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Shoes for the journey
Conversations with my granddaughter
Dr Alex Tang
Hello little one,
Grampa is very proud of the way you are walking now. We are all amazed that over a few days, you have progressed from a few hesitant steps to walking confidently with exceptional balance. Now that you are walking, we have bought you new shoes to protect your little feet. Floors are not always smooth. There are floors that are uneven and even have sharp things that can hurt you. That is why you need shoes, especially now you are venturing outside the house.
Little one, you will notice that there are two shoes. That is because you have two feet. No, they are not the same, so the shoes are not the same. Now you understand why the big people always get excited when you put the ‘wrong’ shoe on the ‘wrong’ foot. I know, little one, two wrongs do not make a wong, I mean a right. See. Grampa is also getting confused.
In this journey called life, you will also need shoes as there will be a lot of walking. I know you are just one year old but it is important that you learn early about your shoes. One shoe is called ‘resourceful’. Little one, you will soon observe that many big people, when faced with new challenges, or need to do something useful will often say that they cannot do it because they do not have the resources. These resources may be time, money, people, skills, government grants, and hundreds of other things which is needed but not available. So these big people spent most of their time doing nothing but lamenting the lack of ‘resources’. What they do not realize is that it is not actually the resources but the resourcefulness that they lack. That is why one of your shoe is called resourceful.
Being resourceful is doing what needs to be done using whatever is available. If life throws you a lemon, not only make lemonade but bottle and franchise it! Do you know your great-Grampa (Grampa’s Daddy) had only a few months of schooling because his family was too poor? Great-grampa taught himself to read by using a newspaper and a dictionary. He taught himself to read and write Mandarin and English. Then he taught himself mechanical and electrical engineering. Grampa still remember being fascinated by his Daddy’s books with its funny circuit diagrams. Great-grampa could have remained illiterate because he had no resources. Yes, he has no resources but he is resourceful. At 85 years old, he is still resourceful. He built himself a gym system using pieces of wood, and a koi pond in his garden by digging a wide trench,
lined it with plastic and filled it with water. The koi are happy.
The other shoe is called ‘passionate’. It is call passionate because you must have passion in all that you do. Passion is an emotion. And emotions may be powerful driving forces. Little one, you will soon notice that many big people are driven by their emotions. Some of these emotions are anger, envy, hatred, lust, greed and bitterness. However there is one more emotion and it is more powerful than all the other emotions. This emotion is love. Grampa hopes that this will be the emotion that drives you on your journey. Love what you do and do what you love. Sometimes to love is not easy but you must stick with it because in the end it is the only worthwhile emotion. Recently Grampa completed a project which involved doing research and writing a 100 thousand words report. This took over 5 years and 18 drafts! Grampa did not exactly enjoy writing all these drafts. It was exhausting and draining. Grampa almost gave up many times. What made Grampa finish the project is that by completion of it, he can do more to serve God whom he loves very much. Your daddy and Mummy works very hard every day so that they can provide for your needs in every way. You see, little one, love come in many forms, shapes and sizes.
Little one, put on the shoes of ‘resourcefulness’ and ‘passionate’ for your life journey. This journey is not easy with many twist and turns. My prayer for you, little one, is that during your journey whenever you meet obstacles you will be resourceful. I also pray that you will be passionate in all that you do.
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