Wednesday, 7 April 2010

If you think you are better and smarter than your parents

Midway through my teens, I had this belief. At that time, I strongly believed that my parents were very blessed to have me as a son. It was a very proud mentality, not exactly a good thing.

My parents were illiterate. I was told that my dad kept failing when he was in school while my Mom never got to school at all. And, they do not know how to play any musical instruments or engage in any sporting activities. Worse, they seem to be very simple minded and have a vision for the future.

I have always been doing quite well in my studies while in primary school. Midway though my secondary school and having joined Boys’ Brigade, I found myself somewhat thriving in studies, picking up music, dancing, singing and playing sports at a reasonable level.

Hence, I can’t help but compare myself to my parents. It got me thinking, and pride took over me. Worse, my foolish pride even prompted me to tell my parents that they must really give thank to God for having a son like me for I excel in so many things and they didn’t.

I was wrong…

My Mom came to KL for an arranged marriage with my dad knowing only the Hokkien dialect. Her cooking knowledge was limited. But she picked up Cantonese at a rapid rate. Her cooking improved tremendously and for a good 5 – 8 years before she passed away, she was able to speak, read and write Mandarin. She did all that, without any classes or tutors.

How many of us can do that? Have you heard of “bananas” who just insist that they will never be able to pick up any Chinese dialect?

The writings were on the wall. My Mom had incredible learning abilities. Given the opportunity to take up a musical instrument or a sport, I do not doubt she will be able to play them well.

My Dad though, isn’t exactly very academically sound. But I have witnessed him doing rather complex calculations to arrive at materials needed for his tailoring business in a flash. All he needed to do was to remove his specs and stared into this air for a few seconds… voila, the calculation was done. Similar to my Mom, he didn’t have any formal education. Also, my Dad is quite a singer.

Putting all the pieces into the puzzle made me realise I was never the wonderful gift from heaven whom I thought I was. Not to say I have wonderful genes, but the portion of good genes I have did magically appeared from thin air, they were all from my parents.

The only difference is that I was given the opportunity to utilise whatever genetic ability that I inherited from my parents (though I had to
lie to do some). I was in the better environment and had the right platform to achieve it.

My parents though, were not so fortunate. They were poor when they were young. They never had the time, and certainly did not have the money to do what I did when I was young. Their lives were limited by the evil human creation called “money”.

So the next time you think you are better and smarter than your parents, think again.


1 year ago…
Losing the migration bluesIt’s not corruptionMost disheartening

2 years ago…
Of alone and lonely

3 years ago… Find the buck over the weekend

21 comments:

Terra Shield said...

An excellent point. If they had the opportunities we had while growing up, they'd have excelled.

~*MiNDy*~ said...

Yup.. good point you got there. =) Thx for the post. If not for our parents, we will not become the person we are today..

day-dreamer said...

Honestly I never thought like that before. I always thought my parents were damn smart despite none of them had tertiary education. What they can see for us, their children are simply amazing. Which is why I am thankful for being their kid, not the other way round, although sometimes I tell my mum, "You should be thankful of us leh..." (because I see other kids like my neighbours' are worse than hers, but I always end it with "because you all bring us up this way lor..."). Haha.

Zurin said...

:) very touching..

Swee Ping said...

i never think im better than my parents cos my parents excel in their own way through hardships to where they are now and i don't think i could have do the same if it is me.

my dad left school at young age but went to night school to learn bit of english and continue learning till today. he even asked us whats the word etc if he doesnt understand it. yeah, to many, his english is off but nevertheless he can managed a decent communication even with a foreigner. all through self-learning.

and my dad even asked us to teach him to use the computer in the recent years. same goes for my mom.

'Bananas' who said they cant learn chinese, i wonder if they actually take the initiative to learn, cos im 'banana' too but managed to pick up Mandarin through self-learning. i guess, its all about the will of the person? just my 2cent.

~aSstHa~ said...

on contary... i look down on my aunts... not my mom... although she tends to annoy me sometimes... n i have a better life today bcos of her... :)

missironic said...

Never have I tot my parents are smarter than me. Yes, there may be certain areas where I can think better than them and more articulate than them, but tat doesn't prove im smarter than them. Although they may have lack in the learning skills (due to the olden days period), they have their own credibilities that I myself, don't have that. Like I did laff at my mum for her poor BM (we always tease each other :P), but her English is much better than me! We still can learn frm our parents, regardless how grown up we are. :)

Btw, although I'm a banana,I'm still learning the chinese language - Mandarin & Canto. I know how to read a few words.. :P

Siew said...

Oh, believe me, I don't feel that at all. Although given better opportunities, better education, better everything, I find myself inferior compared to what my parents achieved without anything I have.

Jerine said...

They eat salt more than we eat rice.

sinlady said...

a lot of us are lucky for the opportunities we were given ...

MKL said...

I'm the inside part of the banana, I wasn't born with a peel :P But I also try to learn Mandarin. It's not easy, but I hope I can manage it in a couple of years, like your mum :) I admire her. Mom's are usually awesome, I know mine is :)

dblchin said...

that is so true can.

But one thing for sure, I'm definitely much more fashionable then them! lol~!

eiling lim said...

if academics results were a measure, many idiots can be smart too.

zewt said...

Terra Shield - absolutely. we should be glad.

~Mindy~ - yeah, that is a point we should never forget.

day-dreamer - hahaha... yeah, we behave so well and yet our parents still call us sui-jai-bao... :P

Zurin - hello there... thanks :

Swee Ping - no more lazy worm? :) you dad didnt lose the desire to learn, and that is incredible. if you can pick up mandarin, you are definitely not a banana.

zewt said...

aSstHa - what's with your aunt?

missironic - then you are not a fully banana. yeah, we can always learn from our parents. but i think there are some things we can teach them, no?

Siew - in terms of achievement, i think it's easier to achieve things then because there werent many competitions. it's much more different now.

Jerine - that's just a saying ler, not applicable all the time.

sinlady - and we shold be glad.

MKL - you will put a lot of ppl here to shame man :)

dblchin - hello there, welcome. hahaha... well, perhaps your parents were already fashionable in their times?

eiling lim - yeah, just like there are so many smart SPM leavers... :P

Anonymous said...

brilliant :)

Anonymous said...

Brilliant:)

jam said...

You are right! All of us possess wonderful gifts from our parents.

Pinknpurplelizard said...

I wouldn't say ppl of today are better than those of yester-years. Different is the word I'd use. I do admire the older generations very much and how they persevered to build a life worthwhile...

My grandfathers had not much of any formal education but have achieved more than any of my generation could ever achieve. Their achievements still benefit many up till today.

Swee Ping said...

keke, its lazymouse :P will be using tht in future likely. guess my parents&grandma's motto are "learn till old" (oh ya, i left bout my grandma, even she takes the initiative to learn how to operate the dvd player - its all bout patience to teach&learn?)

keke, can i say im 'x-banana' then? cant really write though :P

zewt said...

anon @ 8/4 2.26pm - thanks :)

jam - amen to that.

pinknpurplelizard - i think one thing we should learn from ppl from the past... simplicity.

Swee Ping - perhaps the right term... not a full banana? :)