Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Butterflies on the other side of the world

"It is another Malay winnder but it does not bother me much because my ricebowl is not affected by it"
XXXX, MAE, Yr 4, 24
This was in response to the result of the recent Singapore Idol final where the winner was the third Malay, male winner in a series that is only three seasons old.

This disturbs me quite a bit (even though it has absolutely no effect on my ricebowl). While it is a very practical point of view, it is also quite discouraging that some people do not take any interest in the world around them unless they are directly affected by the matter. NO! I'm not saying that Singapore Idol and its result are the most important thing in the papers though I do have my own opinion on the result. But the part that troubles me the most is the "because my ricebowl is not affected by it" mentality.

It is a mentality that not only shrinks your world down to the problems that you physically can see and touch, but also shortens the length of time into the future that you will be able to foresee. I am not by any means suggesting that we should all poke our noses into any and every little thing that we hear about, but a healthy interest in the world is very necessary I feel. Just because it doesn't directly affect your ricebowl at this point of time doesn't mean that it might not in time to come.

Simple example. Global warming and climate change. A few years ago, it was something that little people bothered about and even fewer even mentioned in conversation. But now with the Copenhagen climate talks where world leaders are discussing the possiblility of economic measures to stop climate change, everyone is starting to take more interest. Why? Because people are starting to realise that IT DOES affect their ricebowls now.

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