People usually talk about how going overseas makes you more independent, having to deal with your 3 meals and laundry and basically organise your own life with minimal parental influence. Which is perfectly true. What people didn't say, was that going overseas also makes you more selfish. Perhaps at this point I should now just talk about myself, cos maybe it's not generalis-able.
I realised this especially while travelling with my family over the Christmas vacation. I've been so used to just thinking about myself and planning for myself, that I have to remind myself, or be reminded, that I'm not the only stakeholder anymore. I would like to think that I have not completely turned into a selfish asshole, but I really do think that I have become a lot more inward-looking. Perhaps especially too, during university years, when it's about developing yourself to your potential, for your future career, for your CV etc. And teamwork, and thinking about others isn't emphasised as much as it was in sec sch/jc. Maybe because of the different level of education, maybe because of different cultural norms back in Singapore versus the UK, maybe because I'm just thinking about it less. Whatever it is, even in my prayers, I do find myself becoming more self-centred.
I''m not saying that thinking about myself is bad, though there does tend to be the belief that selfishness/self-centredness is bad. And yes, while I think it's a fundamental societal need that we think about others and consider others (and take actions that if do not benefit, at least not harm others), but to care properly for others, I think it's equally important that one takes care of his/her own needs first. Even so, I guess I just find this increased shift in focus to myself kinda perturbing. Don't wanna end up as a selfish brat.
Then again, I do have to spend quite a lot of time thinking about what I want to do after I graduate (in the not-too-long future) and that is something I'm having quite a lot of thoughts about. So many things I could do, that I want to do. I'm greedy that way, or perhaps just kiasu (defined by http://www.talkingcock.com/ as "Hokkien adjective literally meaning, "afraid of losing"." NOT the Google definition.).
There's been too much text and not enough photos. So while I'm still in the process of gathering the self-discipline to deal with my own photos, spend a few seconds looking through some amazing photos that will guarantee a smile.
|Photo taken from boredpanda.com's article, but check out Elena Shumilova's Flickr album here.|