Singapore has a global reputation as one of the cleanest countries. As I watched the transformation over the years, I came to be a believer and advocate. Singapore is clean. Over time, I also came to the understanding that being relatively clean does not come easily. The country is committed to the idea of being clean and cleaner. There is a public voice that is reinforced by public figures and respected leaders. The ideal also comes with resources, monies, and people.
As I watch the ideal evolve with time, I find that there is a growing problem. The new generation seems to expect that cleanliness will happen regardless of behaviors. What was a national commitment is increasingly personal. While it is not universally true, the committed are older than the uncommitted. They take on their responsibilities as well as those around them.
The best way to see this is to go to the favorite Saturday night hangouts early on a Sunday morning. You could be anywhere! There is litter everywhere. There is also a small army of people cleaning it up. You also notice it in the movie theatres. Where others ask patrons to be courteous by taking their trash with them and deposing it properly, in Singapore everyone leaves it where they were. Again, a small army tackles the problem and cleans it up for the greater good.
You and I have an opportunity to take care of our souls. We can dispose of the junk in our lives by applying our learning to our behaviors and priorities. Bad disciplines, choices, and actions can be left in appropriate places. Glorification and sharing with others is never part of this process. It is a wonderful opportunity to be responsible and accountable. It starts with ourselves and selectively touches those around us. Anything else is a lost opportunity, the realization of the wisdom warning; “the willful will soon be discarded; insolent souls are on a dead-end street.” (Psalm 37.38)
A new day begins, filled with opportunities and unwritten chapters. As authors, we hold something extraordinary – freedom.