Many years ago, a friend brought me to watch the movie “The Matrix”. I’m not sure if you could still remember the story, but Neo, the main character in the movie, was told that humans were reared as “batteries” to supply energy to the machine world. I pondered about this for a while, wondering whether the story could be true. While I found no plug behind my head to plug me into the Matrix, I did realise that we were all “batteries”. Since young, we went to school with the intended aim of gaining knowledge and getting good grades so that we could have a good-paying job and comfortable life. The exams that we took served to certify how good we were, whether we were an “A” or “AAA” battery. So, when we graduated with our “A” or “AAA” certification, we competed with each other to find a high-paying job and “power” the company in return. And when we have exhausted all our energy, we get “retired”, usually without much appreciation for the years of hard work put in. After all, when was the last time you said “thank you” to the batteries that powered your MP3 player which gave you so much entertainment?
It should not be this way. Going to school should be to gain knowledge so that it could be applied in a useful manner. It should not be for the sole purpose of getting the certificate, so that we could be certified as an “AAA” battery and “power” some companies in return for high pay. I look forward to the day that when our students graduate, they do not ask each other whether they have “found a job” with their certification, but whether they have “founded a business” with their knowledge. Many years ago, I recall there was a hue-and-cry in the newspapers over 2 graduates who set up a stall in a coffeeshop selling porridge instead of finding a high-paying job. I find nothing wrong with the choice that they made. They chose to “power” their passion with their knowledge and skills and gaining new experience in return. Whatever the outcome of their business venture, it would have been something gained for the 2 of them.
It is also not necessary that everybody must be a business owner (aka “battery driver”) rather than being an employee (aka “battery”). Just like the final episode of ”The Matrix” trilogy, everybody is allowed to choose whether to stay in the Matrix and enjoy the “succulent steak and sparkling red wine”, or leave the Matrix for the “bland but nutritious porridge”. There is also no escaping the fact that we are all “batteries”. However, we could choose what we power; it could be our family, religion, passion, and yes, even the company. Channel your energy to the area that is most dear to you.
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