Creating space for social enterprise in Singapore
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” That is probably the most common question I would get from any family member, friends of family and head-patting adults in general. It was a question that I enjoyed answering when I was 10. The possibilities were endless. But I also wondered why adults like asking that question. Was it because they found a need to keep up with our fleeting, fantastic answers, or was it that they like to reminisce on what could have been for themselves?
Alas, as I go through adult life, something happens along the way that will eventually rob us of our inherent propensity to imagine, and the courage to create. Call it the education system, parents or the economy, but throughout our educated years, we have been asked to conform – to defined career paths, fixed thinking models, and prescribed paths to make a living, not a life.
This is more prevalent in Asian countries where Confucian values of obedience and collectivism may be revered. This makes it tough for myself and others to come “alive”. The risk of blind conformity is that – a life of unfulfilled potential and unfound purpose.
But to come alive is like trying to succeed in a start-up. Many environmental factors are needed to increase that probability. Just like starting a venture, the first step is often the hardest, it takes courage and a level of stubbornness. Once taken, the rest as they say, is history. Life’s excitement and possibilities are taken to the next level.