The changing values and meaning of affluence

With increasing affluence, the meaning of good life today is very different from those of yesteryears. There was a time when the goals of life and living were fairly straightforward. Work and acquire enough wealth for a carefree retirement. This would mean a roof over the head and some savings that would last till the end of one’s life, and some children and grand children to share some family warmth and joy.

Many today have achieved this state of financial independence many times over while in their 30s or 40s. They have their dream homes, plenty of cash and could do many things more without having to work till retirement. There are exceptions at the other extremes.

For the successful and those who have acquired enough for their lifetimes or many lifetimes, the meaning of life becomes a pursuit for happiness in their chosen ways. Some choose to continue to acquire more wealth to last another few generations, some choose to make themselves merry.

Front page news in the ST today shows a very jubilant supporter of Holland in the Euro Cup. He decked his balcony with all the colourful banners of the Holland which cost him some small change. You can see that his joy is real. It came from his heart. The past misdeeds of the colonialist were long forgotten. There is a revived pride to be part of the colonial master’s celebration.

ST also gave two full spread to the celebration of the Queen of England’s Diamond Jubilee. Full colour pages must have cost a bomb to put them in our papers. Many former subjects of the British monarch must be reliving their glorious past and good times with memories of the Queen of England. The young fed with fairy tales of kings and queens and handsome princes and beautiful princesses will have their dreams come true with such extravaganzas.

In times like this, when all the material needs are fulfilled, and bloating bank accounts, something seems to be missing. How nice would it be if Singapore is represented in the Euro Cup or whatever Cups so that the Singaporeans can have something really to cheer about, to be part of and to be proud of and to hang colourful banners on their balconies. How nice would it be if the Queen of England is once again our Queen and we can dress up Orchard Road and the whole country to celebrate the event just like we did in 1953. Long live the Queen, and everyone can burst their lungs with God Save the Queen.

We sorely need a football team that can do us proud and give us a reason to cheer and celebrate and spend money wearing their jerseys, the scarves, waving their banners and beating the drums. We need a political figure to enjoy this kind of adulation and deference and an excuse to party, to sing and to dance.

Time to seriously consider spending a couple of billion to own a world class football club. It is a pity that Peter Lim failed or we will have Manchester United at our doorstep to adore and cheer for. It is a pity that we don’t have princes and princesses to make our dreams come true. A monarchy is not really a bad thing, really, when life is aplenty and everyone has all the money and time to look for occasions to celebrate.

We already have mayors, like the Mayor of Nottingham. We can go a few steps further by having dukes and duchess, counts and countesses, and a living king, and then write our own fairy tales for children in schools.


Anonymous said...

As good as the Chinese saying of having so much money, they resort to buying turtles to throw into the sea.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Why not get a Bill Of Rights?

patriot said...

Come on Redbean! You seem to be living in colonial time.

Who is stopping Sinkies from having their own queen and princess? We have our own Kings, Rulers and their offsprings, are they inferior to the Ex Colonial Masters who are now mostly figure heads? Mind You, the Offsprings of our Rulers are of superior genes. They are top talents and are heads of some of the biggest organizations.

Are Singaporeans not impressed and proud of their own Rulers???