“Hong Kong was allowed to flounder by those who should have seen the cracks appearing long before these turned into manholes that has seemingly swallowed up an entire city”.
The above was part of a presentation I was making in Melbourne about creating a young entrepreneurs club plus the decline of what was one of the greatest cities in the world, and looking at what might happen next.
No one knows, and Hong Kong will continue though it depends in what guise and whether someone is going to hit a home run out of the ballpark like Robert Redford did in “The Natural”, and instead of shooting out the lights, help switch them back on again.
Some might think this is something not even Mandrake The Magician and Elon Musk can make happen, but Hong Kong has a knack of surprising itself.
Let’s hope this resilience still exists because, gawd knows, there are many who left the city with their bags of ill gotten gains made from “playing the game” taking a perverse delight in enjoying watching from afar what Hong Kong has become today: Nothing to get jiggy about and seemingly no one around to drag it outta the swamp.
Looking back at everything, one thought that keeps recurring is whether there were enough mentors- or more to the point if there even were mentors- to help give the next few generations direction and inspiration?
From personal experience, over the past couple of decades, I have seen the Peter Principle at work. Incompetence has been rewarded with things like titles that once had to be earned, given away like fortune cookies.
When these different groups of incompetence personified are allowed to grow and expand, none of this results in anything more than everything being on formulaic auto glide.
Hong Kong had a brilliant ride back then with everyone thinking that The Longest Cocktail Party would continue.
Of course, nothing lasts forever without constantly looking after the garden and weeding out the deadweight.
Unfortunately, when lost in the mist of being legends in one’s own lunchtimes and not managing things well enough- like bringing in new talent to invigorate and shake things up- everything plateaus out until there emerge bumps in the road and everything gets sidetracked.
This is at the epicentre of what’s had so much go wrong with Hong Kong: “Forget it, Jack, it’s only Chinatown” nonchalance plus poor leadership in way too many areas.
The current government cannot be blamed for everything. It hasn’t helped, but the Fawlty Towers “governance” of Hong Kong has been on shaky ground, especially from the days of Bow Tie Donald, Horse Face Henry and their cronies.
Beneath all the superficial golden times, the middle kingdom of Hong Kong was shaken and stirred and skating on very thin ice ice, baby.
With many doing the maths and looking at their retirement plans, standards were allowed to fall and teamwork fell apart. Self interest set in.
These days, Hong Kong aside, that thing called Happiness is in short supply almost everywhere in the world except for Denmark- if we are to believe polls that tell us that here is The Happiest Country In The World. Maybe.
It’s interesting to think that not that long ago, Hong Kong had weekly and fun entertainment driven Happy Wednesday nights at Happy Valley Racecourse that attracted a young and very international group of regulars.
At the venue Adrenaline, the ‘live’ music was good for what it was, but what made those nights really special were those moments of spontaneity, which lit a chain reaction of real communications without masks and veils and walking on eggshells.
I was reminded of this when a friend recently mentioned missing our weekly conversations at Adrenaline after the races where we, two completely different individuals, covered a wide range of topics and found solutions to problems and spontaneously came up with new ideas.
This wasn’t happening in the click bait world of social media. It was real time interactivity between two people where we accomplished more than any of those pretty useless corporate meetings.
What’s needed is more of this- spontaneity. Without spontaneity, minds are locked down with many ideas imprisoned in some invisible bubble.
Like Django, Hong Kong needs to be unchained.
There’s a need for even one small home run to start the ball rolling. Success breeds success anywhere in the world.
In Hong Kong, it’s about not giving in to “Why bother?” and instead asking, “Why not?”
This is what’s always separated the doers and leaders from the Dunnos and the Sheeples.
This is what’s at least going to kickstart Hong Kong into thinking spontaneously without overthinking things to an inevitable death while taking sips from that half empty glass and always looking to see what’s wrong instead of what’s right.
Dig it, man and change from within so that the new changes that are waiting to be made are coming from the right place that’s waiting to be discovered in the Now.
This is why rules are meant to be broken. Having everything on Repeat doesn’t move anything forward. There’s no spontaneity.