late'bloom'er: someone whose talents or capabilities are slow to develop.
There's a great difference between mouthing something and getting it into your system. This week was crazy - in a good way! It's like my life is getting into motion, just by making a decision. Your outlook changes, you find yourself making more and more decisions that you've put aside for years, and you start hurtling towards that life you find God has been preparing you for.
Went for an interview, hoping to be succesful in applying for an NUS entreprise programme - iLEAD, that basically attaches you for 7.5 months to a startup company + a study trip for 2 weeks to Silicon Valley, U.S.A.! Don't ask me how I even got started being interested in business - I think it was a culmination of a lot of things - Starbucks, the Cultural Mandate that Pastor has been sharing with us these few years, and being increasingly exposed to so many real-life crises going on because of mismanagement/corruption/ignorance of businesses or governments in class.
Went to a 2-day seminar held by a CCA in NUS, Energy Carta, concerning Clean Energy and the prospects for students interested in that. It's really amazing how it's not just scientists and engineers who are passionate about the technological potential and the impact they will have on mitigating a lot of the problems we're having not only environmentally, but inevitably society and the problem of poverty and inequality. There were businessmen, entrepreneurs, engineers from such diversified fields (even mech. & electrical) and flying in from countries like Tanzania and India. It really got me excited to see that the push for sustainability that so many have undertaken even before the word existed 20 years ago, is gaining traction amongst people from diverse arenas of influence. A far-flung net works best. Regardless of the viability of human ideas (dependent on existing technologies), as long as there is a will and a vision to make things happen, there will always be a reason to hope despite the circumstances.
A student from a university in India chatted with my friend and I about our field of study, and why we signed up for this seminar (Another first at networking). He was diligently taking notes throughout the speeches/presentations made by the guest speakers and couldn't help observing that there were moments my friend slept. Afterwards, he made a comment that perhaps because we're from NUS, (having only to pay a highly subsidised amount to attend relative to him) that we don't feel it as strongly. Later on, whilst commenting on whether we were staying on for the Chevron competition for a 20-year, sustainable market plan, he said "How come you didn't take part? It's by your college."
Perhaps if I were not feeling the exact same way about myself having missed so many opportunities, I might have felt offended by his remarks. But how can I when they were right on the mark?
Our comfort zone is in our apathy; - don't care, don't aspire, don't take up more responsibility than is doled out - but that actually is an attitude of independence and isolation. We can pretend that we aren't affected by the larger forces of society, government, the global market and economics; plunge headfirst into the trends and fads of our age to try to define a lifestyle that is on our terms. But we don't know that we are fortunate, in Singapore, to be provided the opportunities to gather knowledge and the education to help us dig out the truth of things, the rare teachers who live to provide us the access to these knowledge, and the means to not just survive but to thrive while making life better for others. Apathy just means that we are literally forfeiting our chances to be part of something greater than ourselves.
So many times I hear my younger self being echoed by others, in their speech, in their aspirations or lack thereof, in their dressing, in their plans for the day - "I just want a simple life." We laugh at the China nationals for sacrificing a 'life' to earn a 5.0 GPA, not understanding that to be born in a country that sees an 18 million growth in the population, you have to fight at a scale Singaporeans will never have to experience, just to get by reasonably. I see it now, the need to be passionate in our youth, for a cause beyond one that directly caters to our own wants. I get it. Because if I don't stand up for this one, two, three things I believe strongly in, perhaps someone else will step up to the plate, but my life will be dictated by others because I choose to live by life on default.
Like Pst Phil said, there's this switch we can all turn on - just by making a decision. Faith.