Monday, December 19, 2005

JBJ and Apathetic Youngsters

Take a look at this blog JB Jeyaretnam's Blog ..

I've never given JBJ much credit coz he does not present himself very well these days, to be honest he looks slightly deranged at times. Or maybe it's the way the media had potrayed him and that got stuck in my head. I guess it's a mix of both.

But today, after chancing upon some comments on him, I thought it's time to put down my prejudice and go read about this guy. So far from what I read, this guy is a fighter and a dreamer. The best combination for he dares to dream and he dares to fight for his dream.

He may be crushed, but I'm sure his spirits are not broken. It's not easy for someone to stand up against someone else more powerful, it's harder to stand up against a monolith. Plus, at his age, it's really amazing that he can still go on. You don't find people like him anymore.
Singaporean youngsters are called apathetic, that we care about politics. Well majority really don't care much, some don't even know who our PM is!?

But is it that we don't care? Or are we afraid to care?

With all the lawsuits flying around, it's becomes scary to even comment about anything remotely related to politics. With TV shows like The Practice, we learn that lawyers can twist your words, left, right, center. We do not dare to speak anymore.

Going deeper than the threat of lawsuits is the way we are being brought up. We are a generation which enjoys the fruits of our forefathers' labor, we are educated and affluent. We have the world laid out in front of us. That is to say, we have too much to lose, and yet the majority of us do not have enough to lose.

That's contradictary, how can you have too much to lose and not enough to lose? Most Singaporeans falls in the middle-income sector. We are well-to-do but not to the extent that we can be considered rich.

The middle is the worst place to look for people who dares to take risk. For these are the people who are there and yet not there; who have tasted what being rich is like and yet cannot maintain the kinda lifestyle.

Look at the business world, look at the success stories, most comes from either the rich or the poor. For the poor, they know what it is to be poor, to be hungry all the time, so they strive and work for success. Another very important factor for them is daring to take risk, for they have nothing to lose. If the business failed, they will still be poor, like what they were before, no difference to them. But if they succeed, they will be rich and it will make a whole world of difference.

For the rich, they just want to get richer, so the motivation is there. Other than that, they can afford to fail. They can afford to fail and fail till they hit the winning formula. They have the money to risk and fall and try again.

For those in the middle, the motivation to get richer is not as strong as they poor, they did not suffer as much and do not know what it is like to go hungry. But they do not have the money to risk and fall and try again. This is the group with the most to lose.

Back to politics, most times we keep our mouths shut for we have too much to lose. We are not so poor that we have nothing to lose, we are not so rich that we can afford to lose. We are risking our careers, facing potential lawsuits, bankruptcy. We cannot afford to hire those super lawyers to fight our cases, so we learn to bite our tongues and keep quiet. We learn that silence is golden.

And soon we learn not to care as caring and yet not being able to do anything hurts; caring and not being to say anything hurts too.

That's how we become apathetic.

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