Cutting into the Singaporean psyche…

I’ve come to realise that we Singaporeans are incredibly hard on ourselves.

We don’t give ourselves credit for the 80 marks we score in a test, but beat ourselves up for the 20 we lost. We don’t give ourselves credit for the hard work we put in, but berate ourselves for the work we didn’t do. We don’t feel proud to be No. 3 out of 200 countries, but agonize over why we are not No. 1.

This national preoccupation with always having to be better and to be the best is part of our destiny as citizens of a tiny, resource-starved nation that you need a magnifying glass to see on a world map. To  make the world respect us, recognise our talent or even realise that we exist, we have to be extraordinary.

But if we don’t introduce a modicum of balance to our perspective, we will be very unhappy people indeed. Much has been said over the need for Singaporeans to be kinder and more considerate to others. Of course I agree. But what is often overlooked is the need to be kinder – and fairer – to ourselves.

So give yourselves a pat on the back every once in a while, my fellow Singaporeans. Be kind to yourself.

About gptuitionsg

A dedicated English and GP tutor with First Class Honours from the National University of Singapore, Steven Ooi retired from the profession after a 14-year career during which he was one of the most sought-after private tutors in Singapore. He is the recipient of the Minerva Prize from NUS, which is awarded to the top English Language honours student of each cohort. This website, which has consistently ranked among the top 10 on Google and has received over 530,000 hits, has now been converted into a GP resource site cum listing of recommended tutors. If you are a GP or English tutor who wishes to be listed here, please email Steven Ooi at stevenooi18 @ (remove the spaces). Interested parties will be assessed and interviewed by him, and qualifications will be checked. These procedures are necessary to uphold quality standards. DISCLAIMER: While every reasonable effort has been made to assess the competence and verify the qualifications of recommended tutors here, no guarantees are made and you engage them at your own risk. By using this website, you agree that you will not hold the webmaster Steven Ooi responsible for any consequences — direct or otherwise — that occur in relation with your use of this website.
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