Precious Lessons Learnt from Seniors
Respecting people who have experienced life more than ourselves is one of the most important traits in the Chinese culture. And it takes many forms.
You can show respect by giving up seats, trading places in the line, letting them to have your breakfast table (you know, restaurants in downtown), giving discounts, providing better services etc. I want to share some knowledge of our culture because many Chinese behaviors are quite puzzlers to people who haven’t spent much time with Chinese people.
“Respect the elders” must be the words that I have been reminded the most. It’s a beautiful gesture and practice because older people are usually smarter. Not necessarily a bigger book-smart but definitely a much bigger street-smart than you can imagine. The lacking of traditional education due the unfortunate timeline hasn't downgraded the intelligence level of Baby Boomers, instead made them representing the toughest generation of people.
For instance, my dad is a very smart man who can assimilate knowledge like no other man but couldn’t apply to a high school because educational facilities were pretty much torn down at the time. Because of his resiliency and curiousness of the beautiful planet we are living in, he has become one of the most successful people in our entire family, in a very young age.
Befriend with Seniors
Either in life or at work, befriend with the seniors. Listen to their advice, life lessons, conclusions and observe their solutions on solving problems and dismantling social disagreements. With some people, you can learn a lot solely by watching aside. Don’t speak, just watch. Believe me, it’s way more challenging than you think.
Allow me to share a personal story with you:
Back in high school when I used to hustle for some soda money, I made efforts on fixing computers, delivering newspapers and even translating documents. Having a multilingual background finally came to a good use.
As a baby chick in a world of grown up roosters, I didn't understand many essential manners in the business world. Or the world in general. And one of the most vital rules of social interactions are credibility.
My dad got me a job to translate a huge menu for his buddy's Chinese restaurant. Because he knew me more than I did, the first thing he did was to caution me to be thorough with the content and precise with the deadline. Well, as a 15-year-old packed with unlimited confidence and invincibility, I brought neither to the table.
You can predict the end results. Yes, you are right. I was late and didn't deliver proper contents, and that cost me my accountability. Reliability and accountability are very important attributes when it comes to working with other people...which occurs daily. My dad got my back and turned down the deal, and covered the fee in silence. On top of that he paid me for the job saying the money was from his buddy.
Well, in that point you must've been thinking "Such a wonderful dad." or "That over-confident kid didn't deserve the money." or "Why is his dad spoiling his kid like that?" Maybe these questions didn't pop up in your head but sure it happened to me.
Now what were the lessons and wisdom behind the whole story?
Accountability - Despite the fact of me losing accountability, my dad covered for me in hope of rescuing at least a bit of it. He wanted to show respect to the gig provider that no matter what, we accept our fizzle and that we are willing to compensate for any lost time or money. And by we I mean my dad. He made an effort to show me that failing in a task may or may not create problems, but always remember to compensate for mistakes.
If reliability is not in the game, admit the failure and try to fix things up.
Never Brag - After an incident like that, many parents would have scolded their kids to the deepest hell because of the embarrassment and dishonor to the family (and the children themselves). Most of the times parents are worried about the untrustworthiness their children establish for themselves but the expression oftentimes are brought out in a wrong way.
My dad contrariwise, induced the notion into my unconscious imperceptibly. He fabricated a similar job for me but this time with a very tight schedule. In that way, he wanted to test my efficiency on implementation and gave me another chance to proof my abilities to be accountable.
I did in in time but without a payment because he told me about the results of my previous job afterwards. It was surprising, agonizing, fun and intriguing.
These lessons have affected my life and attitude utterly since then and I'm very grateful for my dad for his patience, persistence and exhilaration. There are numbers of other lessons that I have been taught along my adolescence years and I'd love to share them with you...next time because I want to keep you - my beloved readers - breezy and fresh.
Until next time and thank you for reading!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Davie Chen