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October 15, 2008, 12 thousand bloggers banded together to discuss a single issue, Poverty. Here is the same post published on this site to keep the action going.

Here is a confusing question? Would you call a country poor by the dictum or maxim that it is not prosperous?

There are a few indices used to measure prosperity as seen in this Legatum Prosperity in this report, the snapshot of it shown here.

The Legatum Prosperity Index 2008

The Legatum Prosperity Index 2008

I am thinking randomly on how to approach answering this question. Let’s begin with the meaning of civilization and gradually zoom in to the individual who makes up a statistic in the nation population census, shall we?


‘Civilisation’ is a stage of development in human society that is socially, politically, culturally and technologically advanced. This definition implies that a society which reaches a less than advanced stages is still uncivilized. However, this does not mean it is in a state of barbarity for barbarism is related to cruel and wild behaviour of man. People are allowed to be scantily clad on Miami beaches or eat kangaroo meat with indigenous Australian Aborigines and still be considered civilized.


The spirit of civilization is then advancement. So what constitutes advancement? Are you advance because you live in the urban districts surrounded by buildings and skyscrapers, are you far more competent and advance in your thoughts and knowledge because you are living in the village with plenty of experiences with nature, from farming to climbing trees.

In the city, people have neither room nor time for nature, so they put plants in pots. They cannot experience mountain springs and waterfalls, so they have showers both hot and cold to experience it but it is not as magical.


Let’s zoom in now to the people who is a statistic in the population of the world. I am embarrassed to admit that I had been attended by a blind masseuse, in the town where I used to live as a foreigner.

She came to me once a week to relieve my tired mind and body. She was married to a blind man and together, they had tow children who are physiologically and psychologically normal. Without her pair of eyes, she was unable to teach the child like a normal sighted person.

The powers of her senses are telling tales of an intelligent person. She was able to find her way around my house towards my room by me holding her and leading her. She once said, “Your house is very quiet. Do you have any children?” She was exercising her sense of hearing. It has become natural for her to use the other parts of her healthy senses to serve the spirit of her soul.

Poverty and Prosperity

I can’t help but bring this story in here. As you can see, as we start to zoom in from country, nation, civilization, society and finally individuals, the distinction between poverty and prosperity becomes less and less clear.

I have met and heard of foreigners who would escape to less developed nations to live a fuller life with less economic and financial headaches (no mortgages, all cash and no credits), and even many refusing to leave when their visit visa expires because they simply enjoy the simple life in the village. They feel they are respected, a form of treatment they find very pleasing and humbling.

They can work in peace they say.

Well I shan’t ramble on.

One thing is clear though, conveniences from being prosperous bring with it, a price. And for most Singaporeans, less time for leisure; her score is -28. Australia, ranked no. 1 in the survey, actually shows up low on the score for value of religion and life satisfaction.

“We the citizens of Singapore, pledge ourselves as one united people, Regardless of race, language and religion, Base on justice and equality So as to achieve prosperity and happiness and progress For our nation.”

This is the pledge of a nation, Singapore, a small dot on world map, sharing a spot with The United States of America and Germany as the 4th most prosperous countries to live in. Prosperity and happiness and progress for our nation….perhaps it is time for the nation to think for its people who should have more time to rest now.