Wednesday, March 02, 2011


The story of a successful young man

One young academically excellent person went to apply for a managerial position in a big company.

He passed the first interview; the director who is the decision maker conducted his last interview.

The director discovered from the CV, that the youth's academic result was excellent all the way, from the secondary school until the postgraduate research, never has a year he did not score.

The director asked, "Did you obtain any scholarship in school?" and the youth answered "None."

The director asked, " Did your father pay for your school fees?" the youth answered, my father passed away when I was one year old, it is my mother who paid for my school fees.

The director asked, "Where did your mother work?" the youth answered, "My mother worked as clothes cleaner." The director requested the youth to show his hand, the youth showed a pair of hand that is smooth and perfect to the director.

The director asked, "Did you ever help your mother wash the 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 help to clean your mother's hand, and then see me tomorrow morning."

The youth felt that his chance of landing the job is high. When he went home, he happily wanted to clean his mother's hand, his mother felt strange, happy but mixed with apprehension; she showed her hand to her son.

The youth cleaned his mother's hand slowly; his tears dropped down as he did that. It was the first time he discovered his mother's hand was so wrinkled, and there are so many bruises in her hand. While cleaning, some bruises caused so much pain his mother's body shivered.

For the first time the youth realized and experienced that it is this pair of hands that washed the clothes everyday to pay for his school fees, the bruises in the mother's hand was the price that the mother paid for his graduation, academic excellence and probably his future.

After finishing the cleaning of his mother's hand, the youth quietly cleaned all remaining clothes for his mother.

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 tear in the youth's eye and asked him "Can you tell me what you have done and learned yesterday in your house?"

The youth answered, "I cleaned my mother's hand, and also finished cleaning all the remaining clothes."

The director asked, "Please tell me how you feel?"

The youth said, "Firstly, I know what is appreciation, without my mother, I would not be so successful today. Secondly, I learned how to work together with my mother, only then I realized how difficult and tough it is to get something done. Thirdly, I know the importance and value of family relationship."

The director said, "This is what I am looking for, I want to recruit a person who can appreciate the help of others, a person who understands the suffering of others to get things done, and a person who would not put money as his only goal in life to be my manager. You are hired!"

Later on, this young person worked very hard and received the respect of his subordinates, every employee working diligently as a team, the company's result improved tremendously.

Reflections and lessons

This story highlights a very important lesson in life – to appreciate and be grateful for the sacrifices of those who have helped to make us what we are today. The most important people who helped to mold our character and shape our life are none other than our parents. All of us owe our successes to them who willingly sacrificed all they had for our well being. All the energy and every cent they had they did not hesitate to spend for our well being. They may not be perfect but are the only ones in the world for whom sacrifice for their children brought joy and satisfaction.

Many of us, especially those who have come from humble beginnings, and are now in positions of comfort should follow the examples of the man in the story to go home and feel the hands of our mother and father. We should go back to look closely at their wrinkled faces and hug their withered bodies that were once full of vigor and vitality. To our surprise we too may be transformed to become better humans who appreciate the sacrifices of others and more concerned for those under our care. We too may be transformed into better children to our ailing and aged parents who are yearning for our love and company.

This story is also a lesson for parents like us who tend to over-protect their children by hiding their troubles from them for fear that may sadden them or affect their performance in school and office. Many of us are better people today because of our humble past when we shared the pain and sufferings of our parents when we were young.

A child who has been protected and habitually given whatever he does, will develop "entitlement mentality" and will always put himself first. He is ignorant of his parent's efforts. When he starts working, he assumes everyone must listen to him, and when he becomes a manager, he will never understand the suffering of his employees and he will always blame others. Such a person can have good results, may be successful for a while, but eventually will not feel a sense of achievement; he will grumble and will be full of hatred and yearn for more. We may not realize our over protectiveness towards our children as we may be doing it out of love like what our own parents might done to us before. However in a world with a totally different environment today our over protective attitude will destroy the child in the long run.

Our children may live in a big houses, eat good meals, watch a big screen TV, use expensive and sophisticated gadgets but when we are cutting grass, washing our cars or doing other household chores we must let them experience them. After a meal, we must let them wash their plates and bowls together with their brothers and sisters. It is not because we do not have money to hire a maid, but it is because we want to love them in a right way.

We must make them understand, no matter how rich we are, one day our hair will grow gray, our bodies wither, our energy drained and finally succumb to some serious illness like the mother of that young man in the story above. This is a hard fact of life that no one can run away from however great we are. The most important thing is for our kids to learn how to appreciate the efforts, experience the difficulties and acquire the ability to work with others to get things done when we are no more there to protect them anymore.

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