Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wisdom Is More Valuable Than Metaphysics

Early morning Whatsapp message from my I-Ching student, Kaiwen, whom has graduated.

I'm grateful that my teachings have positive effects on my student, whom has hair-tearing experience with his son, while his daughter is all ok.

I encouraged him to find a way with his boy, as long as he's not mentally down or handicapped, he has a chance.

Just find the way via trials and errors.

Teaching others to achieve in metaphysics is very easy, I've been through it.  But imparting wisdom is the more difficult, winding route, and it reaps the best rewards at the end of the day.

Wisdom is lasting, while the metaphysics lives as long as fireworks in the sky.  Beautiful, exhilarating but it doesn't last, and most of the times, meaningless at the end of the day.

"Hello, good morning. Inspired by your recent FB posts, here is something I posted on my Facebook. There were other posts but I won't bore you with them...this one is long enough. Thanks for all your Facebook sharing.

Another parenting post.

Raising a child has much of the same inherent uncertainty found in picking winning stocks.

When my son was younger, I struggled with how to prepare him for a future I could not see yet. It was not only the external environment that was unclear but also his innate abilities. I was not sure what he was good at.

So, I tried a broad, general approach while trying not to dilute my efforts. Academically, I chose to focus on bilingualism to prepare him for the dominance of China, something LKY had long forseen. Also, bilingualism seems to increase general intelligence and mental adaptability. If you can hold at least 2 languages in your head, it suggests a higher capacity.

I also tried abacus and various other brain-improvement skills but the results were lacklustre.

I tried using sports and physical training to prepare him to be resilient and again more adaptable. (I must be Darwinian at heart). So, I exposed him to the sports that I know and also some calisthenics. I soon found out he had no aptitude or inherent talent in my favourite sport, gymnastics, so I moved on. Today I am pleased to report he loves my third favourite sport with a passion.

I was lucky. Within my limited repertoire, there was something for him to find a niche in.

Because I could not see the future, I had to try many things and also choose to not try some things that many parents were doing, like music classes. What guided me was my own understanding of my child - I knew what would turn him off or what I could not make him do. So there was some natural selection at play.

As for his career, coming from a generation whose parents expected their kids to be a "doctor, lawyer, engineer or accountant", I made the decision not to go that way. Instead, I am still working with a broad approach, with equal weight in not just the sciences and humanities, but also investment, trading and business skills.

Along the way, I have also realised it is important for a father to be humble. I cannot know everything so where there are skills I want my son to learn but I am not skilled in, I bring in other experts such as real businessmen to teach him (dastardly dentist, his godfather, you are on call!).

For advanced jungle training in preparation for NS, honesty forces me to admit that Guardsmen are not as proficient in the jungle as Commandos so I have invited my commando friend to help me to train my son at Mandai.

If I had known what I was in for before it all began, I would probably not have had kids. But now that I am already on the road, the journey is most enjoyable albeit arduous."