Monday, February 27, 2012

A Social Illness called Comparititis

I'm not sure if my English is right, but I can't find a better word for this illness called Comparititis. It comes from the word 'compare', which is defined as 'noting the similarities and differences of two things, persons, ideas...etc' in the dictionary.

It never appeared to me I would call it an illness, until I had a discussion in  "one of the many discussions" with Vernon, a sociology friend. Thereafter, its is difficult for me to see things like it is in the past. I began to observe how people behave and the responses they give when you ask them questions.

Comparititis, or rather, the habit of comparing things has been done everywhere in our lives. Since young, our parents do compare us with other siblings, or with our cousins, or even our neighbors' kids. In school, we compare our results, we compare who's in the better class, we compare who got more badges or trophies from their CCAs.

In daily lives, we compare who has the latest tech gadget, who visited the most number of exotic travel locations, who had the finest dinner, and  even compare who found the cheapest food in town. It just seems like comparing is just a human nature.

I compare everyday too, maybe just as much as you who are reading it now. Sometimes, it helps us in getting the best deals so we can save more money. It also helps us sieve out the rest so we can make the best decision.

But there comes a problem, when Comparing leads to Envy.

To define envy, it is the "feeling of discontent" with regards to another's advantage, success, possessions.

To parents, they will notice it when their kid questions them "If korkor(brother) can have the toy, why not me?" To us, we tend to ask ourselves, "Why is life so unfair?" "Why both of us are 26 years old, but he is a Multi-billionaire, but I'm just a graduate of a local university".

So the kid and the young graduate is not happy. However, they might be motivated to achieve it, probably by saving up more money to buy the toy himself, or please his parents so they get it for him. The young graduate can also find ways to learn how to become like the Multi-billionaire he envies.

Of course, that's the better thing to do, instead of just envying others. But on the downside, there are also people who become depressed due to all these envying and comparisons. This don't apply to just the kid or the young graduate. You find that in students who become depressed when they get 5As in their A levels, while their peers get 7As. Then you also see partners getting upset why their own boy/girlfriends just can't be as nice as his/her friend's boy/girlfriend. Again, while some look onto the brighter side, some decide to end their lives, or decide to never enter a relationship again.

We can blame the person for not being satisfied with what they had. 5As is a truly incredible result, and probably can admit you to any university. On the other side, we can also look at the kind of society and culture we are brought up.

Our society is a meritocratic one. In other words, it says that if you work hard enough, you can achieve whatever you want. That is being preached everywhere, by our government, our teachers, and also our parents. This form of culture has reaped its benefits, by producing the creme of the crop, the best of the best, the elites of the elites. These people have gone on to become leaders in the public and private sectors.

But what most people fail to realize is that Accidents Do Happen in this world. Sometimes, you just don't get what you want no matter how much work you have done. And sometimes, accidents may occur during the pursuit of achievement. Some people are born with disability. An athlete can injure himself, and may never return to his original peak performance state again. Anything can happen.

What usually happens in a meritocratic system is that the top will always be highly rewarded with fame and riches, while nobody cares much about the people on the other end of the spectrum. Comparititis and Envy kicks in. People become depressed. Interestingly enough, if you do a simple statistic check, developed (meritocratic) countries have higher suicide rates than developing ones.

Some may not be depressed, but become motivated to spent the rest of their lives chasing after something, and realize that's not what they want in the end.

One thing we have to know is that We cannot be successful in every area of our lives. You may have riches, fame, popularity, but you may miss out something else, like privacy. Singapore is still okay, but in other countries, you will find paparazzi following you wherever you go.

What we need to really have, is satisfaction and contentment with ourselves, and not in constant comparison with others. Some people say,"How I wish I can live a life like them...". Oh, you so sure you want a life like them?

At this point, there might be some 'Success Coach' or 'Peak Performance Coach' coming down at me for trying to tell others that success is not a desirable thing, or that having wealth and fame does not lead you to a better life. Or rather, I have a 'negative' or 'poor' mindset, and not a 'Success' mindset.

If that happens, then we will have to see what's the definition of success. Who defined this definition of success? Is it by you, or is it by society, or is it defined for you by society?

Without any doubt, if you ask anybody on the streets, most people will give the definition of success as 'having lots of money'. Unbelievable? Then you might want to test it by asking random people around you.

Our definition of success has been defined by the society to a great extent. To the extent that if we do not drive a big car, live in a big private property, go to exotic places for holiday, stay in luxurious hotels...etc, we are not successful. Where do you see all these? In TVs, in magazines, in advertisements, and movies. That's how 'Success' is portrayed to us.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't drive a big car, live in big house, go for exotic holidays. You should definitely go if you can afford. The luxurious market needs to have business too. However, the people who can't afford it, want it too. They might not need the big car to drive them to work, but they want it, because their friends have it, or to show off to others that the are 'rich'. While they get the envy eyes looking at them, they are struggling behind to fund their unnecessary expenses. In the end, what's the purpose of getting this big car, to fit into society definition of 'success'?

This does not just refer to big cars, or Singapore only. You can see, in other parts of the world, that because of Comparititis and Envy, people do crazy things just to fit into the definition defined by society. We heard of stories in China, because of an Apple gadget,a kid sold his kidney, a teenage girl sold her virginity.  All this done to stake a claim in China's upper class society.

As you read all these, it seems like I'm telling off a lot of people who are always comparing, and chasing after things for identity sake. But the fact is, I'm also one of those who are chasing after many things the society has taught me to chase after. But time and time again, once I get something I wanted, it doesn't feel as great as I first thought. Much of it is also because of comparititis and envy. I thought I would be as happy as the person if I had what the person had, but I hardly felt that way.

Now, it's time to cure the illness. It's time to look at myself, and know how much I already had, instead of looking at how much more others had over me. It's time to find satisfaction and contentment in oneself, and live a life you'll never want to exchange with someone else.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Year End WTH Exams

Seriously, exams are coming again. I'm really sick and tired of it.

I recently said that this whole year, not any sickness can bring me down. I hardly remember when was the last time I get cough, flu, fever, or whatever that caused me to go see doctor or lie in bed for days. Even when I injured my two fingers during a soccer match, I still can rub it off, let the swell go off, and carry my heavy luggage to the China trip.

However, I concede to exams. LOL?

In the past, end-of-year exams used to be my best activity of the year. A time when I can score lots of 'A's, see my rankings in class, den maybe go around compare with friends. And of course, holidays after that!

Also at that time, I do not like group projects or project work. I find that it's waste of time, and I have to put in a lot of effort, while other people just slack and watch things go along. So I never liked graded group projects, but love year-end 'one-shot' exams.

But now its seriously the opposite.

Now in Uni, I fare better in all group projects than those year-end exams.

I just simply love group projects, even if its about writing 3000 word report or shooting a film, I've done it! And I enjoy the process a lot! Good buddies are made in the process too. But year-end exam in Uni? I seriously have no interest at all. It's just the same as JC studies - swallowing all that the teacher has passed to you, den you vomit it out during your exam. You clean your mouth, and submit the paper. You forget everything after that - cos you never swallow back your vomit what.

Why are we still doing that?

I grumble a lot that I hated my course, but I still take it into stride. No point complaining now, since I'm almost finishing the course already. What's surprise me most is that, whenever people ask me what's my major, i tell them its 'Math & Econs'.

Usual reply: "WOW, You're so smart! Double Degree?"

Me: "Not really, just a double major".

Yea, that's how most conversations go regarding my course.

You see, the course title is quite bombastic la. Kind of give you some bragging rights. But unless you take the course, you have no idea what's inside it. To me, its just another course, with a fancy name to con students to sign up. Period.

So I'm left with 7 days to revise for my first exam paper.

And I don't feel like revising it. But I got to force myself to do it, just like how many other students are forcing themselves to swallow too. But like most of them, I will also vomit out on the exam day.

Do I have a choice? 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Blind leading the blind

If the blind leads the blind, where will the blind lead the blind to?

I also don't know.

This can be a scary thing.

Sometimes, it's important to open your eyes and see things yourself,
instead of believing someone so religiously and that he might be leading
you to the grave without you knowing.

Friday, July 29, 2011

My Internship With EconomyWatch

I would say it's really a good experience for me to intern at I don't think need to explain much what the site is about. A click there you will know.

But maybe I can share what I'm doing there. As EconomyWatch is a super-big website, with over 100,000 over pages of content, it is not easy to be managed by 1 person (unlike my blog). Haha. So first, is to get a team to manage this website, and i'm proud to be in this team!

And my job is simple, which I've always been doing as part of my online business.

To add content, promote content, connect with readers, drive readers back to site, attract more readers, form communities, allow readers to share opinions. While doing all these, the main focus is to Drive Traffic. That's all! And that's what i've been doing for my blogs and websites for the past year :)

On top of that, more challenging tasks for me would be writing economic articles, featured articles that will be published on the 1st page of the website! And yes, I wrote 2 articles that were published there! YAY! (2 Stars for me)!

Other than work, what i like here is the lifestyle and flexibility I have, and of course the helpful teammates i have who helped me a lot, especially in putting my articles up on time. :)
If I want to say more about the lifestyle, it would just means that I can work how i like to work, just like my home. Casual, relax, sometimes talk cock sing song. Haha.

Food wise, there's too much things to eat. I mean too much GOOD FOOD here! If you don't know what to eat at Maxwell, Amoy, tanjong pagar, tell me. I tell you all the food to eat :)

Will definitely miss EconomyWatch team, and hope if there's chance I will be back with the team again. By then, the website maybe one of the top sites in the world alongside WSJ, The Economists, TIME! :)

Now, it's time for me to bring what i have learned in EconomyWatch about writing Economic/Politics articles back to life, and use it in my work in school! That will be more meaningful to me and my life, than to just add another statement "Intern at EconomyWatch" at my resume.

Love it!

Talking about politics

Politics is one of the 3 things that no matter what you say, you will alway make people unhappy. In other words, there's no right or wrong answer also. 

Politics get into my life from the Singapore General elections 2011, when read and know so much politics from the bright side, and the dark side. Of course, during this time, i also get into discussion with many people with different opinions. Some friends also become more politically-savvy after seeing so many of their friends getting more and more interested. 

However, one thing i can say that talking about politics is what everyone can do. I also love to talk. But coming to help ourselves in our lives, and helping others in their lives is another thing. I know government can be a very easy target for anything happen to us. Even if I got drenched in the rain, i can also blame govt why never build road shelter, or supply free umbrellas...or whatever. 

So sometimes,while we can say a lot of things about political issues, we also need to see if we are part of the problems, or part of the solution. 

I think for me, it has come to a point that talking is just a simple thing every one can talk about. I can keep on complaining about my lives, but I have decided that talking is just talking. What matters to me now is IF I'm Willing to do what it takes to change my own lives, and the lives of people around me :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

1 more new challenge

After trying out as a model last weekend, this weekend I'm gonna lead a group of youths in a BOOT CAMP!

You know that kind of BOOT CAMP? where you gonna **** them upside them, test their endurance level, and can only say yes (and ONLY YES) to you, and do whatever you tell them to?

I don't think how I am able to it, as I'm someone who's very kind-hearted, and never really **** ppl upside down before. Hahaha. 

Anyway, new experience, and no risk (hope so!), so why not just try it! Maybe the youths will love it? :P

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fail in school, good for you.

I wrote this post and about to publish it somewhere else. But since i wrote it, then I will just post here then :)

Failing in school is Good for you.

Just this week, I finally received my examination results after waiting about 1 month for it. To my surprise, I got an F grade for a subject. F in my result slip doesn't reflect Fantastic, Fabulous or First Class. F means fail. I stared at the F for a while, wondering how on earth can I see an F in my result slip? The last time I did see an F is about 10 years ago, when I get an F in secondary 1, for my Literature. :P

Like many other students, I just couldn't' accept the fact that I failed a subject in school. Who wants to fail? Failing means that we have to read the subject again, go for the same lectures again, and spend another 2 hours to go for the exam - again.

After feeling down for hours, a thought come to my mind. A failure is not that bad after all! In fact, failing in school is good for you. You may see that I might be joking here, or suffering from some post-examination stress that I come up with this illogical logic.

But after you reach the end of this article, you might think otherwise.

First of all, do you know we people fail everyday? We do fail to wake up the time when our alarm clock ring. We do fail to cook the half-boiled egg we want. And we do fail to obey our parents too. We can fail, however, we know that we have to face the consequence after that. We might end up late for classes, swallow our uncooked egg, or have a curfew set by our parents.

But failures in school does not seem to be that simple, like those failures mentioned above. We can accept all the consequences for failing those daily tasks, but the consequences of getting a fail grade in school might not be that acceptable by most of us (including me!).

The price to fail in school is far greater than those daily tasks. On top of just retaking the exam again, we might risk spending an additional year in school, we might be excluded from our scholarship, or worse, we might even drop out of school. So in a sense, failing is normal if we fail in those daily tasks, but becomes abnormal if it is about our school grades.

Unfortunately, many youths and students have decided to end their lives when they see failures in their school grades. This is an increasing trend, and not just in Singapore, but in other countries like China and United States too.

And some times it is not that these students have been failing terribly in school for years. It is just that they experience their first failure for the first time in their schooling years. Imagine seeing an F among all the As and Bs that you have achieved for the past 10 years of your school life. It can be a massive shock or disappointment to some students.

Nowadays, our youths have been conditioned to think that academic grades are the only decisive factor for success in life. It is either excellent grades, or a dark future. However, we all know of many great man and woman who succeeded in life even if they fail in school. Some of them even didn't go to college!

No, I'm not telling people not to go to school, or go drop out of school and then you'll be another Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, but let's learn how to handle failures in every aspect of our lives when it comes. We can overcome any failures or setback in our lives, as the saying goes, a setback is a setup for a comeback.

So as my article is titled 'Failing in school is Good for you', I want to tell you that if you fail in school, you have a failing experience that others don't have. If you overcome this failure, you have gained another experience of overcoming a failure, which others don't have! Failing is Okay! (But if you fail continuously, then it's not Okay, as it just means that you have not learn your lesson :P)

After writing this, it may seem that I write this article to encourage myself, or to justify why failing is good, and why getting too many As in school is not. But honestly, I'm still quite upset to see a F in my report card, when I'm used to seeing higher grades in it, but what's next for me is just to work harder next time.

Have you failed in something but haven't get out of it?

Come, let's accept it, and stand up again, together.


Related Posts with Thumbnails