Goh Poh Seng’s If We Dream Too Long is not a historical novel, but it has acquired historical significance with the passing of time. It provides a lens – albeit a flawed one through socially dysfunctional Kwang Meng – into the socio-political circumstances of post-riots Singapore in the late 1960s. Dream surfaces the contestation between reality and imagination in that period, through Kwang Meng’s fate, his representation of other characters and the ambiguous plot conclusion.
If you think the world is messed up, ask yourself: Why? What is it that you see, or hear, that annoys you? Is it the ignorance of those who exclaim their ignorance? Or is it the intellectualism of those who dismiss the concerns of common folks? Is it the irrationality of unthinking crowds? Or is it the cold rationality of so-called experts? Is it the conflicting noise that gets to you? Or is it the enduring silence on the things that matter?
“Work-life balance” misleads us, by making life something we manage only in service of paid work. “Life-work balance” would fit Gen Y tastes better, for it implies that life is not just about paid work. But the word “balance” is problematic, because it entails a divide. Balance thus becomes a compromise, an excuse for fear of deeper self-investment. We end up reducing one or the other. So what’s missing?
Students with dyslexia—a medicalized disorder manifested by difficulties in conventional learning—are likely to face challenges in academic performance and social support, which can lead to poorer mental health outcomes. These challenges are likely amplified following a school transition, where all students, but particularly those with dyslexia, have to adapt to an entirely new academic and social environment not familiar with their specific needs.
Mental illness is a significant public health issue in Singapore. The 2010 Singapore Mental Health Study found that 1 in 17 suffered from major depressive disorder, and 1 in 33 from obsessive-compulsive disorder, with the latter surpassing the US and Europe. Existing apps in Singapore seek to promote self-help through private thought diaries, mood trackers, and goal-setting. But for self-help to be more effective, the pervasive cultural stigma attached to mental health patients must be tackled.