Is Singapore a Gracious and Kind Society?

Singaporeans-Are-Doing-Fewer-Kind-Acts
By Epoch Newsroom

According to the SKM-commissioned study ‘The State of Graciousness in Singapore’, which polled 1,200 residents, respondents carried out or experienced fewer acts of kindness and graciousness as compared to 2011.

In 2013, Singa, the popular official mascot of the Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM), resigned from its role shortly after the announcement of the Gracious Index, which plummeted to a five-year low.

According to the SKM-commissioned study ‘The State of Graciousness in Singapore’, which polled 1,200 residents, respondents carried out or experienced fewer acts of kindness and graciousness as compared to 2011.

To express his disappointment, on 15 May 2013, the smiley lion published his resignation letter on the SKM website, lamenting that he was “just too tired to continue facing an increasingly angry and disagreeable society” and “kindness shouldn’t be a campaign”, but “kindness should be a part of values education”.

Singaporeans-Are-Doing-Fewer-Kind-Acts
In 2013, Singa, the popular official mascot of the Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM), resigned from its role shortly after the announcement of the Gracious Index, which plummeted to a five-year low. (https://en.wikipedia.org/)

In our futile chase for ‘happiness’ in the form of materialistic pleasures, we have ironically become some of the unhappiest workers in Asia.

Singaporeans Are Doing Fewer Kind Acts

Given the increasingly stressful, competitive, and ‘kiasu’ (Singlish for ‘afraid to lose out’) environment in our highly pragmatic society, it comes as no surprise that Singaporeans are doing fewer kind acts.

In a 2012 survey of 2,000 Singapore residents by aAdvantage Consulting Group and Barrett Values Centre, 57.7 percent perceived Singapore as “kiasu”, 41.2 percent described Singapore as “competitive”, while 32.7 percent chose “self-centred”.

In our painstaking pursuit to gain a foothold in a “what’s-in-it-for-me” society, ratchet up the 5C’s, or just to eke out a livelihood, we may end up infringing on others’ interests, and even harming or bullying others.

The famous Chinese phraseif you are kind, people will take advantage of you” has even become the central dogma for some people!

As our selfishness becomes more evident, we unknowingly lose virtues like compassion, kindness and empathy.

In our futile chase for ‘happiness’ in the form of materialistic pleasures, we have ironically become the most pessimistic workers in Asia. According to a ‘Job Happiness Index’ survey conducted by JobStreet.com, Singapore employees are the unhappiest among seven Asian nations (Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong and Vietnam).

Why Isn’t Money Making Us Happier?

Singaporeans-Are-Doing-Fewer-Kind-Acts
(http://quotemaster.org/)

A study by Dan Gilbert of Harvard University suggests that, contrary to what we expect, winning the lottery prompts an initial but transient wave of happiness. Likewise, becoming paralysed in both legs doesn’t lead to lifelong unhappiness.

The highest realms of thought are impossible to reach without first attaining an understanding of compassion

Said Socrates  (469-399 BC).

The Greek philosopher believed that virtue and happiness are inextricably linked, and the pleasures derived from cultivating virtue and knowledge are of a higher realm than those from fulfilling our baser desires.

 

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