I learnt to be gracious to serve Singaporeans

Have been sick for 2 weeks, cough, fever, flu, what have you, I got it... and somehow in those period of being sick, and still trying to run the usual routine, kept me desperate for a touch from Heaven.
I just came back from a leader's meeting. And today, we prayed for our nation - Singapore. It has been a reminder that how blessed we are as Singaporeans and how much we being small has impacted the world that is so huge...

But when it came to my turn to pray, I started confessing my wrongs abt my views abt Singaporeans, and my often expressions made "So Singaporean, Typically Kiasu". Honestly, having being a wedding planner in my 4th year, I must say there are quite many encounters where I personally get to witness the "Kiasu Philosophy" been exhibited among the couples that come along our ways...

- "Can you negotiate with the hotel for the best deals, and ensure we have the best, and the most in all we want to get from them..."
- "Can you help us to bargain with the suppliers for better discounts, but not jeopardise the service level and quality they will provide to us"
- "Can you ensure that the wedding will be perfect, since that was the sole purpose we want to engage a wedding planner."
- "We love your floral and theme creations, but could you compromise to work only with a cheaper florist or the existing hotel florist within the hotel floral budget given"...

There are hundreds of amazing requests and sometimes demands we face day by day... and often, I can't help but feel : Are Singaporeans that Kiasu always..
In fact, it seems internationally people called us that..."Kiasu Singaporeans : everything must be cheap, cheap cheap, and best best best...."
And unknowingly, I have developed a negative perception whenever a couple will to ask me to bargain, trash the suppliers, asking for more and paying less...

To me, when you hire a supplier, price is only but one determinant. The entire value this supplier can offer to you is what really matters. When the value is right, you confirm the engagement. But how do we justify that the value is right? We measure based on the pros and cons presented in the choices we have.
However, often we try to stretch one's value by demanding more benefits than what have already been presented (sometimes I am guilty of that as well). We are demanding for more value, by not paying more...and that often is impossible. I will sometimes call this "Exploitations"

Yet, as a Singaporean myself, I can't deny our government has taught us well - to be diligent, to strive for the best, to attain excellence within that limited resources we have. Something I am proud of. Yet, sometimes I wonder, have we begin to distort the attitude that we can get the most returns at the lowest cost we are willing to invest..

I believe for a society and economy to do well, one has to come to realise we have to give as much as we receive. In fact, the principles of prosperity is not to keep receiving or saving, it is to keep making and never stop giving. The rich makes more money, and distribute wealth to the poor thru more jobs so that they can be sufficient. If the rich simply makes more to keep, and not to spend with the poor, then the poor becomes poorer, and there will be exploitations, and abuse, and the world is no longer a better place to live.

Tonight, after that confession, I heard the Lord reminding me, "Hannah, you are blessed as a Singaporean, and you are blessed because you are Singaporean.. and therefore, channel your blessings back to this nation and to the people you meet in this country. Tell yourself today "Singaporeans will not be Kiasu, Singaporeans will be generous and gracious. Everything will not be cheap cheap cheap . Everything will be great great great.

So couples out there, today when you read my blog, do not find offence in this confession. But let's together as one learns to bless as much as we have received. As I often says "Wedding = Celebration, and not a showcase. And you can celebrate with any budget, big or small. If you have small budget, then work with reasonable expectations and trust your suppliers. If you have big budget, then believe in your suppliers that they will want to wow you as much as you want to be wowed. Do not set demands, manage your expectations. And trust me, every wedding will be blessed, and everyone will be happy. Afterall, isn't this what we are looking for when we plan our wedding.... that everyone, i.e. your family, guests as well as vendors are all happy to make your wedding beautiful...

My 2 cents worth...

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