It’s no secret that we Singaporeans love to complain. Train breakdown, we complain. Workload too much, we complain. Pay not high enough, we complain. We are the land of #firstworldproblems. Even if we don’t outwardly express our discontentment, many of us are often dissatisfied and in want of something – a new luxury bag, the house of our dreams, the next big vacay… The list goes on.
Amidst all the small and big dissatisfactions we have with our daily lives lay many blessings – little things we tend not to keep track of, details of our lives we tend to gloss over and take for granted.
If life has been stressful or tiring, and if you haven’t been the happiest lately, here’s a reminder of some of the things in life we can be thankful about.
1. We have a roof over our head
Maybe, you’re in your mid-20s, still sharing a room with your siblings and you get a nagging from your parents at every chance you cross paths. The situation may not be ideal but the next time your mom says something that makes you want to roll your eyes to the back of your head, be grateful for the fact that she’s still around and that you have a place to call home, sanitary water and a roof over your head.
2. We can’t have expensive food every day, but we need not worry about going hungry
We Singaporeans love food. We love going for brunches, having coffee, exploring all the good food Singapore has to offer. Unfortunately, that all doesn’t come cheap and most of you probably wish you could order without having to look at the price or think about the money. While that is true, many of us never have to worry about going hungry. Our local favourites, like Hokkien mee, carrot cake and more, are always just around the corner, and those, most of us are well able to afford.
3. We may not yet be who or where we want to be, but we have the means to get there
We Singaporeans are an ambitious lot. We have our dreams, and even if they’re so unconventional and far off the beaten track that our families don’t approve of them, we are free to act upon our dreams. We have the means to try, to see our dreams to fruition or to watch them dissolve after giving it everything we can. Sure, it sounds awful to fail, but the fact that we can even try is a great blessing. The fact that we have the inspiration, the hunger, the ability to acquire the knowledge and skills we need, and the fact that we are able to grow and change with our experiences are things we often take for granted.
4. We are never alone – our friends make sure of that
This is not exclusive to Singapore of course – but whether you’re someone with one or ten close friends, these friends and friendships are things you should never take for granted. Our friends are the ones who truly understand us, who know and have been a part of our story, who make us laugh, keep us sane and make life exciting every day. Give thanks for these sweet, caring, inspiring, and beyond amazing individuals.
5. We may think our family is imperfect, but we have one to come home to
One of the greatest love-hate relationships we will have in our lives is the one we have with our families. Maybe you’re always fighting and screaming at one another. Maybe it seems like you make each other’s lives downright miserable every day. But when push comes to shove, your family is there for you. They may not love you the way you want to be loved, but in their own weird, perhaps dysfunctional way, they care – you just have to train your eyes to see it. Like when mom cleans up after you no matter how much she scolds you, or dad always buys dinner back for you even though you hardly speak to one another. These little things? They do count for something.
6. The fact that we can love and be loved
Love is a gift. No matter the drama in the middle, the heartbreak at the end, the emotions that flood your senses every day, the ability to love and to be loved is a gift. Feeling wanted, understood, deeply cared for, and sharing that profound connection with somebody? That’s a feeling that’s well worth the potential pain and risk.
While there are plenty of things in the world we don’t have, there are many things in life that we do. These are things many of us have had our whole lives; things that are so basic that most of us don’t even think to be thankful for them. It’s about time we appreciate the smaller things in life.
A simple question of what a home is to you usually does the trick. Is a home a luxurious place you can call your own? Or a simple sanctuary that you can find comfort in? Everyone has their own perception of what Home is – but ultimately, it should be that sense of belonging that you derive out of it. Everyone deserves to have that sense of belonging and if you already feel like you have one, how about paying it forward to people who are less fortunate?
On 24 (Sat) – 25 (Sun) September, Project Ware House will be bringing people together to experience the local arts scene while raising funds to build Singapore’s first purpose-built home for adults with autism. Many of them are seeking a place they can call home, especially when their parents are ageing. There will be an art auction, art market as well as a movie screening, so come on down and join in on the fun, while doing some good at the same time!
Co-organized by the Local People and Gushcloud, and presented by Community Chest, all proceeds from the event will go towards building Singapore’s first Adult Disability Home, a home specifically catering to adults with disabilities.
The key beneficiary for the month of September are people with Autism. Many people with autism depend on their parents or caretakers to look after them, and as they grow older, so will their guardians. These homes are designed with special facilities to help people with Autism live independently, in spite of their condition.
Everyone deserves a home. Let’s help the less fortunate ones build one today!