Recently, I took up a job as a customer service officer in a shopping mall. I’ve been here for 20 days now, and there is something about Singaporeans that distinguishes them from the rest. Majority of the Singaporean shoppers that I have attended to at the information counter seem to be – 1) rushing, 2) uninterested in engaging in a conversation and 3) some turn really grumpy and impatient and refuse to listen. On the contrary, Caucasian visitors seem to be more relaxed, willing to converse, and happier in general. Maybe it’s because we’re living in the city, and the urban lifestyle, perhaps, swears by the “life is time, time is money” philosophy. Minutes are no longer just a measure of time; It determines how much you earn, how much you can make in a given period. Maybe it’s because we’re a small country, so we have to work extra hard, put in more effort than the bigger countries to prevent our country from going off unnoticed, or be discounted by the rest of the world. Unfortunately such a form of progress is at the expense of the social welfare and development of Singaporeans, being exceptionally busy (or seemingly so) and impolite (some very uncalled for) people. These people are everywhere, and grumpiness seems to be a pretty infectious ‘disease’. Daily experiences when commuting to and fro, and several other instances during work. I think there’s something very wrong when people do not bother maintaining a conversation with you. At their service, yes I am. But these people fail to notice that like them, I am also human. I have a heartbeat, I have a pulse, I have feelings. What difference would I be from an electronic device, or a siri, when they come over only wanting the answers they seek to their questions? Yes, that could be what their ultimate objective is, but the rejection of communication between people, especially when they seek understanding, seems to be a very huge error right there. Yes, small talk may be superficial. But at the same time, small talk often leads to the formation of connections, and from these connections, that people feel warmth. Maybe we won’t immediately feel the impact of what this is leading to, but a few years down the road, it will take a toll on humankind. Self-centered by nature, but even more self-centered than ever in the future. Albeit being just a city that I am speaking of right now, don’t forget – the world is made up of continents, and countries who have their own cities. And many of these cities are awfully similar, nevermind the different landmarks or places of attraction, or people’s skin colour. Global warming is but a name, the world is only going to get colder and colder as the human connection and such flames slowly burn out.