Made me think, from a parent's viewpoint.
Here's an excerpt:
With Tomorrow Clearly in Our Mind -
A Growing and Greying, Connected and Disconnected, Old and New World
72.I have just described the three major undercurrents in the reshaping of the world of tomorrow, trends that will shape our next generation. There are other consequential effects of these trends. For example, as populations and economies grow, their appetite for resources will grow, and they will add heaps more carbon dioxide to our atmosphere.
73.As a race, humankind has not fully adapted to the great transition to an urban age. Yet, we are already in the throes of a faster and bigger scale transition into the digital age of global connectedness and disconnectedness.
74.It took many generations to have recognised codes of behaviour in order to protect the village green, and not have everyone rush their sheep over to graze the green bare.
75.Easter Island was once a thriving civilisation. They gradually chopped down the forest to make canoes, firewood, carvings and transport. Eventually, they chopped down all the trees, and their society collapsed in an epidemic of cannibalism. They forgot to protect their forest for their future generations. They had gotten onto an unsustainable path. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990 was yet another example of an unsustainable system.
76.Will our next generation get onto an unsustainable path or will they know how to break out just as Deng Xiaoping made the courageous decision to break out from an unsustainable system?
77.There are no easy answers.
78.At the core, we can only hope that we can continue to equip our next generation with the best gift we can give them, as teachers and parents, and as a country and a people: the gift of education and thinking – education in values and character, education in knowledge and critical thinking. Wisdom they will have to acquire – to know when they have to make calculations for the larger good and for the longer term, instead of just optimising for themselves as individuals at the expense of society as a whole.
79.As Singaporeans, we are recognised around the world as a highly competent, disciplined, and upright people. These values are our national identity and our Singapore spirit. We must continue to build on this core, and avoid the development of an entitlement mentality.
80.With the internet, knowledge takes on a different dimension. Instead of simply book knowledge, we need to learn to transform knowledge into wisdom. We all know that we can be clever without being wise. Can we be wise enough to know how to separate the fluff from the substance, to discern the difference between the trifling and the fundamental essentials, and to have the courage to make the hard choices?
81.There are no models for us, for the world, to follow, just as Singapore had no model to follow. Singapore had to create its own path, thinking through what makes sense not just from an overall perspective but also from a long term perspective. That was why we started our CPF system based on individual accounts on a defined contribution basis, and not a common pool which essentially steals from future generations to fund the present generation.
82.We, teachers and parents, as well as our students and next generations, will have to cross the river by feeling for the stones.
http://www.temasek.com.sg/mediacentre/s ... ilid=11702
My gut response to the portions I've highlighted in bold, is that, these are the thoughts of someone without spiritual beliefs. For my kids at least, I know that there's a model for them to follow, a guidebook to life, and they would not just be feeling for stones to learn how to cross the river.
What are your thoughts after reading this speech?