Forum: Time to reset priorities in life

While the Government will be unsparing in its efforts to keep the unemployment rate down, it is inevitable that many good-paying jobs will be lost in the near future as what many believe to be a long-drawn-out L-shaped recovery plays out (Securing jobs top priority, most urgent task: DPM, June 21).

Years of prudence have accorded the nation the ability to spare more than $90 billion to tackle the fallout from the Covid-19 crisis.

Meanwhile, at the individual level, many have enough savings to last only a few months to tide them over any tough times (High on income but low on savings, June 21). Some are even mired neck-high in debt.

The cost of debt is likely to remain low as interest rates follow a downward trend, but the rise in unemployment simply means an ever-decreasing ability to service any loan.

Those who are used to overspending and over-leveraging on credit card debt and loans will soon have the excesses of their past come back to haunt them.

It's a good time to reflect on how the pursuit of material happiness and transient indulgences leads to fleeting and momentary fulfilment.

A deeper search for meaning in our lives, which necessitates a connection to the past and a commitment to the future, provides a far better platform from which to anchor our ambitions.

Forget about adding far-flung exotic destinations to visit to our bucket list, as well as Michelin-star restaurants and the acquisition of branded accoutrements.

Find long-term meaning instead in being better spouses, more involved parents and socially responsible members of society. Take up the fight for the environment, for the rights of the underprivileged and the repressed, and for the welfare of animals.

Yik Keng Yeong (Dr)

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