Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Why Do Humans Need to Be 'Always Right'?

Quote of the day: "Nobody stands taller than those willing to stand corrected." - William Safire”

Sometimes it is funny and sometimes almost appalling that humans have a tendency to be very defensive when challenged, and even when proven 'wrong', they are not willing to be 'corrected'.

Ego perhaps? In Singapore and Malaysian slang, we call these 'I-can-never-lose' people the 'kiasu' people. Pronounced 'kee-ya-soo', it is derived from the Chinese Hockien (Mandarin: Fujian) dialect, which literally mean: scared to lose or fear of losing.

Examples of the trend of 'kiasu'-ism are:
1. If someone you know has a bigger house/car/material possession, you must have a bigger one to show them you will 'not lose'

2. If someone you know has kids who excel in their studies, your kids must not only excel in studies but be excellent in non-academic achievements like piano, ballet, taekwondo or karate, etc. And preferably your kid has won numerous awards in those activities while coming up tops in class so that you may boast to that 'friend' of yours.

3. Your job/spouse/holiday trips/pets/ and anything under the sun has to be better than the rest, so that you may 'casually' mention it to someone you know (note how I avoid using the term 'friends'?). You relish it when people show signs of awe or even envy.

However, when someone else appear to be 'better' than you, you turn into a monstrous envious person inside and 'strive' to be better - even at the expense of your spouse's or kids' well-being. Sad, tragic cases are when kids' couldn't stand the pressure from their 'kiasu' parents and tried ending their lives at the tender age of 12 or even younger. This is highly prominent in Asian countries including Japan and India - just google up student suicide after exams and pages and pages of news on such sad incidents will pop up.

What has our society become! Why do we need to compete so unnecessarily? Competition in innovation is always welcome, as well as competition in creativity. Competition in 'showing-off' isn't real competition!!! Especially not at the expense of other people's mental and physical well-being!

I guess humans will always compare, and this phenomenon will never really go away. I just hope it can be toned down to allow for a more peaceful and stress-free family lives in this already stressful world, especially in big cities.

Food for thought in mid-week. :-)

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