The Trouble with Affluent Kids

 A few mornings ago, here’s what I read over breakfast in the local paper:

[C]ompared to the older generation…, young adults would rather stick to something that they are familiar with and can handle than take up new challenges. They also lack the tenacity to weather tough times—such as when they are unhappy at work—and will quickly look for greener pastures.

This criticism may sound familiar to American parents, we overprotective wimps who are supposedly raising a nation of passive, shallow, fraidy cats. The thing is, I was reading this piece in the Straits Times. My family has moved to Singapore for the spring, and I’m still culture-shocked enough to wonder whether they do things that differently here—or not.

"Gucci by Day" (near Orchard Road in Singapore) © Martha Nichols

In "The Young Singaporean Adult" by Ng Kai Ling and Stacy Chia, the illustration of a silhouetted young man is tagged with these labels: "risk averse," "easily discouraged," "in a comfort zone," "doesn’t think outside the box." The story hook is a recent cautionary speech that Education Minister Heng Swee Keat gave to students at the Singapore Management University, based on "feedback" he’d received from a group of CEOs.

Continue reading