3 years ago, I walked the ancient streets of Rome, admiring the majestic structures there. The Colosseum, Saint Peter’s Basilica, Pantheon… Every detail and structure were meticulously chiseled with such attention and purpose that I felt the need to take every corner with my camera.

In order to erect such a structure, it takes a collective effort of talent, time and grit to see through the project. This is a stark contrast to our skyscrapers in Singapore which can be easily erected in 5 years. Thanks to the advancement of technologies, blueprints are drawn efficiently and powerful cranes could lift heavy loads to high places with ease. Leveraging these, beautiful buildings such as Marina Bay Sands and Gardens By The Bay were built in a much shorter time frame than their Rome counterparts. However, these buildings, though grand, lacked a certain quality that their Rome cousins have. Tourists would drop by, admire, take selfies and hurry on to the next destination. In Rome, the intricate details of the structures resonate emotions and experiences which they have been through as though they are telling a story.

In the conquest of career advancement and self-improvement, I often find myself pressured by the fast-paced world we lived in today. A new research paper would be published every two days. A new disruptive technology would emerge and revolutionise the way we live our lives. Such is the byproduct of a competitive capitalistic system. Like our buildings, the other byproduct would be a cold, profit-driven society where actions that people take are all motivated by progress. Maybe it’s good sometimes for us to pull a break from all these rat races and be like the Romanian architects. Maybe paying additional attention to the intricate details of our lives would allow us to resonate the emotions and experiences of our lives to others. Maybe the world would be a friendlier, warmer place to live in then.