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Welcome to this week's issue of The Birthday Workbook!

And Happy 55th National Day Singapore!

GE2020 happened a month ago, and saw many lively debates about the parties and issues. Some people were disturbed by what they saw as divisive politics coming from different sides of the political aisle, and were worried about what this might mean for national unity. Dawn Yip, as you will read in her essay, wants us to think about an approach to bridge these divides. 

Before you read the article:
Watch the following video.
Political Polarisation
Discuss the following:
  1. Do the people around you have similar political/social beliefs? If not, what do you disagree about?
  2. Make a note of the social media accounts you follow. Do these accounts agree with your views? 
Now read the following article: 
Read on Today
Consider the following questions:
  1. The writer uses the metaphor of islands to describe a group of individuals who disagree. In what way is this an appropriate metaphor?
  2. Think about the exchanges the author witnessed during the workshop. How did you feel about what happened to the author? Have you experienced something similar to what happened to the writer at the workshop?
  3. Think about arguments that you may have had with your friends and other people around you. Do you remember arguments that were helpful even if they were unpleasant? Why were they helpful?
  4. The writer asks us to think about islands and bridges. She says that "we need to cultivate an explorer's mind - to notice the islands beyond ours, to observe and ask questions about them..." What kinds of islands would you like to explore more? Pick one political perspective you do not agree with and explore it!
  5. The writer argues that "a bridge must be safe enough to walk across." What are these "bridges", and what are some characteristics of good "bridges"? 
  6. The writer also suggests that there should be rules about "bridges," and for the people walking across the bridges. What kinds of rules do you think the writer might be referring to? How might these bridges look like when it comes to serious topics? 
Further reading
Finally, join us for a panel on 11 August with three of this year's Birthday Book writers!

Mission-driven enterprises incorporate social purpose into their for-profit strategy and operations. In the lead up to the launch of this year's Birthday Book on 22 August 2020, Advisory and The Birthday Collective are co-organising Careers for the Common Good, where participants will be able to learn about approaching professional vocations with an applied code of personal ethics and ethos.

This session provides youth with the opportunity to engage directly with experienced and passionate senior professionals working in mission-driven enterprises such as Global Impact Partners and SCENE SHANG!
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