Singapore Together Emerging Stronger Conversations
The Singapore Together Emerging Stronger Conversations (ESC) on 1 August saw 44 Singaporeans from many walks of life come together to reflect on this question, and the issues close at heart.
The discussion was lively, and participants raised ideas such as a desire for greater participation, concerns about jobs and the economy, and a wish for a more compassionate and inclusive society.
Most agreed there’s much to be done, but they’re also encouraged to see fellow Singaporeans coming forward to help others through the crisis.
Here are some of their experiences:
Gerontologist Ean Yeo says that those 50 and above will need more meaningful online activities that will attract them to be engaged.
Question: How might we become a more caring, cohesive and resilient society?
“One thing I’m heartened to see during this crisis is the positivity of fellow Singaporeans in overcoming challenges that come our way.
To build a more compassionate society, we need to start with understanding the needs of others, and take action so that we can transform our ideas into reality. I also think we could tap on the wealth of experience, knowledge and resource that many older Singaporeans can offer, to harness intergenerational synergy.
The session ignites ideation, inspiring participants to share our constructive ideas and to listen to the views and ideas of a diversified group. It also helps us better understand Singapore’s challenge to meet the diverse needs of the population which require prioritisation in the use of resources.
I was very inspired to do more for Singapore seeing that Singaporeans of different races, generations, background and interests want to come together to build a better Singapore. I will encourage my family and friends, especially those who have been sharing views on social media and chat groups, to come forth to share their ideas in such sessions.”
One thing that social worker Pollack Robert Brian is most encouraged by amidst this crisis is Singaporeans’ willingness to step in and help the needy.
Question: What are your dreams for the Singapore of tomorrow?
“My hope is that volunteerism and getting out of our comfort zones in terms of mixing and mingling will become more regular parts of our daily life here.
We need to assist and if needed, support each other during this period – especially the most vulnerable members of society. A society is truly great when the able devote time, resources, and show compassion for the weakest amongst us.
I really enjoyed the session. It was great getting a chance to hear the Minister speak and reflect first-hand about the current situation – in addition to being able to listen and share with Singaporeans from all walks of life.
Singapore is a unique inheritance, one not to be taken for granted – while still a continuous work in progress.”
According to Jamie Wong, student and arts journalist, empathy is very important, not only towards larger vulnerable communities, but also among individuals.
Question: Why did you register for the ESC sessions?
“As an active volunteer, I have been exposed to the vulnerabilities of various communities during the COVID-19 period. I believe in finding more ways to help them stay not only physically but also psychologically well. One community I am especially concerned about would be the arts community, as I am an arts journalist and I have seen the prominence in arts helping the wider society cope during this pandemic.
One memorable lesson I’ve learned from the pandemic is that resilience doesn’t need to be lending others support in times of need. Resilience can be silent. Just by coping with everyday life, slowly re-looking and shaping your routine to adapt to the norm is resilience. Singaporeans are so much stronger than they realise!
To describe the ESC: If the session was food, it would be a richly-stuffed sandwich. There was a lot of exchange of ideas, and I savoured every second of our shared enthusiasm. It was the diverse views that gave it the flavour… people from all walks of life came together with a common passion.”
Like to join in the next conversation? Register here: https://go.gov.sg/esconversations