Singapore is a country with rules, rules, and even more rules. Enforcement is low keyed, but it is fully and completely engrained into the culture. Big brother is here. Society exists within prescribed parameters. Even beyond the fine print, there are even rules that only exists in someone's mind. Each, real and imaginary, are followed with a tangible sense of obligation, greater good, and an absence of any idea that there may be an alternative way of responding.
This is the present. Even as I write, I know there are exceptions! All around the edges, individuals are challenging the status quo. Singapore nightlife is not family oriented like it has been. Taxis stop where they should not, rarely taking the time to ask passengers to use seatbelts even though it is the law. Even the legendary clean streets are taking a big city appearance, though the clean-up process the morning after is still the best of any city I know of. Behavior, conformance, and what is means to being Singaporean are changing.
While I think many of the changes Singaporeans are embracing are not in their best interest, I do find that the will to challenge, question, and not assume is something everyone would do well to embrace. Far too often, I assume I know what I am doing. Frequently, I conclude without listening to the facts in context of the present. I catch myself knowing without actually knowing.
I am not the first. “While Peter and John were addressing the people, the priests, the chief of the Temple police, and some Sadducees came up, indignant that these upstart apostles were instructing the people and proclaiming that the resurrection from the dead had taken place in Jesus.” (Acts 4.1, 2) In hindsight, the indignation was both late and not founded in fact! This scene has and is replaying itself out in my life far more often than I care to admit.
Today is a window where we can understand God's rules. They will be different. They may seem new, yet it is just our awareness.
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