HE SAYS that We Are But Aspirational
It is amazing what we are willing to sacrifice to reach our aspirations. Whether an entrepreneur, a corporate scaler, a student or a regular salaryman, we choose what we are willing to sacrifice to be able to attain the next level of our aspirations.
It could be being giving back more to the community;
It could be having more control over our lives;
It could be taking better care of who we love;
It could simply be money and status;
We aspire to be something more than what we are today and we are willing to sacrifice other things for it.
The sacrifice could be family, self, money, time, one’s soul, a love life, friends, and/or beliefs. It is up to us to decide what can go so that we can reach our aspirations.
Weddings, for me, are quite great showcases of this behaviour. The couple and their families have this one opportunity to showcase to the world what they truly aspire to be. In Singapore, these are monumental events – “You only get married once”. And it’s often the rare time that your extended family and friends really get to see what you are really about.
At weddings, videography and photography is paramount; the most common style is to give biographical stories of the couple and their experiences, as well as the fun experiences they have had, and the gratitude they have to their family and loved ones.
At weddings, we celebrate the best of ourselves – the highlights, the fun times, and the things worth remembering.
At weddings, we become who we actually want to be – because today is the day you have every excuse to be more than who you actually are.
We choose what to show and what not to show. We choose who we want to watch us bask in who we truly wish to be.
Yet at the same time, very often these weddings can become so very empty.
Do we actually truly connect with the couple?
Do we truly celebrate their struggles and their successes and share it with them from the bottom of our hearts?
Do we truly view them as what they aspire to be?
What is being sacrificed in this process?
Is it even worth the sacrifice?
We are but aspirational, but the question is, are we aspiring for those so that we can be happier, or are we aspiring so we can be better? What is the point in all these pursuits? Is it worth the sacrifices?
If we are who we aspire to be, does that make the world a better place?
Heavy thoughts, heavy heart. We Are But Aspirational.
SHE SAYS that It Is Better with Aspirations:
Pretentiousness is a negative word. I could almost hear the protests against ingenuity. It is insincerity, it is falsehood, it is a lie.
There is certain snobbishness in the way we condemn pretentiousness. In condemning we become more real; and the more real the better.
I often ask why we put on better fronts? For comparison and fundamentally for fear of losing out? This is but one side of the story. And the other side is aspirational. While putting on better fronts out of competitive fear begets meaningless negative cycles, putting on better fronts to get closer to aspirational ideals is in fact a positive thing to do and should be encouraged.
We are no longer too young to believe that things are perfect. Some of us accepted reality completely and in turn surrendered all hopes of ideals. Others learnt the disparity between reality and ideals yet maintained the drive to strive for the better. Whether it is a matter of love or happiness, the romanticized celebrations could be reminders of the ideals we have, of what it should be, even if reality is far away. That is why Confucius was big on rituals, the fact that rituals are breaks away from reality reminding people of higher aspirational ideals.
There is certainly sadness, irony and cynicism around the disparity between what is real and not, but it is up to us to look at the aspirational gap as having room for improvement rather than losing or missing.
“The pursuit of beauty and perfection is an endless quest, but it can still be a happy quest.” – ShenXY