How to comprehend "take on"??
The sentence is quoted form Bill Gates 2007 Harvard Commencement Speech, the original words are " In line with the promise of this age, I want to exhort each of the graduates here to take on an issue - a complex problem, a deep inequity, and become a specialist on it."
If the "take on" here means to undertake, to solve, I will be cofused, because it's not in line with the west culture- No one has the right to require somebody to do something without his/her agree, even the president can not, It's rude if you tell someone what things he/she should do. In Bill Gates' speech, he exhort/advise the graduates to take on the issue, without asking the graduates' will before, how does Bill Gates know the graduates are willing to take on the issue? Isn't it decent by saying this?
But in another word, it's Bill Gates' speech, unlikely mistakes would happen, and that is where puzzles me.
I hope someone of kind heart will give me a proper explanation.