In recent years, I’ve been hearing this line “Control what you can control” more and more often. I think it’s a very useful line for time management and job prioritization but it is increasingly used when people are handed a lousy situation not of their own doing, and asked to “just deal with it”.
That thought came to mind when I read this news story in Today where our Defence Minister insists our cost of living here has become more expensive because of our personal aspirations in life:
SINGAPORE — Having higher aspirations in life is a reason why Singaporeans find the cost of living here expensive, despite real wages having gone up, said Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen yesterday (May 10).
But Singapore has to ensure that opportunities to get out of poverty must not be priced out and remain abundant to fulfil the dreams of younger Singaporeans, said Dr Ng.
The Defence Minister was speaking at a Singapore Medical Association dinner and responding to a question from the audience concerned over the rising cost of living in Singapore.“If you look at household goods, per household, what people have – handphone, TV – has actually gone up,” said Dr Ng. Unlike the past, mobile phones are almost an essential item for children, he added.
That Singaporeans find costs of living expensive due to higher aspirations is a reason that will not please people, including himself, said Dr Ng, as the reason is “objective” and does not address “issues of the heart.”
Dr Ng added that while the Government makes sure that nobody should have their potential stunted just because their family cannot afford it, this is “difficult argument” to sell as some parents pay large sums of money to provide tuition for their children.
Before writing this post, I’ve actually spent the past three days mulling frequently on the story and on my personal situation.
I’ve asked myself – so is this true? Have my aspirations led to the increasing costs that we’re all experiencing around us? I’ve always respected Minister Ng (hey, he’s an old ACS boy, so he can’t be that clueless right?) so I kept asking myself if it was me and not him. Continue reading