This is the Singapore National Day theme 2010. Having just attended an observance ceremony to commemorate our nation’s 45th year of independence, I am filled with mixed emotions.
Even though it has never been cool to show patriotism among the people of my generation, watching the video of Singapore’s past coupled with the singing of National Day songs and our anthem actually caused me to shed some tears. And it has nothing to do with me working in the public sector.
In fact, my day to day exposure to all things government has made me realised that ministers and senior management of government-linked bodies are just mere men like all of us. What makes us show them such reverance and honor is really beyond me.
On another note, why are we so quick to judge and criticise their actions and decisions? Are they not as susceptible to making mistakes like all of us?
So what made me so emotional? I am thankful to have been born in Singapore. It isn’t the best country in the world but I couldn’t have asked for better. Located at the end of the Malayan Peninsula, we are blessed with a prime location which allowed us to quickly gain economic stature.
Being sheltered from natural disasters have made it possible for us to avoid the catastrophes that come with it. Through this we are able to prosper without being subjected to the forces of nature.
The foresight of our leaders in encouraging a multi-racial and multi-religious society made it possible for me to be exposed to Christ and His undying love for me. I would be a very different kind of person if I do not have the security of God in my life.
Our government is very strong in providing education to the public, foremost of which is the setting up of the National Library which houses very valuable and up to date information on almost every subject in the world.
Perhaps not everyone can get formal education due to financial constraints, but every citizen is entitled to free membership to the public library such that one’s learning is only limited by their aspiration to be educated.
And with education and the correct attitude towards learning, windows of opportunities are opened to us whether in Singapore or overseas. For that I am grateful to be able to become a global citizen in that I am not restricted in my right to think, to accept and to move internationally.
Everyday I hear people’s grouses about what the government can do better or even blaming policies for putting them in their current plight.
There is no perfect leadership and I admit that as Singapore and the world is developing in leap and bounds, our leaders may not be able to catch up in rolling out new schemes to meet new demands and abolishing those that are archaic.
Which brings to light this year’s National Day theme. Live our dreams. It is not a call for unity or progression at all costs, it is not even one that shouts love your country. It is about pursuing the dreams and aspirations of every individual.
But more importantly to dispel the notion of depending entirely on the government to provide all your needs. You have a dream? Go ahead and live it! Don’t wait for us to tell you how to do it.
I have always been a DIY person and learning to live my dreams has been the basis of the important decisions I have made in my life. I think as a people we all need to be inspired which hasn’t been encouraged as we were taught to follow whatever the government tells us.
Fly our flag. The flag is the symbolism of what the country stands for and hopes to achieve. This year’s National Day song is written and composed by one of our homemade artistes Corinne May.
Although she became successful outside of Singapore, what needs to be recognised is that it was based on the firm foundation afforded by the country of origin that allowed the talent to blossom.
And that I think is the heart of the message – Go ahead and pursue your dreams here or overseas but always remember and be proud of the mother land that made it possible.