Trouble in Hong Kong…

an outsider's perspective of hong kong


with 5 comments

very recently i went to visit my friend who has a young baby i couldn’t help but notice how she had the entire house baby-proof and make it a safe environment for her 16 month baby.

i can’t help but to think – do we in general try too hard to protect our kids and attempt to create a false, presumably safe environment for them?

i think we do.

not to long ago, i had a girlfriend who told me why she had opted to leave her husband.

her husband is the only son in the family along with two other sisters. he grew up in an environment whereby his parents especially his mother did everything for him. she made all the decisions for him including where he went to school, what he studied and when he came out of university. she bought him a house, a car and when their daughter was born, his parents gladly upgraded them to a bigger apartment. when the financial tsunami came, he was made redundant and became a broken man. he took two years off to do his masters while attempting ” to figure out his life”.

the reason why my friend chose to leave him was not because he was out of a job it was because he defaulted on his responsibility to be a father and a husband.

the story of this man is common one of this generation.

i don’t like what we have become. i don’t like how we try and make the world seem like a safe place and how risks could be calculated and explained. if we examined the world as a jungle, we know that at every point, our life is at peril because of its predatory natural state. why do we falsely think that we could protect our children? we can’t make them live in a bubble.

i listen to people all the time and i ask them things that make them unhappy about life and about their jobs. it’s always the same thing. they don’t like office politics, they don’t like how they are treated at work, they don’t like how they are paid – a lot of times even when you talk to the most educated people, you would be shocked at how they really see the world. they really think that bing bang boom – they deserve the best jobs with the best bosses and the best opportunities to land on their laps just like that. i don’t know what happened along the way, it’s like we got fooled and trapped in this conspiracy thinking that on the day we were born, we would all be living a glorious wonderful life.

if i were a parent, i would want my kids to be able to figure things out on their own. i think that i would want to try and do everything i could for them but the fact is, we won’t know how strong we truly are until we are tested. i like to think that people do not have thresholds because the best of us are made out of hardship and desperation. i would want my kids to be the best versions of themselves and that they need the only option they have at life is to work hard at finding solutions. if i were a parent, the best thing i think i could do for my kids is make them aware that their best chance at life is awareness and managing pain the right but hard way.


Written by smalltroubleinhk

June 11, 2011 at 2:57 pm

5 Responses

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  1. You’re very observant. Same old, same old countless of times in my experience too. It’s purely my own observation (in HK as well as elsewhere), but I sense a pattern: seems to me that the more academically bright and academically minded tend to end up with the kind of life story you described. It’s a pattern that’s hard to miss if we’re paying enough attention.

    I should think my grandma put it well: it’s mothers who with the best of intentions provide the best in life for their children but forgot to leave some legroom for the kids to make mistakes. Only through mistakes (making bad judgments) could we make better judgments. Like practically all Chinese around the world, we tend to live off model answers (both in education as well as in the business of life) – never giving or getting the chance to (as grandpa said): “Question your answer.” We know how to answer Life and provide answers for our kids about Life – but we invariably never question the answers.

    Let me recount a quick story before I’m tempted to steal your thunder on your own blogsite. Boy, only child, gets born. Mother brings him up, doting on him day and night. Makes decisions for him. Does almost everything for him. Over time, boy becomes accustomed to the ‘service’ (for want of a better word) and comes to rely on it. In the fullness of time, boy becomes a man, has to go out into the real world, to fend for himself, to court and get (what is actually) a mother of his own kids. Man-boy runs into walls, confused, turns back on family, consternation ensues, self-doubt follows. Why? “He’s never had his back against the wall, that’s why!” (Grandpa’s words). NB: Boy was NOT me, although I’m also an only child.

    NEVER HAD ONE’S BACK AGAINST THE WALL. “If your back has never been against the wall, one fine day, it’ll be your head against it.” – Grandpa.

    Trivia: Grandpa was a bit of a naughty boy, and had this ditty to follow: “Humpty-Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty-Dumpty saw YOU smash to pieces against the wall. Humpty-Dumpty laughed so much that he pretended to fall off a wall. And all the King’s men couldn’t BE BOTHERED to put the pieces back together. Hahaha.”

    Thank you for allowing my twopence here. (Hehehehe)


    June 11, 2011 at 4:21 pm

  2. I think you will be an awesome parent. 🙂


    June 15, 2011 at 1:56 pm

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