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A clanhouse's misplaced LED lighting

  • Why don't we let young people have their ways so long as they do not veer off from the big direction? Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily

Sin Chew Daily

The LED display at Chen Clan Ancestral Hall has sparked universally negative comments in the cyberspace, with some slamming the building as looking more like a nightclub than a historical ancestral hall.

The ancestral hall's spokesman claims that LED lighting has been designed to bring glamour to the building at night so as to attract tourists. Nevertheless, the opponents argue that such glittering LED lights are a total misfit to the century-old temple.

Given the fact that relics inside the ancestral hall have been meticulously preserved and not destroyed to the least, it is an overstatement to accuse the LED lighting of destroying the historical building. This at most is a matter of artistic perception and I believe this storm in the tea cup should be resolved very soon.

Although different people may have varying aesthetic values, this incident has nevertheless brought out the problem of unprofessional leadership.

As a matter of fact, generation gap is very in existence in today's rapidly changing society, and if we do not try to overcome it, the gap will only get wider by the day. What differs is not just how an individual perceives an object of beauty, but also moral standards and how we deal with people or things.

From what I have observed, there are currently two major leadership styles among local community associations. The first one is paternalism whereby the leaders enforce their beliefs in their subordinates, while the second one sees the leaders governing only the big principles, leaving the details of execution to professional managers.

The drawback of the former is that the leaders may not know everything and will invariably get dislodged from the prevailing society, thus impeding the continued progress of their organizations.

To adopt the second management approach, the leaders must nevertheless have a magnanimous bosom to delegate the power to the most appropriate candidates.

On Chen Clan Ancestral Hall's LED lighting, if the management had allowed individuals well versed with antiquity and artistic / visual effects to take charge, I'm sure the effects would have been very different. The ancestral hall might have hired some specialists to design the lighting plan before they made the decision to put it into implementation.

We need to come to terms with the fact that very few in this world are expert in everything. While we all have our individual strengths and weaknesses, working together will produce more desirable results than going solo.

We are living in an era that is constantly changing, be it in technology, perception towards things and lifestyles. What was best two or three decades ago may not fit into today's world. Those who are reluctant to accept this reality are bound to suffer.

This is particularly relevant for those at the management level. If we do not open up our minds, we will be cut off from the modern society. While business organizations have come to this realization long ago, many clan associations still lag behind in this respect.

The old folks and paternalists are still holding dearly to their old ways of doing things. They not only insist to make their own decisions, but also make sure that others do as per their instructions.

Many clan associations have lamented that young people are shying away from their organizations, but I believe this to a certain extent could have something to do with their moldy leadership styles.

If young professionals are given the space and opportunity to exert their potentials there, naturally more will want to join them. Of course, not all clan associations are stagnant, and we have indeed seen many which are willing to let the young generation leaders take charge of their activities.

While young people may not do things completely up to the expectations of their seniors, why don't we let them have their ways so long as they do not deviate from the big direction?

Our society has never changed this fast before, thanks to the power of social media that allows for the expression of even the slightest opinions. Take the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall's LED lighting incident for example, as soon as the picture was posted on social media sites, negative comments poured in almost instantly. The reactions have been too fast and too overwhelming for the ancestral hall's management to cope.

Things have developed so fast and readily, and we have no way to tell whether this phenomenon is a good thing or a bad one.


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