Happy New Year! Yep, this is a long-belated post (though not as long as last year), and the title simply continues a long tradition. See 2017., 2016., 2015., 2014., 2013. My goal for 2018 was to inspire and be inspired. So how have I changed or grown?
I’ve told many students in the past week to create or update CVs for easy reference of their life experiences – not only for my business leadership course but also for university supplemental applications and oral interviews. It’s not easy to make long-lasting reflections in the era of stories that disappear after 24 hours, but I suppose my life has changed by actually making Instagram posts. My first post occurred minutes before flying out of London at the end of an inspirational Commonwealth Youth Forum. I’m not the biggest royal fanatic but it was incredible to stand mere metres away from Prince Harry, who had this to say to youth: “You are the most optimistic, connected generation the world has ever known.”
Indeed, the 2019 Commonwealth theme is “A Connected Commonwealth”, so I suppose my goal for 2019 is to be connected. This goal carries much ambiguity, similar to my other continual mission to be a better person every day through lifelong learning. Looking back at the inspiration goal of 2018 in the context of developing better people, I’ve frequently told my students that the biggest learning outcome is not measured in terms of being a good student, but rather by being a good person.
One example that comes to mind is the reconciliation initiated by a student towards those who have caused her emotional distress. Her rationale was that there’s no point in infighting within a small ethnocultural community, when honest conversations lead to conflict resolution. This mature, reconciliatory act by a teenager in the connected generation can and should inspire adults to do the same.
In 2019, I expect to be connected across international borders once again, building on the 60 airplane take-off count. I’m not sure where and when – but perhaps I’ll be connected enough on this blog and social media to provide updates.