Every year, when the haze hits Singapore, everybody starts complaining, some even hurling abuse at our Southern neighbours for being inconsiderate, ineffective, and incompetent.
Why do we complain? Likely, we focus inwards too intently.
We lose sight of the overall picture.
We lose awareness that we are part of a global community that watches our every word and action.
We forget that we are a country of influence, limited by our size and lack of resources.
We have become myopic because we have been far too comfortable for far too long.
We have cultivated an entitled mentality, entrenched in our wealth and affluence.
We have started to become thankless and ungrateful, taking our position on the world stage for granted.
This year, it so happens that Singapore is deeply focused on something else - our General Elections. Suddenly, the complaints about the haze are practically non-existent, though they are starting to get more prominent as the PSI worsens.
What this shows is that Singaporeans can be resilient, and are capable of putting up with inconveniences, even those that have affected us regularly for a long time, if we have something to work on.
It shows that Singaporeans can ignore the hardships that we face if we choose to focus on making our lives better.
It shows that Singaporeans still have the spirit of our forefathers - one that wants to build up our nation, that we and future generations of Singaporeans can lead prosperous, happy lives.
If this is our desire, should we not focus on our similarities instead of our differences?
Should we not learn to agree to disagree, putting aside our pride, all the while co-operating and working together towards a common goal?
Should we not forgive the past and look towards the future?
We are Singaporeans. Our hearts beat for our nation.
Singapore is home. And home is where the heart is.