Tribolum.com Making Light of Things

Soul Searching

Some things transcend national boundaries.

When Jennifer Hudson took the stage at this year’s Superbowl with her rendition of the Star-spangled Banner, it was an amazing testimony to the enduring resilience of hope. If anybody had a right to be cynical about American rhetoric like freedom and bravery in the face of oppression, Hudson would have been most deserving. The loss of her mother, brother and nephew to a senseless act of violence last October should have shredded any semblance of ideals.

But it didn’t. Her rendition of the American anthem was amazing, not only because of the flawless vocals, but also her moving personal story behind it.

The often-quoted line from the movie “V for Vendetta” goes,

Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas are bulletproof.

I believe, that in order for Singapore to endure, the country has got to stand for something more than efficient processes and non-corrupt governing. Because there will come day when processes will fail and people in power found corrupt. Realistically speaking, a “dose of bad government” is an inescapable probability as evidenced by all manners of civilisation since man’s infancy. Will Singaporeans have anything to hold on to when that happens? Are we staying only because Singapore affords us shelter, and will we leave when the winds change?

As a designer, I am driven to seek the core of any design: a story. A story gives words and sentences purpose.

Such is my desperation to know my country better that I tweeted, “What country are you from, and what does it represent?”

Most Singaporeans tell me is that Singapore’s core value is meritocracy.

So let us unite as a nation, where every man for himself?