I just downed a keg of water before I wrote this, to increase my resistance to pengsan so you can be sure to read a full post, uninterrupted.
I was told the loony king, if given a chance, would ask God for 2 things, a blessing and wisdom. To bless us with divine discontentment, so that we will never be satisfied with what we have and will always strive to do better and the wisdom to count our blessings, so that we know how precious Singapore is, and how to protect it.
No one has manage to provide a perspicacious definition of the purpose of life. However, we have come close to agreeing that being happy is a decent way to spend our life force. If an individual possess the wisdom to appreciate what he already have, he would have found true happiness from innate contentment, living a life worthy of the Gods. Any material desire provokes a different level of discontentment. The failure to address the desire will lead to regrets. A dying wish of regret is unlikely a happy one. Addressing a desire will yield a temporal false sense of happiness, before the law of diminishing marginal utility eventually kicks in. The individual will then seek more, to curb his material addiction as well as addressing discontentment from perpetual dissatisfaction, peer pressure, jealousy, envy, expectations and stress - the factorised form of "always striving to do better."
It doesn't matter how you package it. Discontentment, divine or not, can never be a blessing but a curse. To ask a population to count their blessings yet be constantly discontented enough to do better is to have the cake and expect to eat it, another way of telling me, "I want you to slog senselessly but don't get pissed off with me when I screw things up for you." It also reaffirm why he has an incurable fetish for hungry lunch stealing foreigners to replace a bunch of peaceful, contented and happy Pokemon Go zombies, an incurable thirst for light-speed progress and the lack of wisdom to count his own truckload of blessings.
I am speaking for myself because I know how painful for it to be so unhappy with life, chasing imaginary rainbows, until it gave me cancer. If I had stayed on in that crazy circus, I would have been dead today. I have been told countless times, both kindly and maliciously, "I'm glad you left." You don't have to tell that to me so many times really. The feeling is mutual.
I don't know why no one stands up and tell the truth - The never ending chase for greater heights is meaningless. We turn to dust at the end of the day and it doesn't even matter if we are thrown into a murky sea or sitting on a high breezy position at Bright Hill. Always striving to do better, as I eventually found out by chance, is just another form of pragmatism - the art of covering gaps with koyok patches.
After I left, I found that my life changes radically. More importantly, it changes who I am radically. It forces me to be summon courage that I never had, it changes how I see myself, the world, other human beings ... and life. Instead of a personal level of pragmatism-going-nowhere, the radical change allows me to reset my life and form a new identity and find myself writing a new life story in a panoramic wide lens and that I have to confront the reality that security and stability is a pricey delusion. It isn't easy to describe the complexity of this realisation. But .... that is when you learn to appreciate contentment in its purest form. Nothing divine about it. Just simplicity.