News reports over the last 5 days (and counting) have been reporting on the late Mrs Kwa Geok Choo. Many are surprised by the love she shared with Minister Mentor. The couple have been together and supported each other for 63 years. So why the surprise?!  Just when I thought the news once again was going to be another solemn affair, I was thrilled to read that Singapore had won two more medals in the Commonwealth Games 2010. Congratulations to the winners!

I must say though, I get very tickled when I read a positive piece of news (or at least that’s what the media tries very hard to portray in the case of Singapore and sports) and scroll down to read the comments left by members of the public. Most comments were negative, some comments were utterly bizarre and irrelevant and only a handful were supportive. Why the lack of support? Is it a societal expression for attention in genuine areas or the usual petty rant about how unhappy we are about the system?

Maybe that in itself is the problem. Singaporeans tend to have a myopic perspective on things, where their concerns need to be addressed first before they can even be slightly supportive to anyone else. Showing a little encouragement is not going to increase your utilities bills. Sports and  bills are two separate issues altogether!

Take Delhi India, for example, despite being confronted with numerous challenges from various sources, the entire nation cheered India on at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games 2010. They have managed to look past the criticism, put up an amazing show and give credit where credit is due. Giving credit is hard for Indians. We are one of the most critical people around (trust me I know). So why then, is it so hard for Singaporeans?

I surely hope that we have not become a society that has been conditioned to only place international figures on a pedestal and criticize our own.  I am not saying that we should be dire fans of our athletes, just saying that rendering some encouragement is not going to hurt anyone or change your financial burdens on a grand scheme of things.