Let's dream and transform S'pore for the future

As we galvanise the nation's energy and resources to plan for our future, we would do well to remember that the brightest future belongs to those who dare to dream great dreams ("The future belongs to the imagination"; last Friday).

I use the analogy of a computer to suggest how we can dream and develop a brighter future for our country and our people.

First, heartware.

At the heart of challenging the future is a challenge at the heart level - what do we really believe in, stand for and want for our future?

For where our heart leads to, that's where our destination will be.

I imagine a future where Singaporeans will have a much deeper sense of rootedness and passion for our country.

We will work together to develop a liveable and lovable country, a home where we can create beautiful memories and find purpose, happiness and fulfilment.

Second, hardware.

Hardware refers to how we lead, manage and serve the country.

It includes the plans, structures, systems, processes, advantages and other resources to enhance our position, performance, partnerships and progress.

It covers the capacity, agility, capability, tenacity and productivity of our nation, because these qualities will determine the quality of our achievements.

Third, software.

This is about developing our people, because the quality of our people will shape the quality of our life and progress.

We need to develop talents at all levels of society.

Regardless of our creed, culture, custom, and country of origin, we need to learn how to communicate, collaborate and co-create solutions for our companies, communities and country.

Lastly, soulware.

We should challenge our people to reach what psychologist Abraham Maslow termed the highest level of needs - the desire for self-transcendence.

They should live beyond themselves to serve a higher purpose in helping others live a better life and make our world a better home.

The more we reach out to bless other lives, the richer and better our lives will become.

When we serve a higher calling and a worthier cause, we will attract more talents and resources to help us build a stronger country.

We will enhance our bright red dot's potential and possibilities to help resolve global challenges and build a stable, safe and sustainable world.

Let's dream and transform our country and the world for the benefit of our children and our children's children.

The limits of our dreams are defined only by the limit of our passion, imagination and diligence.

Patrick Liew Siow Gian (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 08, 2015, with the headline 'Let's dream and transform S'pore for the future'. Print Edition | Subscribe