One of those things that amazes me most in the USA are the lifts. Mostly old and worn, one may feel compelled to skip taking them and just go for the stairs to safe some few minutes of one’s life. The buttons are relics of postwar technology and the numbers on top bear evidence of years of consistent use. Lifts here are scary. The sheer sight of the lifts brings me back to Singapore, a place where, generally, everything is new and posh. Not only are the lifts generally super-modern and high tech, they are designed at times to make us feel that we are way advanced in comparison to many countries out there.
Why are lifts here old and in Singapore constantly upgraded? One explanation could
be found in the upgrading culture that defines what Singapore is. We are a fast moving nation with a deadly love for effectiveness. We want to move fast and furious so as to keep ourselves at the forefront of everyone else. But are we that progressive? In taking these old lifts, I learnt how moving slow has its virtues. I learnt that life is not only about keeping up with the pace of technology and machinery. Or even keeping up with what other people have so we must have it too. Life is about loving it. And there is no way we can love the experience of living our lives if we do not have the time to sit down, reflect and enjoy the breeze. Given a choice between the slow lifts and the fast lifts, I now prefer the slow ones. Not because I have had enough moving the pace of Singaporeans back home. But really, it has to do with regaining back what I have somewhat lost: To think deeply and cherish every moment with the people and the country I love. For a start, let us slow down those lifts!