This sem has been...interesting. I feel like I've been seeing the world through different lenses this sem.
I definitely have no regrets taking the modules MNO3331 business with a social conscience and the compulsory module BSP2005 asian business environments (which I found out used to be called asian pacific business, ethics and society, which is appropriate). I feel like...both these modules opened my eyes to the world out there, and helped me understand the deeper issues in social justice.
Just one example from recent classes: ending child labour is a ridiculously difficult process that may not even be beneficial. Big MNCs don't set out to use child labour, instead they often get involved because the supply chain is so complicated. What is child labour anyway? Of course we all vehemently disagree with child armies or children working in the mines, but the reality is also that plenty of what is considered child labour involves children helping their parents do non-dangerous work such as farming, and sometimes doing work that their parents can't for the betterment of their family. The problem is not child labour, but poverty which forces children to need to support their families. Stop the child from his or her labour, and they will either starve, or turn to other worse jobs to keep the family afloat.
That's just one example, I posted the one about the bottom of pyramid not too long ago as well. The reality is that issues in the world are complicated and the seemingly obvious solutions sometimes may actually do more harm than good.
This sem was also a sem I found myself alot less focused on results, reflected in my lower class participation and general lower emphasis placed on academics. I guess in part it's because the rat race gets tiring and I don't want any part in it, and in part it's because it does feel like there are more important things which are very real.
This sem also made me question my abilities. The truth is, there are many highly talented people in this school and sometimes I feel myself not being able to compare to them. I might feel bad about it sometime ago but not right now. These are people with ambitions to climb the corporate ladder, so let them, I'm finding that as the days go by it is something I'm becoming increasingly less interested in.
I mean, sometimes I find myself having expectations to live up to? People think that I'll do great, I've been generally doing well in my academics so some people imagine that I'll be working on some high paying job in the future, and then I start thinking to myself that hey so I have this potential apparently so I really shouldn't waste it...but seriously if not wanting to 'waste my potential' is the main reason why I want to pursue top tier jobs...then it probably isn't a good idea. I don't even spend my money anyway what am I going to do with it. All it does is place unnecessary stress, feeling like I can't match up to some people. This potential is probably distorted anyway. I just happen to be able to study, and we know that being able to study doesn't mean you can thrive in the working environment.
It is a little strange when it comes to marketing though. I mean, I really love the topic and find branding and communications in particular so fascinating. Yet in this field I do find myself outclassed sometimes by others. Case, consumer behaviour and entrepreneurship all pushed me to think about innovative ideas and how to deliver them. I find myself decent but perhaps not quite the best at it. Each time I watch someone else do something way better, and I wonder how can I even consider these fields if I can't even keep up with my peers.
I admit though, that's comparing to the cream of the crop and it's not particularly fair to put yourself down for that. Still, it makes me realise that I am still not quite sure what I really want to do. Digital marketing is exciting and fun...but is it suitable for the way I think and operate?
Anyway, enough about academics. Outside of academics, quite a number of things have happened. Things have settled down a little from the start of the year, and I am rather amazed at how different life is today compared to six months ago.
In a way...if I were to sum up the main difference between now and then, I think it would that I feel free.
There are things in my life that I always thought were staple. As it turns out, I may have been better off without some of these. I could never imagine life without it, but yes, now I feel that this simpler life is much easier, and much more beautiful.
Things will always still be uncertain, the future always remain blurry but I have come to learn that it doesn't matter. Stress...worries...anxiety...it's all an unproductive waste of time and energy. Somehow, in one way or another, God has always ended up making a way. I can't even imagine how He would do it sometimes, but in the end it just...happens. It turns out alright. And just as He always has, I trust that He will continue to do so.
It is a sem about learning to trust in God, as I trust Him to provide, and to put my identity and value in Him.