And I’ve just been thinking about things recently
Really is the epitome of brutal honesty in Singapore, topped off with an unnecessarily loud mouth. Far more concerned with stirring shit on social media platforms than caring about the young kids she’s gonna “influence”, she claims to be the no.1 social media influencer in Singapore while relying on content like “Who bought FAKE IG followers?” to go viral.
Sometimes I really cannot understand the culture you’re trying to propagate here in Singapore. One of vainness and superficiality and “throwing shade” at others? It’s not healthy man. I’ve just never heard of a “no.1 influencer” who tries so hard to start so much shit just so you can prove that you will eventually come out on top of all of it, or have your followers baby you with praise about how much they love your sassiness.
2. Of wealth
For some reason it only recently dawned on me that while my whole family is trying to be great money earners, I’m really just me trying to view the world in a different light. My father has a masters in business administration and is currently managing this really (successful and) classy beach hotel in New Zealand with my uncle [they just ventured into this]; my mom analyzes the stock market for a living so she helps my dad and brothers invest smartly in stocks; my two elder brothers have become adept in all of these econs stuff from my dad’s hour long lectures at the dining table; and I, proud as I will say, will always plug in and shut off the noises to contemplate the necessity of becoming so shrewd in money matters.
I mean I do understand the necessity of earning money, and I do understand the potential empowerment of earning more and more money, but I really don’t see the point of needing more than what’s enough to get by – to just live a humble life. I do appreciate that my family is rather well off, thanks to my parents. I do appreciate that my father had the foresight to get into the study of business when today’s world pretty much revolves around businesses thriving. Yeah, I really do, but after you have so much, then what? What meaning is there to earn so much money just to live a better life? Are you really living life for what it is, or is our purpose just to get through life more comfortably? Dig deep and ask yourself that.
I find meaning in understanding the mechanisms that define how society works, in understanding the flaws and cracks that lie deep in its clockwork, in understanding that really bad class differences do exist in Singapore, in understanding that while the money is rolling in, there are people out there who need it more than we do. Sometimes I feel that while my parents have blessed me with such a comfortable standard of living, I never needed this. I don’t need it when there are tons of people out there who don’t have the stuff I have.
It’s one thing to be a man who earns a lot due to his own hard work and diligence, and it’s another thing to be a man who shares it with the people around him despite knowing that he’s earned it himself. That’s the difference between a wealthy person, and a great person.
Sometimes I think about my lit novels and the values they’ve taught me, some of which I feel like my family will never be able to understand. While I think they do appreciate that my interest lies in the language, I feel like they’ve never bothered about the underlying significance of lit and learning more about the language in general – in guiding us to take a step back to study the patterns of society. Like in Mrs Warren’s Profession.., or Gatsby. But then again, who am I to question the ones who’ve spent multiple more years in this world than I have?
It’s just… something happened a few days back.
So my eldest brother is having his uni study break right now, and he just came back from Melbourne (My parents spent a shitload of money to get him there after he did really badly for As. cue Gatsby, cue social security net with wealth). My grandparents wanted to have a mini reunion with my family for the occasion (excluding dad, he’s still in nz working on his villa). So we went to a nearby coffee shop to have a nice dinner. Some backstory on my grandpa, he fell in the bathroom a few months back and fractured his bones, and had to be hospitalised. He only recently got better but now he has a maid to stay with him to help.
I only found out about the maid during the dinner, when my grandma went to dabao a box of rice and said in chinese that it was for the maid’s dinner. She added a couple of vegs, and after adding just one chicken wing and a two or three fried sotong pieces, my mom went “够了吧，不用给这样多”. I was quite shocked, as the amount of meat I saw going into the box was almost pathetic in comparison to the amount of food we had on the table. My mom wanted me to finish the last piece of chicken wing left on the plate, but I was pretty full, so I suggested that I give the last piece to the maid and explicitly said that the amount of meat she had was really very little.
And yeah, my mom chided me, she said, “This kind of thing cannot give too much, if not we are indulging her. She’s here to work, not come here for holiday.” As much as I love my mother, I couldn’t help but feel a tinge of disgust. If giving a more reasonable amount of food to a maid who wouldn’t have tidbits to munch on if she were to be hungry at night was considered pampering, even when there was extra food on the table, even when we were already filled, then I don’t know what to say. My brother sitting across, drum major of his band, student councillor in jc – I only saw him smile and say nothing.
My conscience has really been shaken.
I am dismayed thinking that I very well could have been brought up with the belief that sharing is bad.