Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Pioneer Generation

It's good we can recognise our 'pioneer generation' with some kind of tangible tribute. What the old folks went through, and what they had to be prepared to do to put us where we are today was no mean feat. They deserve what we taxpayers are awarding to them, all $8 billion of it, so that they can have a better life in their twilight years.

What I worry about is that we start thinking of that generation as the only pioneer generation. That today, because of their efforts and their sacrifices, we have it made. We haven't. Every generation has its share of struggles, and especially for our little island, every generation is its own pioneer generation.

The generation we hail as 'Pioneer' is the generation of immigrants that made our multi-ethnic, multi-cultural fabric work. They created a sense of belonging by embracing and cooperating with each other. It was a sense that they, regardless of ethnicity, background, or opportunity belonged to the place.

If we really want to honour our 'Pioneer Generation', the money is good -- but it's more important that we don't undo the good they did by turning it around and start acting like the place now belongs to us.

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