About the Wiser Next Week Series: These entries will involve posting my book, Wiser Next Week, chapter by chapter, freely available to the public. Additionally, I’ll be recounting a story about something I’ve learned based on the chapter’s topic since the months that have past when the book was published in December 2018.
Disclaimer: I lack the age and the wisdom to be a good father as of this writing. So instead I will write in the context of a surrogate older brother.
A Humanless Experience
I look back to my time in Reno as an accountant and it seems like a fundamentally empty experience in many ways. I learned a lot about bookkeeping and the analysis of financial statements, but not much more then that.
My speculations lead me to conclude this is because entering the work force is a natural transition from school which most people do, just as going from middle to high school is a natural switch. Based on this fact it is only rational that the bar is lowered so that those that are below the mean can keep up.
This is similar to how a fleet sails at the pace of the slowest ship. That’s all well and good for most, but for the high flyers, their potential is held back and limited. And this doesn’t always refer to high intelligence, it also applies to:
- The hardest working
- People most willing to take chances
- Anyone that strays from the norm
I was a combination of these, but outside of wanting to do my own thing, I kept too much to myself and never tried to connect on a personal level with the office staff there. And the few times I did I found out value systems were too different to connect on more then just a personal level.
You Get A Proportional Amount of What You Put In
Contrast that with my teaching experience on Thailand. I had a lot of free reign to experiment with different techniques. And express my weirdness while occasionally being checked by higher ups when my rocking the boat was a little (a lot) too much risked topping said boat over (maybe yellow food coloring infused water inside my water guns and chasing the boys around the halls with it was too much).
Really by the end of the first semester, I recognized I had the opportunity to do something special. I thought back to my own schooling years and remembered my favorite teacher, Mr. Pau, my 6th grade Chinese teacher. I struggled learning a foreign language so much growing up. That was more then 10 years ago.
Now I was the foreign language teacher. If I did right by them I could be remembered as the “Mr. Pau” in many of these kids hearts 10 years after my year with them. Now I know I was no father to them, I lacked the age and the wisdom of a good father. I was a surrogate older brother to them at most, but the concept remains the same:
If you do right by them, they will provide a sense of continuity and meaning as you approach the end of life.
I did more then just crunch numbers behind a computer, which is of tertiary importance. I worked directly with youth, future of our world. And now that I have left them and can do precious little more to help them, the fact that I touched their lives and that it will effect them after I’m gone, however little, that passing of the torch…
Here is the “On Parenting“ chapter of Wiser Next Week. Take it and implement it into your own life.