Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Influence Change, Not Execute Change

I know my student well enough to know that he's not being arrogant in sharing his fathering journey with his hair-tearing son.

In fact, the battle isn't won yet till his legs are in the coffin, he knows this and every parent knows it too. Work and worry on the kids are endless till they die.

Below is what he messaged me....

"The starting point was to let my cousin know how important it is to be... involved in his daughter's life and to remind my wife that her relationship with her son needs more work (she's on the same thread).

But it has become quite cathartic for me, just like how Prof Amy Chua described.

There's this book "Strong Fathers Strong Daughters" that is simply amazing.

Among other fantastic quotes is this: "Love requires work and will. And it has to live in the real world. Real love is gritty".

His strong words on weak parents are not to laugh at others, no. On the contrary, he's saying how trying hard isn't enough when it's your kids involved.

There was a story in US, a father was at the tethers end when his son couldn't kick drugs despite being sent into the rehab a few times.  Eventually, the father took drugs with him, he said, "Son, I don't know how to save you already, I could only go down Hell with you."

It jolted the son out and came utter determination to be drug free.  He checked into rehab with his father, and both came out clean.

In another story, that came from China, a rich father who has the family and business assets of USD$10 million found his son to be addicted to gambling.  He tried many ways to get him out of it in vain.

1 day, he took his son to the casino....

"You know how much family assets we have?"
"USD$10 million, there about."
"I brought everything out today for you.  Lets hit the tables."

In just 24 hours (gamblers are notoriously tenacious), the father sit by his son watching him gamble, losing USD$3 million every 6 hours.  By the time only that USD$100,000 left, the prodigal son broke down.

"I'm sorry, dad!  I'm so so sorry!  I thought I could win everything back!!  I'd never ever gamble again!  I'm so sorry!!  Please forgive me!  I wanna die....Please let me die...."

The father, face in tears, held the man up, "As long as my son is back, I'm ok to be poor again."

He never gamble again and learnt how to do business from his dad.  Together, they grew the family business to USD$30 million in 6 years.

For love, for your kids, trying hard has to exceed your normal threshold, or your optimal point. It's an enduring process, arduous journey, and very likely futile eventually.

But it's your kid, it's your spouse. It's love, you have to do something.

It's easy to give up on your spouse or girl/boyfriend, but your kid, it's your flesh and blood, trying hard for them isn't hard enough. You have to do more than you could ever imagined of your ability.

The trying process is like conquering Tour de France, where some of cyclists rode to the finishing point and sworn at the judges, "Bastards! You all are bastards!"

It was that difficult.

But nothing is as difficult as love.