The Culture of Progress

In the not so distant past, my life was nothing but a mundane routine. I felt stuck and needed a breakthrough. I often wondered the hows and the whys am I not getting the sense of achievement that I so yearned for.

On the personal front, reading about goal settings and working towards a purposeful life helps. True breakthrough came for me when I started working with a very experienced manager at work. He kept me engaged and motivated. There are objectives to be met on a daily basis.

Under such circumstances, I come to realization the difference between the western and eastern cultures. Asian cultures tend take and react to failure differently compared to their western counterparts. Westerners learn from failures while Asians tend to wollow in their failures sometimes to a depressing point.

Due to such mental and thought process, it is difficult to think out of the box and that cripples one’s expression of true potential.

A very good example of the contrast can be seen in J.F.K.’s speech regarding the USA’s effort going to the moon and I quote:

“We choose to go to the Moon! …We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win …”

Such inspiring words that does not only apply to individuals but to the community at large as well. Bearing in mind that this speech was made in 1962. For a leader at that time being able to utter such words, how far are we falling behind. It is 2015 and I still have not heard such powerful and inspiring words coming from any leaders of this era. We still cannot get out of that loop of pettiness.

A successful and progressive nation is not one that sweeps issues under the rug. It is one that take the issues head on and find the solutions to move forward. A successful nation is one that can afford to laugh at their own mistakes, acknowledge them, and move forward. Not one that finds excuses and convince oneself with pride by justifying the wrongdoings as deserving, entitlement, and Divinely given.

We need to unlearn and relearn constantly as the world changes. We need to first acknowledge that there are still much to learn in our own lives and every single day poses new opportunities for us to learn something new.

We must first be humble enough to say, “You know what? You are right and let’s work on it….”

The shallow mind will snub at the speech and say, “this is western culture, not ours” failing to see beyond that. We need to be able to look at good examples and emulate them regardless of whatever culture. Nothing wrong in embracing what we perceive as different.



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