Life comes around in a full circle. As an instructor, I am grateful to enable many learners to use smartphones and digital tools. While teaching, I learn a lot from my students.
There is a group of learners belonging to the baby boomers educated in Chinese. They did not pursue higher education during the turbulent times of the 50s. Working hard as the pioneer generation, we owe them much to nation-building. English has become the de facto business language for commerce and the medium of instruction in school. They struggled to catch up with the economic speed train in the backdrop of globalization.
Fast forward to today, the next generation enjoys the prosperity of Singapore’s rapid economic progress. They are now proud grandparents. Many are active volunteers and engage in community giving.
While they feel handicapped by language and disruptive technology, they never give up. Their self-help and never say die attitude make them role models for us. Their kindness, authenticity, and kampong spirit touch my heart.
Their eyes sparkle when they see their old photos given a new lease of life with digitalisation. Imagination came alive as they put their creative juice to capture the nostalgic yesteryears. They are eager to learn and practice because they are afraid that they may forget.
It touched my heart to see their eagerness for active learning. They had missed the boats during their youth. Their children are busy and impatient. With the workshop conducted using Chinese as the medium of instruction, they can understand better and gain confidence. They are proud to showcase what they have learned to their friends and loved ones. I encourage them to document and share their wealth of experience. Their collection of stories about the Red Dot shall be part of the Singapore legacy.
Our circumstances may be beyond our control. It is not what happened to us but what we do with what happened to us. Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. A “Never Say Die attitude” is a choice that they have made!