Where the heart is
YEARS ago, I left Malaysia and was immersed in a culture that seemingly celebrated individualism. I became enamoured with the desire to be different, and to break away from the constant need to conform. Even then, I firmly believed that being differ- ent should not preclude someone from being part of something bigger.
But what does it mean to be unique? People dress differently to identify themselves with a chosen subculture, speak differently to be part of a group they aspire to. These outward differences, while very visible, are less important than what drives people and what life purpose they have chosen for themselves.
I am not alone in thinking that any diverse group can be, and are united around a clear purpose. I believe that this is why the entire workforce at the SPCA animal hospital I used to work for, and the team at Leaderonomics work well. The social objectives of both organisations are so entrenched that it overrides any bickering or disputes people may have.
And so it is with our Malaysia.
After a tumultuous start to the year, I am reassured that Malaysia and her people stand united. We all want to see our country excel, and work together berganding bahu to build better spaces to live in and to raise our families.
All for one
On point, David Wee addresses collaboration – what it is, and what it is not – and how to drive collaboration in a company. In a similar vein, but with quite an unexpected approach, Vinesh Naidu talks about how leaders can unite their teams.
In an interview with Datuk Seri Idris Jala, our roving contributing editor Lim Lay Hsuan learns more of his humble beginnings and his journey to where he is today.
A new contributor, Abel Cheah, with an excellent piece on why the best leaders are also learners.
To celebrate Malaysian movies, Yasir Osman writes about the endearing and enduring lessons of The Journey and Bujang Lapok. And in Starting Young, Hyma Pillay does some soul-searching and shares useful tips on what one can do when faced with an impending deadline and a very present writer’s block.
And as we are about to celebrate Malaysia Day, Lay Hsuan puts it aptly ‘united we stand, divided we fall‘
Malaysians at heart
When I think about the anguish that families and friends on home ground or further afield endure when torn apart due to war, poverty, ill-health, catastrophes – I pray that if something is within our control, we have the courage and means to make a change for the better.
Like my father always said, “You don’t have to wait till you’re rich and accomplished to help another person.”
From our homes at Leaderonomics to yours, Happy Malaysia Day to everyone near and far.
First published in English daily The Star, Malaysia, 13 September 2014
To contact Karen or to request a soft copy of the entire collection of recent articles for Malaysia Day, do email firstname.lastname@example.org