Four things we in Singapore can be grateful for this Christmas
It is official: we are right in the thick of the festive season.
From the flurry of Christmas sales at shops all over Singapore, to the Christmas-themed dishes offered at various eateries, to the Christmas trees you can find in almost every shopping mall here, the festive spirit is well and truly upon us all.
But even as we shop, party, and feast with our friends and family during this period, we should also take some time to reflect on the things we can be thankful for this Christmas.
And there is no better time to count your blessings – something which studies have confirmed can improve your life – than during this period of joy and festivity.
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To get you started, we at The Pride have come up with a list of four things all of us in Singapore can be grateful for this Christmas.
Peace be upon Singapore
After all, the threat of terrorism is right at our doorstep, while external forces are also working hard to try and cripple Singapore, as evidenced by the high-profile cyber attack on SingHealth in July this year.
We are currently also in the midst of trying to resolve several pressing issues with our neighbours Malaysia, not least over the “violation of our country’s sovereignty”.
Yet, despite all these threats, Singapore remains at peace.
For that, we have to thank the men and women behind the scenes who diligently work to keep these threats at bay.
Because make no mistake, the peace that we currently enjoy is integral to our society, our economy and our lives.
So even as we’re celebrating this Christmas with our friends and family, let’s keep in mind that this is possible because of the peace and safety we enjoy in Singapore.
Isn’t that something we can all be grateful for?
Food, food, everywhere!
Now that we’ve got the serious stuff out of the way, let’s talk about something more palatable.
I’m referring, of course, to the great food we have in Singapore.
From hawker centres, to coffeeshops, to cafes, to restaurants, we in Singapore are never short on options when it comes to satisfying our hunger pangs.
The staggering number of food videos that constantly pop up on our social media feeds is also testament to the sort of gastronomical haven that Singapore is.
The best part? We can get almost any kind of food we want here in Singapore, at almost any time.
And with the wide array of food delivery services available, we can order whatever we want with the tap of a finger, without needing to leave the comfort of our homes.
Food is such a staple of our lifestyle in Singapore that we’ve even nominated our rich hawker culture for inscription into Unesco’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
This is a timely reminder for us to also be grateful that we have affordable hawker food to enjoy, especially in light of recent reports of the various difficulties that our hawkers vendors face, such as long working hours and high rental.
The hawker culture has become a key part of life in Singapore – eight in 10 Singaporeans eat at a hawker centre at least once a week – but, with most young Singaporeans unwilling to take up the trade, there is a very real danger that we might lose our hawkers in future.
So let’s take the time to thank our hawkers this Christmas, and show them that we appreciate what they do.
Because our hawkers play an important role in cementing our reputation as a country replete with delicious food and drinks at every corner – now, that’s something I think we can all be grateful for, don’t you?
Leaving no one behind
It might sound counterintuitive, but the recent spotlight being shone on the subject of social inequality in Singapore is something that we can all be thankful for.
Because it goes to show that we care.
It shows that we, as individuals and as a society, are concerned about one another. No longer are we simply focused on doing well for ourselves – there are now signs of a concerted effort to ensure that no one in Singapore is left behind.
Sure, there is still quite some way to go before we can reduce the social gap and class inequalities.
But at least we as a country have recognised it is a problem, and are proactively trying to solve it.
This sentiment speaks to a thoughtful and kind society, and is a reflection of the type of people in the country.
We are living in a country which cares – surely, that’s something we can all be grateful for.
We are all connected
That you’re reading this article now means you’re connected to either Wifi or on your mobile data.
Which only helps to prove the point I’m trying to make – in Singapore, all of us have easy access to the Internet.
Given that the majority of us are largely dependent on the internet – Singapore itself is transitioning into a digital and cashless society – it is imperative that we are able to go online whenever and wherever we want.
We are living in a digital age, and thankfully, Singapore has been able to progress along with the times. Because apart from benefiting us as individuals, this connectivity has also allowed companies to conduct their businesses more efficiently and effectively.
So surely, we must be grateful that Internet access is widely available in Singapore most of the time, bar unexpected network disruptions.
Not only that, most of us are able to own smartphones or a computer, which is something that the majority of the world’s population are unable to do.
Owning these smart devices also requires us to have access to electricity so that we can charge them. Well, guess what? While electricity is freely available in Singapore, statistics show that around 1.2 billion people in the world have little or no access to that precious commodity.
These are all things that we enjoy in Singapore but often overlook because we have easy access to them.
So, let’s change that attitude today. Because really, there are many things in Singapore that we can, and should grateful for.
After all, these are the blessings that help to make our Christmas celebrations this year truly merry.