Time for Singaporeans to wake up and look at the world around us

Singaporeans, by and large, dwell on the material and the now.

We are concerned with bread-and-butter issues, and we exhibit social behaviour that smacks of a "me first" attitude.

This is reflected in what we read ("Can Singaporeans read?"; Jan 14).

Self-help books are great, but they overlook the larger picture beyond the self.

The world is changing fast, and it pays for us to take heed of the new realities out there.

We are particularly susceptible to the winds of change, as an open economy.

Perhaps we have become complacent because we have achieved so much within a short time.

Regretfully, we hear little discussion of world issues in the public or private domain.

Hubris sets in when we become complacent.

While we ask for more openness for the discussion of issues, we must first begin with introspection.

Do we make efforts to cultivate our intellect so as to enrich such discussions? Do we care?

Lee Teck Chuan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 19, 2017, with the headline 'Time for Singaporeans to wake up and look at the world around us'. Print Edition | Subscribe