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Mayor Attends Coming-of-age Ceremony

On November 21, Mayor Ko Wen-je attended the coming-of-age ceremony for young men and women at Taipei Confucius Temple.
During his address, the mayor encouraged the group of 18-year-old participants to hold on to their “victory-seeking genes.” While they may appear to own nothing, they are not bounded by past experiences and have much more space to exercise their potentials.
Citing his own experience as an example, Ko noted that he moved from a newbie in politics to become the mayor of Taipei City. According to the mayor, sometimes having nothing could be an advantage by itself. Starting out with nothing means that one has no burden and is not bounded by past experience, allowing one to try out different approaches. “Innovation is a duty of the disadvantaged,” remarked Ko.
Ko noted that opinion surveys conducted during the initial phase of the mayoral election indicated that his public support was only half of his rival’s. Unless he came up with an unconventional strategy, there wasn’t much possibility to win the race. He hopes that the young men and women in the audience will find an opportunity to travel abroad and contemplate about what they can mimic or learn. After all, Taiwan is not the most advanced nation in the world, and there is still much to learn.
The mayor also recalled his cycling journey from Taipei to Hsinchu last week. With the exception of professional cyclists, the first two hours of the trip will be a challenge to one’s stamina, while the remaining time will be a contest of will. He asked the audience to think about whether they have the desire to win. Citing the long and dangerous voyage of ancestors crossing the Taiwan Strait, he lamented that today we have lost the spirit of a seafaring nation. Ko hopes that the people will pick up their courage again and explore the uncharted future.
He concluded his speech with the following quote: “Right now, you’re what you do. Be yourself.”