Sitting with all my digital devices since 5.00 this morning inspired by many who share their success stories and experiences of their journey of learning, exceptional business acumens, entrepreneurial guts and many more; I am motivated by the many to think through my journey of existence.
Like many self-made entrepreneurs during the ’50s and ’60s, I too was born in the outskirts of a small town in the north of Malaysia and adopted by a neighbor, (my beloved mother who has passed away decades ago), as my paternal parents no longer have the financial means to feed me. We were a family of 9 siblings, despite my paternal father not having a permanent stable occupation. “Give away or let the baby die of hunger, or leave it to God to take care," said my father. A good friend of my mother, my adopted mother, who was then single decided to bring me up single-handedly and the rest is history, as they say.
Life wasn't easy in the ’50s and ’60s, and I believe there are many untold stories and many could be worse than my childhood, and like me, I never wanted to remember too many moments of them. Compare to the many millennials, Zen X, Zen Y and gig kids today who grow up having access to the world of knowledge and communication by the click of a finger, many of us growing up in the ’60s, were brushing up our English Language through Reader Digest monthly subscription (my adopted mother will not save for my books). There were no tuition teachers or online learning tutoring, but we all hacked through due to the great government schools that we went too for the 13 years of learning with great teachers who are real educators. Those were the great old days of growing up with “knowledge acquiring as our best friends” and a small diary to keep our secrets of growing up.
There is no one to be blamed as I look back. There are no sorrows to write as I look back. This journey of my life has shaped me to be one of the many Malaysians that is contented in life. Having the opportunity to study abroad, having the opportunity to serve the government as a teacher, having the opportunity to grow in the private sectors as a career and having the opportunity to have my family were so many of the joys that I had had. Having the opportunity to pioneer AIMSMET, when everyone says I should just retire, is one of the best opportunities that I will live to smile for the rest of my remaining days on earth. Along the journey, I owed so many gratitudes and appreciations to so many that have extended their hands and ears, when I needed most. Too many to
name them that it may not fill the whole page.
Life essentially is not about regretting over the past and dreaming for the future. To me, it is always about acquiring knowledge - The New Knowledge. Knowledge in the ’50s and '60s, are no longer relevant and sustainable for today’s world. We need to move into the self-discipline gear to pick up hard copy of books or click for e-books, journals, case studies and many more; but if we do not have such intrinsic habits, we can always enrol ourselves online for many of the MOOC courses available daily. To me, New Knowledge is an essential element of our life to overcome the many unprecedented challenges that is hitting us in just the coming months not in 2030, health disruptions, economic disasters, social disorders and climatic changes. The likes of the coming challenges triggered by just Mother Nature’s virus with human intervention, is catastrophic and unimaginable, putting mankind to the much needed test once again to heal the world.
Without acquiring New Knowledge, we are no experts at all to heal the world and we do not have the credibility to share and communicate to others through all the technological platforms that have been invented. Stop talking if you are not equip with knowledge as your experiences may not be a good remedy for such unprecedented times. Robert Guest in his book, “The Borderless Economics” talks about how countries are connected by people who move around to learn, to work and to live. These networks are increasingly central to the nature of the opportunity.
Shared by Dato’ Dr. Jayles Yeoh
Founder of AIMSMET