Love Is Not Something To Use And Throw Away

In a world of crass commercialism where so many things have come to be defined in terms of money, perhaps it is not surprising that June Koh of homegrown band The Sugarflies said what she said.

The kernel of her message was that young people had no reason to be 'angsty' because they were affluent, that relationships were ephemeral anyway, that one should just 'get on with it' if dumped by a loved one.

I feel such a comment is highly capricious and terribly cold. I am not one of those who thinks that money cannot make one happy. On the contrary, I believe it can. However, that does not mean that one's life is necessarily governed by money only and that it is the only thing that can make one blithe.

Of course, if one chooses it to be so, then perhaps.

But, that many teenagers today are keen to find a lover indicates that there is an axiomatic value attached to such relationship and that money is not what always makes the world go round.

Naturally, there will be quite a few who view such relationships as nothing more than a wanton affair. Yet, there are many others who view such relationships as a personal and timeless commitment.

The human heart, I believe, is capable of several types of emotions. Money provides a more physical, tangible one but being close to someone who is always on your mind, someone you can trust and be loved by, I think, is a totally distinct emotion for the former . Thus, to dismiss their feelings is, at best, callous and careless.

Finding someone who appreciates and cherished you as much as you do him is not easy, if at all possible. A combination of self and chance that ensures such bliss is hard to come by. The emotional anguish that one feels is very real.

The world collapses around you and the word "love" becomes another word in the dictionary. I am not advocating a life of indulgent self-pity but I think that the feelings of the young must be recognised.

I believe that in a world where domestic abuse, divorces and one-million-dollar settlements have become so common, it is all the more pertinent that we give some merit and consideration to the angst of the teenager, lest it manifests itself in some monstrous fashion.

Paul Tan B. H.
The Straits Times, Life!, 9 October 1998