot always be building ourselves up and trying to get better on metrics we don’t care about. We need to know what we are all trying to build ourselves towards. There was a period about getting better lives. Now that we all managed to realise that, what is the next step?
The government is keen on understanding what we want as a people as much as to shape that together with us. Forward Singapore is an interesting concept to take part in – how, I’m still not too sure but I have to hold on to the belief that we can all still take these things seriously, tap into the listening ear of the government.
I believe they will harness our passions, talents and the resources to drive ourselves towards it. There’s also this need for more consciousness about what we are striving for, what we need to give up in the process and who is giving up what – ie. the social contract. The speech and cogent explanations about the social contract in Lawrence Wong’s speech at the launch of the initiative is good. I really appreciate the contrasting views he raised on some principles and values we had previously left unquestioned – competition, meritocracy, and emphasis on self-reliance.
Ultimately, we need to consider, what is the Singapore we want. Because we know that if we are not building a Singapore that Singaporeans want; then sooner or later, there won’t be a Singapore for anyone.