Tuesday, February 5, 2013

"Our Singapore Conversation" with the Youths at Hougang Student Service Center

As I made my way from Hougang Mrt to the Student Service Center, I was filled with anticipation about the National Conversation which we will soon be having with a number of youths. I've participated in more than 3 public conversations, where there were diverse crowds sharing various views on what we desire Singapore to become, but this was the first youth-centered conversation which I have participated in.

Hence, as expected, I was positively surprised by the perspectives and the directions of conversations shared by them! Their inputs were extremely positive and full of optimism. Throughout the short 2+ hours, they shared great aspirations they have for our country; about how our nation will continue to progress and prosper, and most of them portrayed a healthy respect and understanding for the value foreign talents bring to our country, and to top it off, a self-imposed duty about “What I can do for the nation, instead of what the nation can do for me?”.

At the conclusion of the conversation, many youths shared how they treasured the opportunity to discuss the dreams and aspirations they have for themselves and the country. A few mentioned that they were rarely (and for some, never) asked about their opinion on such matters.

Upon reflecting these "thanksgiving" messages, I realized how important it is, for us to work even harder in giving a voice to the “unheard or marginalized”, so to ensure that as the society progresses, we do not leave anyone behind!

It was sincerely the most rewarding and enjoyable “conversation” which I have attended. The ideas and comments made by the youths were truly inspirational and motivating. I would be lying, if I denied that their Hope for Singapore also created a positively enduring effect on my optimism for Singapore’s future too! 

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