My brother sent this video to the family whatsapp group this afternoon. As I watched it, I truly felt that the message delivered was one that is valuable, and worthy a blogpost. Before diving further, let's have a watch, shall we. Its a 15 minutes video, so bear with me.
Incredible isn't it?
What I like about the speech is that its quite a short one but the effect it has on the audience (including viewers like me) is powerful. His speech put things into perspective, particularly the last story he shared. Often times, now that I'm an employed executive of two years with (actual) working experience, I have the pleasure of meeting amazing people as well (the ire of meeting) not so amazing people. You'll be amazed with the wealth of young, energetic and smart people we have in Brunei.
But the sad fact is, in some cases, these amazing young and smart people are wasted, be it due to the underutilization of their capabilities, or due to the culture we have of "who tasted the salt first". In case you didn't get the last point, its a reference of a Malay saying of "yang dahulu makan garam", which basically means, our elders were more through the variety of life experiences, so they are more knowledgeable in brightly-colored and patterns of life.
But the question is, are they necessarily experienced and knowledgeable in the brighty-colored and patterns of life?
Don't get me wrong, I'm not putting down the contributions that the elders are offering and have offered to society and nation as a whole, but it pains me that being a young person in Brunei, we are not necessarily offered the opportunity to prove things, nor the trust to work on something without being micro-managed. I've seen some of my friends abroad whom I went to college with are now doing amazing things in their current course of life and career paths that you cant help but being green with jealousy!
I remember a story that my colleague told me recently, when he was about to depart Brunei to fly to Singapore for work, where he bumped into an old friend from school. He knows the guy has an excellent mind because he before working in Brunei at some ministry, he used to work in a major corporation abroad. The old friend he said was holding a suit-bag carry on (not just holding it but proper holding it like an OCD person fearing that the suit will wrinkle). In the middle of their discussion, the old friend had to excuse himself because he had to go and see his boss to check things out. My colleague noticed that his boss is an important VVIP person, surrounded by an entourage of 3 people at that time, including his old friend. As my colleague observed, he felt that the scene was almost laughable. This was how it went:
There were three people, the old friend, who was holding the suit-bag carry on, as it turned out, was holding his boss's suit-bag; another person was carrying a couple of luggages, presumably his boss's, while another was constantly speaking on the phone and in between relaying and delivering messages to and fro his boss.
He said that the scene was all too sad, because he knew the guy and he is a brilliant guy, very very smart, (just to reiterate his point) used to work in a major corporation, all but diminished to a boss's suit-bag carrier. Something is not right there!
Note that I am generalizing things here, and maybe slightly exaggerating. But the fact of the matter is, these things occur and it's something that I don't and will not experience in my lifetime. If that's not the case, does that mean we are actually incompetent or incapable youths? I beg to differ. My answer to that, without sounding defensive, is that I don't think we are, although we acknowledge that our learning curve is high when we first enter the workforce, but our knowledge retention, being young and motivated, does make us fast learners. What we need during that learning process is guidance and empowerment not instructions nor orders. I am an optimist and I know we are more than capable. I know I'm new to this course of life, but I hope that if I do reach a certain period where my leadership is required, and I have a bunch of young guys and girls who need my guidance, I'll put it my mantra that "All we ever deserve, is a Styrofoam cup".