Multicultural Cities- Singapore
The city-state of Singapore is a profitable tropical island trading station in South-East Asia. It stands as the most economically developed country in the region, despite effects of the world’s War on Terror on business. It strives to keeping balance among human race by using visions and strategies dubbed as the ‘New Asia-Singapore’. This culture expresses the essence of a vibrant, multicultural, sophisticated place where tradition and modernity, East and West meet in harmony (Ooi, 2004). The government’s present policy is to maintain the multi-cultural society by preserving the distinct cultural identity of each ethnic community (Lim, 1989). In order for all parts of society to reach mutual success, an openness to diverse ethnic factors and sensitivity to culture, politics, housing, and education are a must for maintaining racial harmony.
Can Singapore inspire more empathy and multiculturalism in our world? Absolutely. We as a global society need to more often recognize and learn to embrace the reality of this and other examples of cultural competency. In a world of heart breaking conflict, hope is a dove. Among people with differences, engaging in vicarious feelings, thoughts, and experiences of another without having personally experienced them is crucial to opening the lines of communication. There are many cases of developing minds that lack knowledge or experience in the world beyond what they learned at home. Too often we judge and expect people to ‘know better,’ without taking the time to learn what culture & empathy are, why they are so significant, and how they influence the decisions people make.
If I could change the world, I would increase awareness of ethical principles that should govern day to day private and community life! I would be an advocate to formally educate youth of the world, starting with early education and continuing through college, about the principles and standards which determine human conduct based moral values. The movement would begin in the classroom, carry into homes of all students, and overflow into larger community settings. Curriculum would spark discussion about what we are teaching our children about how we take shape as adults, and how we can show empathy. After gaining support and momentum, my initiative will empower future generations to take back the world using their words and actions to hold themselves, their peers, and positions of power accountable. Nothing will stop the power of their inspired minds to collaborate with each other to reach healthy compromises, as they respect each other’s differences and build bigger, brighter futures.
Angela J. Newton
Voice of the Future: 2013
For more from the 2013 Voices of the Future recipient, Angela J. Newton, please see her work on bullying, heart health, capitalizing on one’s strengths, and ethics.
Lim, H.P. (1989.) Singaporean multi-cultural socieaty- opeining or obstacles for non-governmental civic activities. Retrieved 4/19/13 from www. eaea.org.
Ooi, C.S. (2004). Destination Branding, 2nd edition; Creating the Unique Destination Proposition. Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann: Oxford, UK; pp. 242-314.
www.merriam-webster.com. Accessed 4/19/13.