Socegado! The word is of Portuguese origin. It is indeed a word alien to Singaporeans. Not surprising, since we are a former British colony. Not a Portuguese one.  Nevertheless, the meaning of the word is certainly interesting. Socegado in Portuguese means quiet and laid-back. Basically, it refers to the easygoing self. Descending from a hardworking and often angst-filled immigrant background, this word cannot be used to describe Singaporeans. After all, we could not have reached First-World status within a short span of time if we just remained socegado and chilled at Sentosa.

However, in contemporary times, plagued by a looming financial crisis and uncertainty over our rice bowls, Singaporeans may want to give a thought to this word – Socegado. For a long time, we have been known for our competitive and hard-nosed nature of working. We are a nation of workaholics who relished our reputation as being achievement-oriented.  We are even willing to forego our vacation and time spent with our loved ones just to slog at the office to earn our corporate accolades.

Nevertheless, in these times of dire economic situation, we may want to think of a part of our lives we have often neglected in our pursuit of professional stardom and wealth.    This is where the word socegado comes into play.  Trying times allow us an opportunity to take a good look at ourselves and analyse what is most important. In our quest for material wealth, we have disregarded the little things that really matter. The moments for socegado in which we just relax and be easygoing and enjoy the present moment rather than aiming for the next big rat race.

Life is too short and precious to waste it all on focusing solely on the material aspects. Therefore, let’s be socegado and chill to celebrate what really matters in this age of crisis be it economic or something else.