People must look at big picture and broaden their perspectives

Every now and then, there are petitions designed to advocate meaningful causes in the hope of spreading awareness and igniting change.

While these efforts are a manifestation of community desires and aim to gain support from individuals, there can be more positive outcomes if there is sustained dialogue to complement the rationale of certain views.

People can only embrace ideas and root for change if they can formulate their own opinions and are confident in their stand.

It is usually perceived that if one is not closely involved with causes, he should not sign any petitions.

Yesterday, I signed a petition against the termination of Blu Jaz Cafe's public entertainment licence with the knowledge of their brilliant atmosphere and the immense joy their performances bring me (Home-grown performers rally around Blu Jaz cafe; Oct 18). However, given that its patrons are a limited circle, I wonder how many others share similar sentiments and whether the petition will be a success.

Blu Jaz Cafe is only a part of the bigger issue of the preservation of local culture amid city development.

I am reminded of the talk of collective sales of People's Park Complex and People's Park Centre, and the diminishing significance of heritage here.

People need to be alert to what is going on around them and actually listen to what others have to say.

I think the way going forward would therefore be to encourage everyone to see the big picture and not merely consider what affects them immediately.

Thinking about the pros and cons a certain issue has in relation to society in the long run instead can broaden one's perspective and, likewise, help to increase the pertinence of isolated efforts.

Valerie Chua Yan Tong (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 19, 2018, with the headline 'People must look at big picture and broaden their perspectives'. Print Edition | Subscribe