My parents always say we are honest people and honest people follow the law because that is how society works in their era.
Unfortunately in life, times change and society isn’t always the same.
In my generation, our society has evolved, no longer like my parents’, more and more, honest people who have respect for the law, are taken advantage of and often at the losing end. In contrast, those dishonest rule-bending people tend to get away with things and always turn up being the winner in the end.
Look at what is happening to our world today, the values that our parents’ generation hold dear to their hearts are fading and our society is degenerating, getting worst by the day.
For the young people who haven’t realise this, I ask, to my children and to the millennials — What can you do for this society? There will come a day your country’s top banker is a millennial, top judge is a millennial, top entrepreneur is a millennial. There will even come a day your nation’s leader is a millennial. When the entire society is dominated by millennials, I ask, what kind of society do you want yours to be?
I know not everyone will turn out to be in the echelon that can decide the fate of our society. Many of you will turn out to be any other ordinary citizen, much like a tiny screw in this enormous societal machinery.
Today when you are still in school, you have to bear with listening to your parents and their nagging about acquiring good grades for your studies. After you graduate, you worry about where to send your resume, constantly hoping and praying for any company to take you in. And when you do step into society you worry about the many bills you have to pay and the commitments you have to bear to repay loans for the house you have to buy and the family you have to support.
Many youths like you will be busy surviving the onslaught of life, with no time to dream, no time to be concerned with politics, climate change or even your country’s future. Where can you find the energy to even think about what you can do for this society?
Despite all that life is throwing at you, as you age, don’t ever, ever, ever allow yourself to become a bad person. Don’t become the type of person that you have always hated as a child, the type of person that irritates you to your bone.
If you have to busk on the street, don’t cheat or steal. If you set up a factory and become a boss, don’t produce inferior products or take shortcuts. It will add to the significance when every ordinary citizen in his own capacity takes it upon him to remain good. Whatever profession, regardless of how insignificant, if you become a good person then there will be one more goodness in this society.
I urge you to remember, even if there are a thousand incentives for you to do evil, you have to stay true to your values. As a millennial, I hope you will never let down your principles, never trade away your values, never never never disappoint your own basic humanity.
If you ever hear your peers tell you to go with the flow and get used to this cruel world, say this to them…
“I am not here to get used to your world, I am here to change my world!”
To my children, to your future.