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The Power of the Unchanging

Updated: Jan 31

Featured on the Hong Kong Economic Journal (March 9, 2013)


I was recently in California where I spent a couple days in Silicon Valley. There’s an exciting buzz about that place because it’s the hotbed of great ideas. The likes of Google and Facebook have their bases there and they have revolutionized the way our world works and have inspired many young entrepreneurs to give their fresh ideas a go. Whilst on my trip, I visited The Tech Museum of Innovation, which was one of the highlights of my trip. We got to see how technology is helping create better games for people to play, ways for people to live and inventions for people to use. Some of the highlights of my visit included creating my own roller coaster using computers that would tell me whether my G-force was too great on some spins; ‘visiting’ the moon on Google’s Liquid Galaxy that allows you to visit anywhere on earth with the click of a button thanks to Google Earth; and seeing how supercapacitors can be charged a million times for use as batteries before being discarded! With minds like those in Silicon Valley, I’m believing for the world to become a better place.


And whilst there, I read tech magazines that gave updates about the newest things going on in the industry. I read this article where 3 boys between the ages of 10 and 12, spent their summer holiday creating a camp for their friends that would teach their friends computer programming! I didn’t even know what a computer was when I was that age and now kids are teaching others kids how to use it for programming! I’m amazed at the talent of people in this world.


But what this whole experience made me realize is that the world that our children will live in is very different from the one we live in now. When I was in high school, it was a luxury to have a mobile phone; now it’s a common occurrence. When I was in college, everyone wanted to be an investment banker or lawyer, now more and more people I know want to be entrepreneurs. The world is changing at a pace that is faster than we can imagine and the question then for educators is this: how can we prepare our children for a future we don’t yet know about?


I would like to propose this: that what we should educate our children in 2 things: 1) the things that prepare them for the changing world and 2) the foundational qualities that are unchanging.


In preparing them for the changing world, we must equip our children to be flexible to change and creative in problem solving. It will no longer work to give children textbooks and have them regurgitate information; children need to learn to problem solve, communicate effectively, think critically and be creative in how they face new situations.


But I believe above all, we need to lay in them the foundational qualities that are unchanging. No matter what the world becomes, some character traits will remain essential as the ingredients of success. Responsibility, perseverance, respect, compassion…these unchanging traits are just as essential today as they will be in years to come.


No matter what the world becomes and how technology evolves, I believe that people who are responsible to their word and duties, people who persevere and don’t give up, people who show respect to themselves and others, people who show care and compassion to others, will still be ones who thrive.


In preparing our children for their future, foresight is necessary. We all want what is best for our children and we want them to succeed when they grow up. We’re not just helping our children pass their next exam, get to the next grade or to their next school. We need to equip them to succeed in life. But preparation begins now.


In helping them prepare for an uncertain future, let’s equip and empower them with the unchanging qualities that are certain to help them thrive – sound character traits and a strong value system.



#Perseverance#unchanging #future #success #preparation

不變的力量


我最近在加州矽谷度過了數天。這地方擁有激發創意的泉源,能孕育無窮創新意念。在矽谷設有總部的Google和Facebook徹底改變了世界,更啟發了許多年輕的創業者,為他們提供一展身手的機會。我參觀了創新科技博物館,是此旅程的重點行程之一。在博物館內我們看到了科技如何為人創造更好玩的遊戲、更舒適的生活方式及更方便的發明。參觀期間,我以電腦設計了過山車,系統更能告訴我過山車在某些位置旋轉時的G力會否過高。此外,我更能透過Google液態銀河「遊覽」月球,只需在Google地球點擊一個按鈕,便可遨遊天涯海角,更可看到能用作電池、充電多達一百萬次的超級電容器!我相信憑藉潛藏在矽谷的無限意念,世界會變得更美好。


在那裏,我讀了介紹行業最新資訊的科技雜誌。一篇文章講及三個10至12歲的男孩在暑假期間為朋友籌備了教授朋友編寫電腦程式的活動營!我在這個年紀時根本不知道甚麼是電腦,但現在的孩子甚至教朋友用電腦寫程式呢!世界上有這樣出色的人才,我實在感到非常驚訝。


我明白到我們的孩子將生活在與現今截然不同的世界。我在高中的時候,擁有手提電話是奢侈,但現已非常普遍;大學時,所有人都希望成為投資銀行家或律師,但現在我認識越來越多人希望成為企業家。世界瞬息萬變,速度之快更超乎我們所想,對教育工作者來說,我們該如何為孩子準備未知的未來?


我提議教育孩子兩件事情:(一)為他們面對不斷變化的世界做好準備;(二)不變的基本素質。


為讓孩子能適應變化萬千的世界,我們必須培養孩子的靈活腦筋及解難的創意,死記硬背不再奏效,孩子需要學習在遇到新形勢時如何解決問題及有效地溝通,還需具備批判性思維和創意。


然而我認為最重要的是教導孩子不變的基本素質。不管世界變成怎樣,有一些品格仍是成功要素──責任心、毅力、尊重、同情心……這些不變的素質不論在現今還是未來亦同樣重要。


為孩子迎接未來做好準備時,我們必須要有遠見。我們都希望給孩子最好的,希望他們長大後能成功。我們不只是幫助孩子通過考試、升班或升學,而是為他們的成功做好準備,但準備的工作需由現在開始。 不論世界怎樣變,科技怎樣進步,我相信一位成功的人,仍然是那些能慎言、負責任、堅持不放棄、尊重自己和他人、富有關懷和同情心的人。


要為孩子準備不確定的未來,就讓我們教導孩子能助他們茁壯成長的不變本質──健全的品格和良好的價值觀。


2013年3月9日