Sunday, 18 January 2015

Basis Of Singaporean Spirit - People Power: What Do You Want to Achieve in Life?

[This is part of the book: “Basis Of Singaporean Spirit - People Power”. Links to the different versions: Online Version in this Blog; Printed Version in; eBook Version: Google Play / Google Books / Kindle]

This is a very famous question that everyone would have thought about or even have been asked many times in their life.

So here I am, asking this question again. Don’t skip this chapter because the answer will be something that you have never heard before. I am here to tell you that what everyone wants to achieve in life is exactly the same thing.

So, what do you want to achieve in life?

Some of you might say to earn a lot of money. Ok, but my next question is “for what”? Well, you may answer: “To buy flashy cars, luxurious house, etc.”

But what if money cannot buy you all that? I am not joking, that happened during China Cultural Revolution, where you can only use ration coupons to buy things. If that is the case, would you still be looking to earn a lot of money? I am sure, you will not.

Since this is the case, then money is not exactly what you are looking for. It is the things that money could get that you are really pursuing, such as flashy cars, luxurious house, etc., isn’t it?

However, imagine this: Driving flashy cars and living in luxurious house made you the target for criminals and gave you tremendous worries every day. Would you still long for flashy cars or luxurious house? I don’t think so. So what are you really trying to achieve then?

Well, at the basis of it all, what we are trying to achieve all the time is “gratification” – the pleasurable emotional reaction of happiness in response to a fulfilment of a desire or goal.

Do you know what HERMES, Bottega Veneta, and Louis Vuitton, are selling? Handbags? Leather goods? Well, how I wish they were just selling that. If they were just selling that, then the price of those would be “raw materials + labour + distribution cost + mark-ups”. It will not cost an arm and a leg.

What had also been priced in is another most important thing that they sell – “gratification”. Can you imagine the gratification that you get when you splurge on luxury goods?

If you do not derive that gratification from those luxury goods, it is unlikely that you will pay that high a price for it.

Gratification is not just derived from purchases; it can also be derived from the ‘feel-good’ feeling when you have done something good.

For example, when you helped an old lady to cross the road or gave up your seat to someone else, the feeling of doing something right is great, isn’t it?

One point to take note on this example is that gratification is not derived merely from the act of “giving up the seat”.

Imagine this: A lady came over to your seat and used her umbrella to knock on your head, demanding that you gave up your seat for her because she felt that you should.
Would you? May be not. But even if you gave up your seat out of shyness or whatever, you will not feel the gratification.

So remember, gratification is the pleasurable emotional reaction of happiness in response to a fulfilment of a desire or goal, not related to the act itself.

Now, imagine this: How nirvanic[i] it would be, if we can all make this gratification perpetual, isn’t it?

Therefore, what we are all trying to achieve in life is the same commonality, which is what I called the “State Of Nirvanic Gratification”.

So how does this “State Of Nirvanic Gratification” feel like? Well, if you are a Singaporean, then you are very lucky. Did you realise what the acronym is?

Yes, the feeling of “State Of Nirvanic Gratification” is the feeling you get when you said: “SONG ah!

For Type 1 & Type 4 persons, having others perceiving them as smart, are SONG to them. That is why they are always trying to show-off. Of course, Type 1 persons have the capability to do so, but not Type 4.

The problem with Type 4 persons is that even though they created troubles for everyone, yet they still felt SONG. Look into the parliament, it is not difficult to see many of the Type 4 persons devising stupid policies, giving silly replies, yet felt so proud of it.

For Type 2 persons, the ability to appreciate the surrounding and simply breathing nice air is considered SONG for them.

Please note that the reverse is not true, i.e. if you feel that appreciating the surrounding and breathing nice air is considered SONG, it does not mean that you are Type 2 person.

Type 2 persons are very smart, yet low profile. That is why they will continue to enjoy the SONG quietly until someone disturbed it.

Type 3 persons felt SONG when they have good food. Remember the phrase: “民以食为天”, which means that food, is the most important thing to commoners.

If the People are SONG, why would a bunch of 17-year-old boys bothered to climb up to the top of the building to paint “Fxxx PAP”?

If the People are SONG, why would a 71-year-old uncle[ii] scribble at the bus-stops complaining about CPF[iii]?

Shouldn’t the 17-year-old boys be studying? Shouldn’t the 71-year-old uncle be enjoying his retirement?

When commoners had to worry about having proper meals, worried about their livelihoods, would they be SONG?

When People are not SONG, merely looking at the poster of the ministers would make them TL, not to mention seeing them or listening to their speeches.

So how do we make people SONG? Well, let’s talk about the key pillars of Singapore.

Singapore is where it is today, not because of any particular person or party, but because of the key pillars that were erected. Whether it was done consciously or unconsciously, it does not matter, but those are there.

Hawker centre is one of the key pillars for Singapore’s stability. It ensured that Type 3 persons can continue to feel SONG. However, the implementation of private hawker centres is a big step in the wrong direction. [Much more can be said about hawker centre, but I shall leave that out for now.]

There are things that are implemented to get revenues; there are things that are implemented for stability. Without knowing the key pillars of Singapore, blindly knocking down the pillars is asking for trouble.

Housing is another key pillar. Mr Lee Kuan Yew once commented on the Home Ownership Scheme as follows:

“... to give every family a stake in the country. In other words, that we should find a way to give them ownership of their own homes, their own apartments. Then if their son had to go to war and fight, they are fighting for themselves.”

May I know how many percentages of Singaporeans own at least an inch of the land of Singapore?
Given the current price of HDB and the long instalment period, how many people really own a home?

Worse, today, many Singaporeans had to pledge back their HDB in order not to end up sleeping on the street in their old age.

Think about this: After 80 years of toiling, at the end of it, People still ended up with nothing. For whom do you think were they busying their life for? Why did we design Singapore as such? How is it possible that their future generations will be better?

Given these, how SONG do you think the People are?

BOSS Wisdom: “The basis of social stability is to ensure that everyone is SONG. Understanding and protecting the key pillars of Singapore is critical to achieve this.” – BOSS

[i] “Nirvanic” is a feeling of eternal and indescribable bliss.
[ii]Uncle” is the way Singaporeans addressed the elderly or older people.
[iii] CPF is supposed to be Singaporeans’ pension fund. However, many people are unhappy because they felt that it is not adequate and there are simply too many restrictions related to it. 

[This is part of the book: “Basis Of Singaporean Spirit - People Power”. Links to the different versions: Online Version in this Blog; Printed Version in; eBook Version: Google Play / Google Books / Kindle]

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