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Thriving in this age is no small task. The individual is called upon to balance his own temperament and needs against a society which demands a diverse range of skill sets to meet the requirements of a rapidly globalising market. I would define thriving as achieving such balance: achieving what one would deem as professional success, while maintaining a positive emotional wellbeing. As such, I firmly believe that reading can certainly empower one to thrive in life.
It is indisputable that with the flourishing of the interweb, publications have never been so accessible. Sites like Slate, BBC, Google Books or Kindle, offer a platform where veterans from all walks of life can share their expertise via the medium of the typed word. This plethora of online manuals and articles can now be summoned on common pocket devices with just the touch of a finger. Reading—and a milieu that encourages reading—would then resultantly spur the tapping on such rich concentrations of knowledge, acquiring one new aptitudes for varying tasks. The expansion of skill sets would enable one to stay current with ongoing shifts in market demands, giving one the competitive edge that would aid in achieving success in one’s professional life.
In today’s industrialised and globalised society, what people seem to value the most are entities that bring about the most in material wealth and commercial value. To many, arts are typically condemned to spend their eternity on the pristine walls of museums. One merely has to compare the number of artists such as Painters, Singers, Dancers and Musicians to the number of Engineers, Doctors, Accountants and Lawyers to see the stark difference in society’s emphasis.
As such, Arts being intrinsically abstract does not seem to solve the problems of Singapore. However, it is far too hasty to generalise that the arts lack the ability to solve the problems of Singapore; despite not having a significant and tangible economic contribution to Singapore’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product). In the past, the arts satisfy innate psychological needs of humans and promote unity. Increasingly, there is a heightened awareness that exposure to the arts brings revenue to Singapore.
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