animal family visitors are always a boon. they don't know it yet but everyone who comes through our door that is not a contractor or a delivery person gets to be a part of my project on Singaporean social attitudes.
so my sample size is wacked and you can argue that the woman's friends are in no way an accurate representation of Singaporeans on a whole, but i assure you that nevertheless, the Tooty RatingTM is compelling, deliciously exacting and comes in an assortment of designer colours.
on the whole, local attitudes towards social issues, especially my PET social issue, are appalling. i have been pretty lenient already and has had to count a gratuitous 2-second pat towards a love for animals and a general mention of recycling towards social awareness to keep the chart looking decent.
this all gives the woman cause to feel smug and superior because her scores are stirling examples to humankind.
and then it occurs to me to put them on another scale, one for responsibility to self and to family and the tables turn. you see many Singaporeans who work very hard and give their all to keep their families strong. who put their families ahead of aspirations and vanities, even values.
interrogating their backstories uncover many quiet personal accounts of courage and sacrifice that sometimes rival the most inspiring banner raising Save-The-World types. arguably, you need a good balance of taking care of your own and a level of macro-thinking. but how many people have that kind of genius and hours in a day.
all in all the woman is suitably humbled.