Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Happiness and Singaporeans

Anonymous raised an interesting point in an earlier post about the cats scratching cars and leaving fur on the cars. He said that people with a lot less seem happier than Singaporeans. I am sure most people have read that Singaporeans scored very low on the happiness score - the lowest in Asia, and pretty dismally in the world as a whole.

It makes sense - if for example, a cat leaving FUR on your car makes you so unhappy that you send numerous emails to authorities or the lizards mating near a light throws you into fits of wanting to discipline them, you can't be a very happy person can you? Either these people have nothing else better to do, or they are upset by the slightest thing - or maybe both. If you are sitting there steaming because a cat sat on your car for a bit of warmth and left some fur on your car, then I'd hate to see what else makes you unhappy because that would pretty much cover everything.

It's a case of letting material things dictate our happiness. Like the person whose flat or condo is 'diminished' in price in his view because there are cats sitting in the compound and the person who is upset because the cat sat on their car. At the end of the day, even if there was a scratch, it's just a scratch and it's just a car - as a friend of mine said, people are dying in in Lebanon, and THIS is what makes you upset?


Anonymous mr giggles said...

I agree with you whole-heartedly on this. We should have another poster to tell people to focus on the REAL issues of the world and not be so myopic!

It would a great idea to come up with an ad to quote, "People are dying in Lebanon, and Yogyakarta, and you are unhappy about a CAT sitting on your car???"

Singaporeans are generally a really narrow-minded lot -- very self-centred and self-righteous.

People who complain day in and day out should be the ones we round up on put them all collectively on a desert island with no other living things on it.

19/7/06 12:35 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Good point Mr Giggles. Going to ask my friend for rights to use his quote :)

19/7/06 1:18 PM  
Anonymous kaori said...

I find happiness in seeing the cats in my area are cared for and living in the urban wild. In fact I spend more time on my evening walks interacting with cats than talking to neighbours. How many of us here see your next door neigbour more than your favourite resident feline? I don't know the names of all my neighbours, but I have names for all the cats that's around the blocks. Cats add intrinsic value to our neighbourhood; I hate to think that one day the only animals that most of the younger generation know of are the aquarium fish or terrapin they that rear in childhood or their neigbour's dog and vague memories of going to the zoo less than 5 times in their lifetime.

19/7/06 3:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

indeed kaori, pet therapy is a known source of stress release for many people - even if it comes from a community cat!

along with the point, Dawn, of not sweating the small stuff is something i feel deserves mention at some point - the importance of recognising the intrinsic value of life. in the sense that life deserves respect in its own right, and not only when it's tagged to something of economic value.

ours is a society in which people value a pedigree dog or cat only because they paid $x for it. a community cat, on the other hand, can be picked up for free and is therefore somehow less deserving of love and care. until this changes, the lives of our community cats as well as the future of indigenous wildlife will always be at peril.

19/7/06 5:36 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Well said Kaori and Anonymous - to insist that something has value only because I paid for it, devalues a lot of other things. The best things in life cannot be bought - not love, not happiness, health or friendship - and if you are constantly counting assessing value in terms of how much something costs, then you're missing out on a lot.

19/7/06 5:56 PM  
Anonymous belle said...

i have been reading those articles about cats & cars ... *sigh* it seems that the most unhappy ppl are the ones who're very materialistic, but they really don't have the $$ to lead an expensive lifestyle ...

for example, a person who has to work 24/7 just to pay for a car ...

who wouldnt be tired and bad-tempered working 24/7 ?

it would be better for him to take public transport and work less ... work to live, not live to work !!

if u have the money, go ahead, splurge on cars ! if u have to work yourself to death just to finance a big house or a luxury car, then its not worth it ...

an angry unhappy person tends to exhibit lack of compassion for animals, fellow human beings ...

so, here we have a person, stretched to his credit limit, living in a fast-paced city like s'pore, burned-out and stressed-out ... who takes out his anger on his maid, the cats, other drivers on the road, his neighbours ... an UNHAPPY UGLY SINGAPOREAN NO LESS !!

unhappiness is infectious ... don't let these rude, unkind ppl spoil your day ... :-)

19/7/06 9:53 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Thanks Belle - I'll try not to. I have to say everytime I see his mail pop up in my mailbox it sours my mood. Honestly, I would just ignore him otherwise - but everytime he complains, some cats get killed.

20/7/06 2:00 AM  

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