Friday, September 27, 2013

Microblog: When do you change a motto?

I went running in Kent Ridge this evening when I saw something that made me stop and take my phone out to snap a pic.  It was the motto of KR Hall printed at the top of its main entrance.  KR Hall was my hostel when it was called King Edward Hall at Kent Ridge or KE Hall.

To Seek, Strive and Excel seems a little jarring and wrong but surely the Hall could not make a mistake about its own motto?

I ran the Hall anthem in my head just to confirm and yes, of course.  The motto used to be "To Seek, To Strive, To Serve".  Someone must have decided that service was something embarrassing and ignoble and they promptly replaced "To Serve" with "To Excel".  I'm glad I was no longer a part of the Hall when that happened.  There are some things in modern Singapore that I don't seem to see eye to eye with.  If I may borrow the words of St Paul and modify them slightly, excellence without service is dead.

1 comment:

  1. The old motto was hypocritical. Our ministers hold the world record as the world's highest paid public servants, serving themselves with the people's money. The change reflect the right ethos - excel, if at nothing else, at least in enriching yourself.