Thursday, February 19, 2009

Are we measured by the work we do and how much we earn?

We spend a great proportion of our life working everyday so much so it has become a social norm to equate the worth of a man by the work he does and the amount he earns.

The earning power of an individual is perceived as the status of the individual by the modern society. The richer one is, the higher the status is accorded to him and he is deemed to be worthier than others, so much so during a remark about the Tan Yong Soon’s cooking incident, Member of Parliament Charles Chong has, as reported in the newspapers, referred to common Singaporeans earning an ordinary income as ‘lesser beings’, I belong to this group too.

When I read of the term ‘lesser being’, I could not believe that this term could actually come out from the mouth of a member of Parliament! In what way am I a lesser mortal than the well-heeled? Though I may be earning a modest income, I have good moral values and like all Singaporeans and have dreams we want to realize too! Why should the worth of myself be dictated by my earning power and by Charles Chong?

Anyway this is reality! The reality of our society, where average Singaporeans could not fathom the wealth of the more than 666,000 Singaporeans with at least US $1 million in liquidity, where the astronomical salaries of Ministers will always be hotly debated and where academic grades still does matter a lot.

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