THE GALLUP POLLS – A CLOSER LOOK

I’ve been accused of being PollyannaAll because I said yesterday that Singaporeans shouldn’t objectively be as unhappy as we say we are.

I’m not going to take back what I said, although I’ll concede that Singapore isn’t an easy place to live in.

Going through the Gallup questions myself, I can see how many Singaporeans didn’t say YES! to many of them.Did you feel well-rested yesterday? 

No. I was multi-tasking, trying to get ready for Xmas, sign off on all my corporate stuff, get a book draft out to a publisher, see to a property rental and angst over my 14 year old son’s lack of commitment to school work.

I don’t think my frazzled state was abnormal. A survey shows Singaporeans work some of longest hours in the world and after work, if you’re a family person with school going children, there’s the stress of the examination hurdles.

There would probably have been a big resounding NO on this question and validly so.

Were you treated with respect all day yesterday?

I don’t know the answer to this one for everyone else. I am usually treated with respect but I’d say my experiences are not a fair indicator.

What I do know is that quite often I see through the service staff, cleaners and foreign workers going about their lives around me. I am quick to complain if the person taking my phone query can’t get it right. I do hang up abruptly when I receive phone solicitations.

And my oh my, bad driver that I am, I’m constantly bullied on the roads.

So perhaps, we are not the most respectful people around and we feel it when others do the same unto us.

Did you smile or laugh a lot yesterday?

Ah yes I did, and the day before that, and today as well. But I’m in the minority.

When I’m giggling away hysterically, other people usually look at me like a mad woman. Smiling and laughing isn’t common in this Little Red Dot, except with a cynical smirk when the gahmen falls flat on its face.

Definitely not healthy..

Did you learn to do something interesting yesterday?

I don’t have fixed hours, my time is pretty much my own and I’m incurably inquisitive so YES I did learn something interesting yesterday.

I don’t think many people have the chance to do what I do, eavesdrop on café conversations, surf the net, hang out at the library and attend public lectures. Certainly children who must take in our huge curriculum and working people who trying to keep lots of balls in the air don’t have the bandwidth.

How about enjoyment?

I had a good day. I had a nice walk in the morning and a lovely meal with 2 colleagues at lunch time.  Most people who couldn’t answer yes to the other 4 questions above wouldn’t have said yes though.

If we can’t say yes to the first 4 questions it’s like we would have answered yes to the next 3 questions:

Did you experience anger? Did you experience stress? Did you experience worry?

CONCLUSION: YES! THERE ARE REAL REASONS WHY WE SO MANY OF US DON’T HAVE GOOD DAYS IN SINGAPORE.  

Sure, part of it is this damned place! And another big part of it is the system!

But a lot of it has to do with our reactions as well.

I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE BACK MY OBSERVATION THAT WE’RE PROBABLY WHINIER AND WHINGIER THAN A LOT OF OTHER PEOPLE.

WHY ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE MUCH WORSE OFF SEEMINGLY HAPPIER?  

AND IF THEY CAN BE HAPPIER, WHY DON’T WE TRY TO BE MORE LIKE THEM?

What do you think? Is this easier said than done? Do share. Leave a comment.

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