Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Resolution 1 of 2006: Snob Alert

ARRGHGHGH I think I am a snob.. Not for wealth or material stuff but an intellectual snob. I don't know if it is redeeming to say that I prefer the artist starving in a garret to a rich fool.

It sucks and I am trying to change such beliefs. I realised this because when Fabien tells me about his French collegue who went to Shanghai, married a Chinese girl and then returned to France, I thought nothing of it untill he said that she now works in a department store as a sales girl. I commented that it was an interesting career choice - I always wanted to be a bartender. Then Fabien told me it is because she didn't go to university, and I caught myself thinking "and he wants to marry her?" I don't even know this girl and I am passing judgement on her!

Sigh - I realise that I carry inherent biases about intelligence and education. Being brought up in the Singapore education system, it is ingrained in me that good academic performance = intelligence = good.

The French are of course not much better. Napolean cleverly set up all these engineering and public admin schools and made entry difficult so as to increase the prestige. It is an unfortunate part of our human condition that something difficult to obtain seems to become so special JUST BECAUSE it is hard to get and not because we really need it. I suppose that is why diamonds are a girl's best friend (or is it just De Beers advertising?)

Anyway Resolution 1 of 2006 - stop being such a snob. Not everyone needs to have a university education to be smart. Not necessarily are smart people good. I like smart people but it does not mean I will automatically dislike dumb people.


clara said...

Hmm... I would say that we pass judgement on people and things every day. That's the way we humans work unfortunately. It's good that you're aware of your predilections and can try to combat it, but sometimes, the pre-judgements do come in handy and in my opinion, is about 70% right.

It's like generalising about something (e.g. Women from China are mercenary) but dealing with people on an individual basis (e.g. my friend's girlfriend is from China, but she's not materialistic or out to get his money). Oh well.

mini said...

yeah, that's how the world works. it happens to the best of us! though i've come to realize that good academics does not neccessarily equate to career success. people who don't have the cushy path laid out for them are more entreprenuerial ... as for us, we just have too much to lose :(

Scott K. said...

SHODDY University doesn't = smart or wise. I have met many smart people who lack a university education. Also some people i have met that have been to Uni say some of the stupidest things and need shooting or a good slap.

I have noticed that in Asia good grades will hopefully mean a good university, leading to a good job and financial security. Unfortunately many lack social skills as they have never had time to develop them.

Oh and be thankful I am stuck in Singapore airport for 5 hours so I have time to write's a rare thing.

zzz... said...

Yay! Does that mean you'll try and like me? :)

S* said...

As a short addendum to that judgement passing. It was also kinda the "money-grubbing China Dragon" stereotype that I admit to being guilty of, but it probably didn't help the sound of the overall impression.

Anyone with any experience in the Singapore Family Court will tell you that it is a sad fact of life that many stereotypes are TRUE!

Out of at least 3 Family cases involving a China Lady which I dealt with, there was only ONE where the girl was completely not interested in the money at all. But you see, this is where that _other_ stereotype kicks in, because this particular girl was smart and well educated and perfectly capable of providing for herself once she was free of legal battles with that Singaporean loser of an ex-husband.