Reading the newsadvertisement papers

I was reading about stress in the Sunday Papers, and this bit caught my eye. Commenting on how folks who are poor suffer higher levels of stress, a doctor then qualified his remarks by saying that in a fairly affluent Singapore, poverty is not so much an absolute but a relative concept. In order words, it's those who feel themselves poor when compared to their peers who are likely to feel most stress.

How warped can it be, this materialistic, competitive, consumerist, absolutely silly island life.

J: All the handphones I've ever owned are always the most in-between models.
Y: What do you mean?
j: You know, neither the top of the range nor the cheapest.
Y: Oh, I see. So?
J: Like my camera. My laptop. My toys. Everything.
Y: Everything? Like your life? Like me?
J: .... you wouldn't understand.
Y: Yes, because I only get the best? Like you?

OK, in reality the conversation didn't go this far (artistic licence la. Heh, sweet J's not so silly). But you get the idea. Friends, don't look around and start to believe those mad mad lies!


wahj said…
Poverty means insecurity, especially in a competitive world like Singapore. Yes, it is silly. It's silly because insecurity and fear are what our culture uses to drive competitiveness (how many times do we have to be reminded of how small, isolated, and lacking natural resources we are?).

The side-effect is an island of people who are always looking over their shoulder for the next threat to come along. A nerve wracking life.
tscd said…
Chasing after the wind is a very stressful activity.
i agree - its completely nerve-wrecking.

sometimes it gets so stupid because when people are going through a period of time where nothing seems threatening, they actually deliberately create some!
ampulets said…
agree to all!

you know that in managementspeak (or maybe it's just governmentspeak), there's actually an acronym for all this. I've heard folks say things like "let's use the FUD as a strategy" when they are thinking of scenarios or arguments for a certain decision (i think FUD stands for fear, uncertainty, danger...). And so we have it, decisions driven by fear, uncertainty and a sense of danger. And we actually think these will be wise decisions!

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