Saturday, February 3, 2007

On The Train, Nov. 30, 2005

I always enjoy a very early morning rides to work as I love to get to the office early. My excuse is that since I am up early anyway might as well leave for the office early. Early bird gets the worms so they say. This morning I was really early then the usual and the train was on the platform waiting when I arrived at the station. Naturally, I had only time to board the nearest coach and this happened to be the last one as well. If you are riding in the last two coaches so early in the morning when you get to the UKM station you cannot but to feel like you are riding a school bus/train in Indonesia. At UKM a group of Indonesian school children boarded and another big group boarded at Kajang. Naturally being children they were chatty and a bit noisy. The age, judging from their appearance, ranges from 8 to 15 years old. The Komuter is the best mode of going to school for them as all of them are attending an Indonesian school located next to the Putra Station. Apart from enjoying the antics of the school children that reminded me of my years growing up I realized something else. The average age of the children is a round 9 years old and they seem to be a bit independent compared to Malaysians of the same age group. There was no chaperon on the train as they just take care of each other. The elder would oversee the younger and the bigger and stronger would help the little ones. What I saw almost do not exist anymore in Malaysia. It was like watching the 60’s and 70’s where school children just walked or rode to school on their own. I have a friend who actually walked through forest and plantation in the dark early morning to go to school. Most of us were very independent and learnt to take care of ourselves very early. Today most of our kids are driven and sent to school. It is not their fault either. As parents the thought of letting them to go on their own is something we could not accept despite our own experience. This happen, I think, due to the complexity of our environment now. As Alex and Dave Bennet say exploding Complexity, increasing Uncertainty, Changes happening all the time and Anxiety. It used to be very simple for us when we grew up. Now parents have to worry about everything especially the safety of their children in the wake of all the crimes and bad influences.

The same thing with organizations, complexity is real and we have to deal with it.

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