Do Christian men need grooming?

Singapore women are highly motivated and consequently quite informed when it comes to grooming for they devour magazines, glean tips from friends, search online and attend workshops. Looks, after all are high on the priority checklist of Singapore men when it comes to choice of a life partner. A higher percentage from a woman’s income goes into the family and grooming. Furthermore it is socially acceptable, even desirable, for them to be informed of the latest trends in fashion, dating behavioral norms among them. They are quite sophisticated.

imagesThe picture is reversed when it comes to the Singapore men. I came from the no-frills generation where neat, nice and smelling Lux fresh is all we can afford. Not so this generation of a large well off middle-class. Self awareness has risen together with parents’ income. Expenditure on grooming products and information have also increased. Things are different with the new generation and change is in the air. Yet, more can be done and every Singapore man still needs grooming. We spend fifteen years or more in formal education so we can get a job. Two years in National Service to be in the nation’s reserve fighting force. At least six months to get a driving license. So why not attend some kind of workshop on grooming as a small step towards becoming a gentleman.

The Christian men may feel that the inner man is more important. Fix the inner man and the fundamental thing is groomed. This is true. However, there is more to it. After the cake, the icing is the next important thing so that the main thing does not go to waste. Fixing a man entails the grace of God and transformation of the man on the inside from one who is self Lost but groomedcentred to one who is Christ- and other- centric. However, why shouldn’t such a fix up be holistic and include graciousness, courteous consideration of others, looking pleasant(even attractive), and having good manners and culture, and a keener awareness of a woman’s psyche. Admittedly, to gain a good working knowledge of such require some pursuit and commitment of resources and time. How about beginning with a Saturday afternoon workshop, which will save you from having to read a book, and it will be more fun anyway. As you probably suspect by now, I am plugging for one of my church’s programs (Sat, 17th Oct 2009) organized by the young adults. More information HERE.

My wishes for Singapore

IMG_0086Since I started blogging I have posted my prayers for Singapore whenever the National Day approached. Over the years I have seen a change in the sentiments expressed in those prayers and wishes . This year I am more positive and upbeat than I have ever been about my country.

Part of it is because I realized I have been quite a complainer and grumbler about the Singapore government. I get upset mainly because of the uneven playing field every time election came round. Also because I had not seen enough being done for the poor and sick. Also because policies have been forced on us despite the strong feedback from the ground -case in point is the increase in the GST. However valid my unhappiness may have been, a harsh critical and complaining attitude was just not a gracious Christian response. So I have changed in this respect because of the Word.

Another reason is I have seen the government take some encouraging steps in the right direction and made some concessions. They are loosening up and allowing for more freedom of expression. They are doing more for the poor and needy. They are going to allow the opposition wards breathing space and upgrading of lifts. At last Potong Pasir and Hougang residents will get to savor some “just reward” for not wavering in voting in the opposition despite pressure not to do so.

Thirdly, when I see the generals killing the Buddhist monks in Myanmar; the reds and yellows in an unending tug of power in Thailand; and the unbelievable and incredible that is so characteristic of the frustrating circus called Malaysian politics, I find the stability and grinding sameness of Singapore politics a desirable opium. The latter two may look more like thriving democracies, but I still prefer the orderly and neat Singaporean version, or rather the Lee vision. Looks like I have shifted in my sentiments and have taken on a more tolerant stance towards the principalities and powers.

Anyway I wish for Singapore…..

More land (either by reclamation or rejoining the federation), so that it doesn’t get overcrowded. I am thanking God I probably won’t be around to see the population grow to 6 million. I am not xenophobic, but I like my space.

More compassion and care for the poor and needy, and also the senior citizens, since I am getting there too.

More sensitivity, humility and justice amongst all policymakers and those in authority.

A  less stressful life for all workers and students;  that they can slow down, breathe deeply, and enjoy the simple pleasures of family and life.

For greater tolerance of failure and celebration of perseverance, creativity, and risk taking.

Cheaper housing for young couples and families.

Less people emigrating to Australia.

I wish for Singapore to survive and indeed to thrive and keep surprising everyone.

Share with us your wishes and prayers for Singapore.