The pursuit of the five C’s begins as soon as one embarks on a career. Every Singaporean dreams and yearns for the 5 C’s – Cash, Credit Card, Car, Condominium and Country Club. It’s believed that once you have acquired the 5 C’s, you are deemed successful. (Then of course, you may want to go into the plurals, cars, condos, etc.)
My two eldest sons would be joining the rat race pretty soon. In their plans for the future are probably the 5 C’s, which is good. But I have another 5 C’s which I hope they will take into consideration as well.
Denise Phua, MP and Director of PathLight School, recently wrote about her 5 C’s in MyPaper. It was thought-provoking and something every parent should want for their children – Character, Competence, Compassion, Conviction and Contribution.
She explains as such:
1) Character – We should strive to do what’s morally right, regardless of whether you are seen doing it or not. The best way to judge a person’s character is to see how he treats someone who could not offer any advantages or cannot defend himself – someone like the migrant worker or the domestic helper. Why is character so important? Many people are concerned about protecting or raising their reputation, when in fact, reputation is what others accord you, but character is yours always for keep.
2) Competence – To have character without competence is incomplete. A person with character should strive to be competent in skills and knowledge so as to attain his highest accomplishment. Would you trust a doctor with character but no competence?
3) Compassion – When you help others out of compassion, do you get disappointed when you are taken for granted, or receive no recognition for the help rendered?
4) Conviction – Living in a society with high expectation and values good results can be daunting, leaving many to give up their dreams. Thus, having the conviction to pursue your dream is just as important as dreaming.
5) Contribution – Shopping is no longer the leisure activity of Singaporeans, complaining is. If you really need to complain, make a contribution and suggestion to solving the problem at the same time.
I know many of my peers, parents of young adults, who have no qualms in purchasing the material 5 C’s for their children – supplementary credit cards, cars even before the kids start working, condos as wedding gifts. These are expensive gifts.
But for me, the 5 C’s Denise Phua just gave me, which I shall in turn hand to my sons, are priceless.
Thank You, MP Denise Phua.