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Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Touching Email Someone Sent

One young academically excellent person went to apply for a managerial position in a big company. He passed the first interview. The director who did the last interview, made the final decision. The director discovered from the CV that the youth's academic achievements were excellent all the way, from the secondary school until the postgraduate research. There was never a year when he did not score.

The director asked, "Did you obtain any scholarships in school?" The youth answered "none". The director asked, " Was it your father who paid for your school fees?" The youth answered, "My father passed away when I was one year old. It was my mother who paid for my school fees." The director asked, " Where did your mother work?" The youth answered, "My mother worked as a clothes cleaner. The director requested the youth to show his hands. The youth showed a pair of hands that were smooth and perfect. The director asked, " Have you ever helped your mother wash clothes before?" The youth answered, "Never, my mother always wanted me to study and read more books. Furthermore, my mother can wash clothes faster than me." The director said, "I have a request. When you go back today, go and rub oil on your mother's hands. Come back and see me tomorrow in the morning."

The youth felt that his chance of landing the job was high. When he went back, he happily requested his mother to let him rub oil onto her hands. His mother felt strange, but with mixed feelings, she showed her hands to her son. The youth cleaned his mother's hands slowly. For the first time he noticed that his mother's hands had no fingerprints. Years of soaking her hands in soap water had worn away the whorls on every finger, that serve to distinguish each of us, one from the other. Years of toil and erased her very identity so that her child could have a stronger identity for himself.

Then he noticed that his mother's hands lacked 2 fingernails. These had been removed as a result of chronic nail infections. Yet, the woman had persisted in her profession. Washing clothes was the only thing she knew how to do. And her son needed her lifetime's labour to start him off right in his own life.

That night, mother and son talked for a very long time. Next morning, the youth went to the director's office. The Director noticed the tears in the youth's eyes and asked, " Can you tell me what you did and learned yesterday in your house face to face with your mother's hands?" The youth said, Number 1, I know now the meaning of appreciation. Without my mother, I would not be whom I am. Number 2, I now realize that I carry in me the investment of an entire lifetime's suffering and pain, and I am humbled beyond belief. Number 3, I have come to appreciate the importance and value of supportive and nourishing family relationships.

The director said, " This is what I am looking for in my new manager. I want to recruit a person who can appreciate the help of others, a person who knows the sufferings of others, and a person who would not put money as his only goal in life. Son, you are hired." Later on, this young person worked very hard, and received the respect of his subordinates. Every employee worked diligently and as a team. The company's performance improved tremendously.

A child, who has been over protected and habitually given whatever he or she wanted, would develop the entitlement mentality and would always put himself first. He would be ignorant of his parent's efforts. When he starts work, he assumes that every person must listen to him, and when he becomes a manager, he would never know the sufferings of his employees and would always blame others. This kind of person, may be good academically and may be successful for a while, but eventually would never feel any sense of achievement nor contentment. He will grumble and be full of hatred and fight for more.

As loving parents, are we really showing love or are we sacrificing our children's souls on the hungry altar of academic excellence? We can allow our children to live in a big house, eat good meals, learn music and watch a big screen TV. But when your gardener mows the lawn, let your child experience it. After a meal, let him wash his plates and bowls together with his brothers and sisters. It is not because you do not have money to hire a maid, but it is because you want to love him in the right way. You want him to understand, no matter how rich his parents are, one day the world will no longer exist to pander to them, but that they must exist to help others.


Open Kitchen Concept said...

I love this story!

Wen-ai said...

This story is so true... I hope more parents realise this!

Blur Ting said...

Thanks for the story, and the precious lesson.

Singapore Wing Tsun Training Centre said...

I totally love this, and agree that life should be like this, but unfortunately, too often this is not the case. I've grown cynical in my old age...

Malar said...

I have read this story somewhere before! Nevertheless it's a very good story!