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“Much work has to be done by the youngsters”
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“Much work has to be done by the youngsters”

With soaring standards of living resulting in the need for higher incomes to sustain one’s way of life, much work has to be done by the youngsters in Singapore, says Aristle Tay, 18, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Singapore. Tay says youth need the virtue of fortitude.

From where I sat on the edge of a bench on a busy train platform, I was in a unique spot to observe many sights that one might otherwise easily miss.

The hordes of passengers on a busy Monday morning rush hour were composed of people from many places and conditions of life. One person in this crowded scene who caught and held my attention was a rather average-build schoolgirl.

As determined as she was in trying to fight for a space near the train gates, her heavy wheeled schoolbag continued to deter her. I made a guess that she was around thirteen years old, but I could see stress on her face. I could only assume the stress came from the weight of her academic readings. It made her look at least five years older; she looked totally worn out.

Sadly such a sight is common, especially when an increasingly globalised world pushes competition closer to our doorsteps. Because of this competition it is undeniable that youths in Singapore, pressured by the economic surroundings, have to keep stepping up to this challenge.

It is because of this trend that my ex-prime minister Lee Kuan Yew exclaimed: “Expect change; rapid change”.

Well if that is the case, what virtue do I think youth in my country of Singapore ought to possess as they face such a crucial shift in our context?

Simple. It is fortitude.

In our world, or at least Singapore, trying to make ends meet is becoming a laborious task. It requires that you possess skills, knowledge and talents. These are some really tough nuts to crack. A certain level of effort is needed to achieve them. And in that light, if youth in my country do choose to uphold fortitude as a core virtue, I believe it will serve them well for their future.

I won’t hide the blunt truth. Soaring standards of living result in the need for higher incomes to sustain one’s way of life. That means much work has to be done by the youngsters of this country. Given that, I firmly believe fortitude is definitely instrumental to help them get through that challenge.

I pray and hope that the youth of my country see that.

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About me:

I’m an 18-year-old male Chinese who loves astronomy, adventurous challenges, running, and most of all, interacting with youths all around the world!  Presently serving my two-year National Service in the Singapore Armed Forces.

I have always held the belief that arguments and debates, while meant to drive out flaws in our opinions, should serve to bind us together and not separate us. For united we stand, divided we fall.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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