Last Wednesday, I had Neus, colleague from Catalan, in my class. She was a great help. While the children were doing their language classes, Neus and I had a chance to chit-chat. I told her that I want to see a guru that can help me with my problem of attachments with material things and perspective in happiness. Her reply that I can remember is "…most Asian people love to spend and buy branded things and show them off to make them look extravagant. most Asians care about social status significantly and I see that here." That statement came to me like a canon ball. It wasn’t negative because its true. The people she know in the west are already happy in little things. She know people who have expensive things and doesn’t care about what other people think. Another thing she shared with me is her experience with her best friends in Singapore who have executive husbands. They were going to have lunch and she only have SG$10 with her. Her friends didn’t treat her badly or showed pity. Instead, they accommodated her situation and looked for a place where SG$10 will fit. She told me that there are a lot of things to do in SIngapore that doesn’t need much of spending to enjoy time because thats what they frequently do.
I was being defensive of my experience and personal life. When I arrive in Singapore, I started buying things I cant afford in Philippines and I enjoyed it too much that it was almost an addiction. Another thing is that in my lifestyle, appearance matters big time. Your kind of job matters. Where you took your degree matters. Your lifestyle matters. Your body built matters. Your race matters. How you spend your free time and money matters. All these things matters because people will judge and I, myself, is (was, getting there) afraid of judgement and loosing confidence and friends.