Not long ago, a friend asked me if our local universities, both public and private, are doing a good job churning out graduates by the hundreds come graduation day. Well, not bad, I told him. Many of the graduates that I interacted with seemed fine by my reckoning. They are articulate, knowledgeable, intelligent, and cocksure about their future.
What do you think, I asked my friend? He shook his head sadly and said, “some of them come out with closed minds, a lot closed than when they first went in.” He was holding his smartphone as if he wanted me to read something on his Twitter account. I peeked at it, and the headline read: “Varsities supposed to broaden minds …”
Hmm, at least there are people from the same fence willing to talk about certain sensitive issues. Why not? After all, we are all one in the brotherhood of men (and women!) sharing lots of common interests. It’s ok to talk, and it’s ok to disagree. Better an open mind than one shut to the realities in a modern cosmopolitan society like ours.
Even social media has this ‘like’ or the thumps-down emoji either we like the posting, or we dislike it. Period. You know, when I post something on my Facebook, I hardly get a ‘like’ (I wonder why?!), but I don’t get upset by it. Who cares as long as I get to air my personal views?
We want to be free, yet we choose to hide in the shallow corners of our mind, comfortable in our limitations. How to be broad-minded then? Is our education system only rehearsing students for graduation day? What about the development of their psyche to be better men and women? Their thinking capabilities, their skill sets and their ultimate role as nation-builders?
The truth is today’s graduates need broad minds, lofty ideals and a clear vision to overlook tiny issues that mar progress and look at the grand picture from the mountain tops! To me, the role of universities is to produce holistic young people with extraordinary mindsets, not ordinary minds with unholy aspirations that often stand in the path of progress.
Over a cup of Bru with my friend, I finished reading the FMT article dated June 6th and as I did, the words of Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi of UCSI University, who believes in better race relations, caught my imagination. He said, “If we reject or invalidate knowledge because it originates from a different culture or thought by those of a different religion, then I’m afraid we won’t progress very far.”
I believe our present generation of graduates are sensible and dynamic men and women with the education, knowledge and far-sightedness to delve into petty issues of the day. They are fine young people on the threshold of uplifting their country to new and exciting heights of achievement and success.
Malaysia needs your unimpeded mindsets to build a harmonious nation of achievers! Can you see your calling?