My youngest son, Aaron, is the only left hander in the family, except for a few cousins. At dinner, his chopsticks would often fight with his neighbouring diner, and if it happened to be his brothers, Aaron would often end up with a scolding from them.
Last Saturday morning while eating his breakfast alone, he asked me suddenly if being a left hander is a privilege. I thought for a moment, and told him, with my newly gained positive wisdom, that I was very happy he thought so. Whether something is a privilege or a burden really depended on how a person views it. An optimist would view it as a previlege, and a pessimist would view it as a burden.
We were interupted by the garbage truck and i rushed out immediately to hand the garbage collectors some hongbaos. Aaron asked me incredulously why i was giving them hongbaos, as he thought it was meant for kids only. I replied, to thank them for their service, and i view it as my privilege to be able to give. Then i asked Aaron, whom he thought was more previleged, the giver or the receiver. Without a moment’s hesitation, he replied, the receiver. Then I pointed out to him, that if that’s the case, he would rather be like the garbage collector and receive, rather than me, who is able to give. Never a person to admit he’s wrong, Aaron replied that he would be both. As a child, to receive more, and as a adult, to give.
I pointed to the piano, and told him that Andreas (my oldest son who is 16), views learning piano as a burden. What about him? Aaron was now very careful with his answer and thought very carefully, before replying yet again, both. I was agitated by his reply. How can it be both a burden and a privilege? Isn’t that contradicting yourself? Finally, he admitted that it was a privilege.
The conversation that followed would be considered as nagging as I pointed out the many privileges that he has been blessed with, and I think Aaron wished he had not started that conversation with me!