Now is the time to dream. When things are at their worst, when people say there is no hope, when the future looks bleak, now is the time to dream.
Forget about transport hikes, CPF cuts, ERP and GST raises. There is so much more in store, greater things to see, new heights to reach, new depths to hollow. Now is the time to dream.
If we have a large enough ambition to serve an entire community ourselves instead of looking to the government for answers, would not ours be a better place? If we enlarge our thinking and invite a wider circle to contribute to the vision of a better Singapore, is it not better than complaining about long queues and less savings?
Is it not better that we dream dreams and reach for more instead of concentrating on what we have less?
So let us meet, let us talk, let us gather in discussion for a better Singapore. Let us articulate our hopes, our missions, our values and our vision instead of waiting for the government to state it for us.
Let us recognise and respect diverse approaches and questions and celebrate our unique Singapore culture, a blend of many races, born out of adversity but perhaps spoiled in prosperity.
And let us not laugh, declare foolish or cower in alarm if different views result from our efforts. Those who emerge strongest, as Singapore did 37 years ago, belonged to many races, many aptitudes, many interests, and many points-of-view but happened to pull together.
Should we be fired with a passionate vision to work on something that needs doing, let us not wait for the government to give us a grant, a handout or a memo on how to go about doing it.
Let us move, on our own accord, with the community, expecting nothing but seeing everything.
Do you know how the future should look? Do you see a better way? There is no need to wait. There is no need to recline and rest in mock desperation. Complaining does nothing.
Waiting for a suggestion from above does nothing. Hoping to strike 4D is nothing. Rather, let us meet, let us talk, let us gather in discussion for a better Singapore.
We are not hopeless. We are not children without voices. But we are restricted in our own minds. We self-censor our thoughts for fear of reprisal.
We hush our voices for fear of being heard. And perhaps we are also bound by our own laziness.
The government, after all, can do the thinking for us. Our sense of civic duty to engage in public debate and critical thinking is lost except unfortunately for issues that affect our pockets.
But understand this: We may not be in government but we are whom the government works for. We can contribute and do instead of follow. We can let go of our parent’s hand and grow up. Now is the time to dream.
Perhaps all of us have tentative notions about the future. Some of us fear, some of us rejoice. Only a few of us will probably see correctly and understand how to get there.
Not all of us will be good at identifying and analysing problems. Solutions will perhaps escape most of us. But without discourse, without sharing, we do not even give ourselves the simple chance of being able to try to work things out.