The pursuit of happiness is making us sad?

Came across a very interesting topic from ACJC prelim past year paper…and this got me thinking. It was about the pursuit of happiness in SG society and whether it is making us sad. Sounds pretty paradoxical ya? So what exactly is happiness in SG society? I would dare to define it in tangible terms (just to make our discussion easier… of course I’m aware that the intangibles matter in life as well) and that would mean material wealth; having status and position in society.

Alright if based on this definition, would the pursuit of material wealth here makes us sad? Well, having lots of money to purchase things and to provide a better life for our family is no doubt good, but this competitive pursuit would also mean that some people would be left behind. IF society has such a narrow definition of success, I’m sure that a lot of people would feel sad and jaded eventually, because it becomes an expectation that we have to flaunt wealth in order to show that we are successful. It is very common to come across news article mentioning about the excessive wealth of Singaporeans: or witnessing a fleet of lambos driving down Orchard Road and causing a minor jam. Very often, we are even compelled to take on jobs that we do not like in order to show that “we have made it in society”. Just take a look at NUS/SMU confession page on FB and it is not uncommon to find graduates complaining and reflecting about their choices in life, and how the pursuit of material wealth has drained them with just 3 years into the corporate world.

At times, our pursuit of happiness could be fleeting especially when we approach old age. We take various measures to ensure that the signs of aging would not show, and that our bodies would not betray us even after taking good care of them. As such, we opt for healthy diets, bootcamps to train and hone our bodies, and even cosmetic surgeries to improve our appearance and put aging on hold. Botox treatments and anti-aging products are fast becoming the rage of society. The ability to afford these treatments also suggests status and wealth as seen from many popular bloggers and lifestyle influencers’ posts.

So what do you think about the Singaporean’s definition of success? Does it excite you or make you feel jaded?

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