Cash is King
It has been more than a decade since the term "5C"s was coined in Singapore. For those who are unaware, the 5Cs refer to: Cash, Credit Cards, Car, Condo and Country Club. For a time, the 5Cs defined the 'good life' in Singapore. If you had the 5Cs, you could consider that you had 'made it' to the upper-middle class in Singapore. All 'normal' Singaporeans would aspire to achieve the 5Cs - if you had not, then you would be considered an underachiever.
It is instructive to note that the world has become even more globalized and integrated over the last 20 years, and societies around the world has evolved. Many of the younger generation in Singapore, having gone through a period of stability and prosperity, take this sustained condition for granted. However, there is also a substantial number of them who have decided that materialism would not necessarily translate to a 'good' life and want to move beyond that, hence the rise of social enterprise and volunteerism. These activities would give them more meaning to what a 'good' life means.
Someone I know of was recently placed into a dilemma of sorts. He had achieved his 5Cs many years ago. Drawing a comfortable salary, he had achieved his 5Cs: Cash, Credit Cards, Car, Condo and Country Club membership. However, the company he was working in for a number of years noticed that they could do more with less, decided to make him redundant and let him go. So here he was, minus one C. Cash.
Now imagine, when you have the 5Cs, but the most critical one goes missing, what happens? He still had his car, credit cards, condo and country club memberships. Overnight, they become more of a liability than assets (since he had to settle credit card bills, pay for his condo mortgage and country club membership fees, and maintain his car.
All this goes to say that the 5Cs are an illusion that was created to give a false sense of achievement. So much for the materialistic ways here. Comments, any one?
Poh S. LIm