I invited my taiwanese friend over for dinner and we had such an awesome talk. We talked about society, history and politics, and cultures. And in conclusion, we both realised how important differences is and how we actually compliment each other in this world today.
Differences in Interests
One main thing I learnt was to appreciate the differences in interests. I used to have this idea that everyone needs to follow their dreams and their dreams has to be entrepreneurial because that is what I believe would be the best for everyone. But then I realised that people have different interests. Not everyone is interested in building businesses (which was shocking to me), not everyone likes being the boss and some people really have their focus elsewhere!
My friend, Ning, for example. She is a real social-activist. She is someone who reads a lot and research on social activities. She knows a lot and participates actively in many events and campaigns. She does her part to fight for equality. She change herself and affect people around her, slowly changing the world. I find this interesting.
I never liked such socialist activities. I guess it never occurred to me that one person could impact a huge difference. I mean after all, it’s just one person. It’s too much effort to change. It’s taking too long. To be honest, it sounds like just another spoilt brat in the first world, ignoring everything else that is going on. No, I just have no interest.
Then we made a conclusion, that it is important for people to have differences in this society. See, I like business. I like creating companies, looking for business opportunities, helping economy grow and providing jobs for people and train them with skill-sets. I believe this can change the world. I believe that’s how I can change the world. And this is what I am going to do in my lifetime. Building and creating businesses and mentor the next generation. I believe in the importance of this and impact on the society.
See, if everyone was like Ning, or everyone was like me, our global economy will remain stagnant. Why? Because it’s too focused on one side. It is good that what I lack (i.e. social campaigns) is made up for my other groups of people. As such, it is extremely important to have differences and diversity in the world today!
Differences in Mindset
Another difference I’d like to highlight is the difference in mindset. The environment, upbringing and culture shapes our mindset since young. I met my primary school best friend for lunch and we met a german exchange student. Then we talked about the differences between Singapore and Germany (or Europe) in general. I guess like what all the germans who lived in the smaller cities said, Singapore is a small metropolitan city. The huge population size really creates tons of pressure and with meritocracy being upheld, people are even more pressured to do well and strive for excellence. This is the culture for most cities, especially Chinese societies. (It’s a general observation that Chinese likes to have high expectations for themselves and be brunt out by it.) I also spoke with a French friend recently and we were discussing about Hong Kong’s protest. It was interesting because in France, such protests are common too. And it’s nearly impossible (unless Hong Lim park) to hold such events in Singapore.
I like such differences in mindset. It does not solve anything; like how debates do not solve much. It’s more of a difference in mindset that prompts you to think from another angle. It helps you to widen your scope when coming to decision making process or even just thinking about society and the world. One person alone, will only research things that aligns with our beliefs. If we speak to more people of different beliefs and mindset, it really opens our world to the endless possibilities.
Thus, I’d urge everyone to read more, speak more about everything under the sun and reach out to more people. People really open up easily, so do not worry.
Student Led Protests
I also learnt the importance of the position of students in society. I often think that students are probably the most useless group in society, because all they do are the following:
- complain about school work
However, you’ll realise that many protests are student-led. Youths have the power that other generations do not have: the power of people, the power of interconnectivity and the power to have no obligations and responsibilities to do everything they want!
Hong Kong’s Occupy Central movement, TianAnMen in China, Taiwan’s 228 Incident and many more. Simply google to find out. It’s interesting how powerful such an age group is.
As much as students are able to make a change and actually move the whole nation to its side, it’s amazing. However, how often do students think in the massive picture?
Think more, read more, write more.