SICC | Singapore International Chamber Of Commerce | Raffles Quay – The voice of international business in Singapore
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29 AUG 2023  |  ISSUE 468

Dear Members and Friends

The subject of respect for all jobs has been mentioned in the current Presidential Election campaign. This is important for a healthy, cohesive society where we all appreciate each other’s capabilities and value them. This enables self-worth which, in turn, reduces stress levels as well as mental and physical illnesses. We all need to accept and act on our collective responsibility to treat other fellow human beings in ways we would like to be treated. No one should be looked down on. Everyone should be lifted up.

Many of our lives are enabled by others doing their jobs day in, day out. They have earned and deserve our respect. The people who keep toilets and offices clean. The bus, taxi and train drivers who enable us to commute to and from work. The people who serve us in attractions, hotels, restaurants and shops. Then there are the people who pump petrol for us (a service unheard-of in most countries). We have people who collect our garbage. We have doctors and nurses who look after us when we are ill. We have teachers in education and mentors at work. We have migrant workers who build our city. We have artisans, carpenters, electricians, plasterers, plumbers and tilers who look after internal finishes and renovate our homes and offices. And we have people who protect us in the Police and the SAF.

If we respected others the way we expect to be respected by them, our society would not have the high levels of stress and mental unwellness talked about by young Singaporeans at a recent dialogue with two of the candidates standing in this week’s Presidential Election.

Parents can de-stress by placing less stress on themselves and their children by endlessly comparing their children against others. They could stop taking leave in the hope that their looming presence will magically enable their children to do well in examinations. They should stop the endless rounds of so-called enrichment classes which leave them frazzled and rob their children of a childhood.

Children should be taught to use social media in moderation and not allow themselves to be undermined by selfish narcissists or toxic trolls. Each of us is unique. Each of us has a duty and a right to be ourselves.

At work, people should stand up to toxic people managers and insecure executives who take out their insecurity on others. At work, respect is never automatic. It has to be earned day in, day out. And rightly so. We can respect others and ourselves. We can reduce stress levels and toxic behaviour. It is within our control. Let’s choose to do it.

Yours faithfully
Victor Mills
Chief Executive

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