NOTE: lengthy and wordy post.
I know that this post is going to be controversial, not well-received at best.
My disclaimer would be that this is not a political post, not targeted at anyone. I am not criticizing anyone’s behaviour, but rather looking into how we can improve and move forward together.
For the entire period of the haze, I’ve seen people complain. There are those who complain about the haze. Ok, legit. I mean, everyone can do that, right?
But there are also those who turn the haze into some big political failing, or even better, some conspiracy theory.
When the PM issued a statement after his MPS in twilight hours, people said he was “wayang”.
A minister reacted (as any normal human would, and more cordially in fact) to someone using expletives against the organization, people said he had “constant need for affirmation”, “congratulatory tone”, was being “smug and patronizing”.. where? WHERE?!
But my issue is not with what is being said. My point is that we are all so used to the “complain culture” where you complain and everything goes your way.
You know what we really sound like? We sound like a bunch of ignorant, ‘concerned’ citizens. Which, yes, is active citizenship, but I think even the government didn’t anticipate an outpouring of such ignorance.
I understand that it is their obligation since they are in the service, but with the way we are behaving, can we humanly expect them to be the caring, compassionate, loving government we all want to see? I certainly can’t.
I have seen some posts of people who are, let’s face it, not usually such intellectuals, suddenly copying and pasting or liking posts that serve as opposition to whatever is status quo. My question is: why do we all feel so compelled to complain and add our voices to the cacophony, even at the expense of clear thought and sensibility? Maybe it’s the herd mentality, eh? Opposing for the sake of opposing, I suppose, gives you some sort of.. adrenalin rush? Make me understand, people who do this, I really don’t understand the logic behind this.
We are all tempted to complain. It is really so much easier to be negative than to be positive. I think our competitive society also has a part to play in nurturing this “everybody is out to get me” mentality. Isn’t it tough living with that mentality?
Of course, if we assume that these people do indeed have that mentality it is so easy to see the rationale behind their words. It’s said that there are shortcuts in the way we judge people, one of them is by assuming similarity. Could it be that we are assuming that others are similar to us in the way we work? That because we chaokeng sometimes, because we cut corners, or because we scheme for some collective gain, we end up with the assumption that they must also be doing the same thing as us.
And what if they are not?
Personally, there are more than a few times that I want to complain too (and, loosely taken, the term complain can be used on this post too) but I try to restrain myself from making comments about those in authority before I understand the logic and rationale of their actions – out of the horse’s mouth. Why? Simply because they are in that position, that circumstance, and I am not. How on Earth am I qualified to comment? Also, wouldn’t a more productive method be to suggest, to provide feedback (you notice we are never asked to complain or criticize, right?), to seek to understand instead of seek to undermine?
Perhaps it would be more effective and less emotionally disparaging (it might even raise Singapore’s happiness index) the next time we wanted to complain, we took a step back and asked what was happening instead. Probably there will be some who say that they’ve suggested but the government doesn’t want to take up the suggestion, well, that’s the government’s prerogative, isn’t it? You’ve put it out there and done your part, well done. I’m not saying you should leave it to rest, but on the other extreme, not hate on the government. Remember, yours is just one in a pool of 4 million. Maybe it would be better to influence people around you, bring them round to your school of thought, rather than defect on the account of “not being heard”.
But that’s just me, and there are people out there who will not agree with me.
These are the same people who will say I am young and naive and that I have not seen the world.
I cannot tell you how much I hate hearing that because I have seen so many cases where age does not necessarily equate maturity, or experience, but I will admit that I have a limited perspective because it is true, I have not come to a point where I earn my own keep. I guess it is a legit point, but I would regard it as a low blow. Why not try to make me understand where you are coming from instead of saying that I will never understand? It is not unlike explaining to a foreigner how the working world here works, is it?
For the cynics, skeptics, and negative souls reading this and thinking, “This girl is a farce.” I rest my case.
PS: To those who are reading this and taking it personally, I am not shooting anyone in particular (especially if I don’t know you) but if the shoe fits then feel free to wear it.
20/6 5:51: Look at the comments on this video of the PM refusing to comment on the remark Indonesia made on us! So encouraging. :’) This is the spirit!