I’ve been wondering about the relationships between materialism, personal security and self identity, and the cultural attitudes in society. How firmly do people believe that material possessions are an important source of identity? Where do we get the sense of attachment from? And how does that relate to how we interact with other people? Do we believe more in closed zero-sum interactions (as being Kiasu could imply), or in more open, non-zero sum interactions?
Singaporeans are surrounded by material abundance, but to as phrased by Laurence Lien, we could be in a “social recession”. How is this possible? I don’t know. How is that the material abundance we have is not clearly evidenced in the abundance of compassion and spirit?