Lost in Meritocracy
Singapore is a city that is built upon meritocracy. As the name implies, if we gain merits for the company or organization and we would be rewarded accordingly. This is the law of cause and effect. This is what the Bible says about us reaping what we sow.
But there is a flaw with meritocracy. It does not address the need for character. While meritocracy causes us to strive to become better, perform better, it also causes people to be driven and competitive. It causes us to be ‘kiasu’ (afraid of losing out) in the strife for more productivity and efficiency. As such, people can become over concerned about what they want to get rather than what kind of person they are becoming. As a result, the end can become more important than the means. The social cost is therefore the loss of character. We become people who are self-centred and individualistic.
We can become a First World country within the shortest time, but we may also have lost ourselves in this fast-paced society. We must be careful lest we become numbed, indifferent individuals. Let us build meritocracy on character.