Malay Muslims at Friday prayer time just below apartments where joyous Chinese New Year celebrations are taking place throughout Singapore.
Once again, I have conflicting emotions of humility and immense gratitude for where I am so lucky to be living in the world right now, versus a deep feeling of disgust and heartbreak for the country from which I am from.
After all, America is supposed to be a country of immigrants; multiracial and multicultural where everyone is living in harmony.
America is supposed to support freedom of religion.
America is supposed to be the place where, with hard work, you can make your dreams come true.
America is supposed to be the place where mutual respect and compassion for one another is fundamental.
America is supposed to be where the government is supposed to be elected for the people by the people.
America is where anyone from anywhere is supposed to feel safe.
America is where I grew up being taught to love my brothers and sisters regardless of race, color or Creed.
America was where I was taught to say ‘please’ & ‘thank you’
America was a place where people held doors for one another, and young people were taught to respect their elders.
Sadly, it doesn’t appear to be any of these things anymore.
But yet, here I am in Singapore, exactly half a world away from America, experiencing all of these things on a daily basis. Everyday, Singapore is putting on a racial & religious integration masterclass for the whole world to see.
Singapore. A country only 446 square miles (1/4 the size of Rhode Island) with nearly 6 million people of all ethnicities and religions living and working peacefully side by side. And with zero gun and drug crime due to zero tolerance enforcement policies and mandatory death penalties for first offenders.
In Singapore, a place that I ended up living in nearly completely by accident, I am honestly living my dreams, both on and offstage.
I believe I may be the luckiest man on earth.
Thank you Singapore. ❤
Source: Jon Dante
(PS abam Jon Dante, thank you for your kind words. Singapore is lucky to have you too (:)