半途而废


Last week in the car, Andreas confessed he feels very relieved that he has quitted piano. Why, because now he is not at the receiving end of any nagging, unlike Ivan, whom Andreas knows I’m very unhappy (daily!!) with because Ivan has failed to practise regularly for his grade 8 exams which is coming soon. I’m unhappy because money aside ($500+ for exam fees, plus monthly lessons), examination text would change next year and he would be even busier with A’levels, so this exams is very crucial in a sense. I suspect Ivan is just waiting for me to give him the go ahead to quit too.
 
The conversation started when Andreas requested for his parents to pay for a course for him. I told him he would have to pay out of his own pocket for any other ECA courses he is attending, including driving lessons. After investing so much for his piano lessons and that he has now quitted, I’m not going to waste anymore money. He should appreciate the fact that his mother paid for her own driving lessons while at NUS, from money earned through part time work. He is lucky we pay everything for him.
 
That’s because I have no interest in piano, he protested.
 
How many people have the opportunity to learn piano? Many adults I know regret the fact that they were not given the opportunity to learn any musical instruments by their parents when young. Even if his interest has waned, I feel it is a waste to not complete at least the grade 8. Perhaps it’s a little premature to ask Andreas if that’s the message he hopes to leave his future kids. No interest anymore? OK, just give up. But nevertheless I wanted him to consider things from his parents’ point of view.
 
In the story of Great Chinese philisopher, Mensius – 孟母三迁, Mensius’ mother moved three times just to give Mensius the best environment for education, only to learn one day that he had played truent. In anger, she took a pair of scissors to cut the almost completed cloth she was weaving. To her, a half woven cloth is as useless as an incomplete education. This lesson taught Mensius to always to strive hard and complete what he has started out to learn.
 
Perhaps my kids can also learn this lesson.
 
 
孟母三迁

孟子,三岁时父亲去世,由母亲一手抚养长大。

孟子小时候很贪玩,模仿性很强。他家原来住在坟地附近,他常常玩筑坟墓或学别人哭拜的游戏。母亲认为这样不好,就把家搬到集市附近,孟子又模仿别人做生意和杀猪的游戏。孟母认为这个环境也不好,就把家搬到学堂旁边。孟子就跟着学生们学习礼节和知识。孟母认为这才是孩子应该学习的,心里很高兴,就不再搬家了。这就是历史上著名的“孟母三迁”的故事。

对于孟子的教育,孟母更是重视。除了送他上学外,还督促他学习。有一天,孟子从老师子思那里逃学回家,孟母正在织布,看见孟子逃学,非常生气,拿起一把剪刀,就把织布机上的布匹割断了。孟子看了很惶恐,跪在地上请问原因。孟母责备他说:“你读书就像我织布一样。织布要一线一线地连成一寸,再连成一尺,再连成一丈、一匹,织完后才是有用的东西。学问也必须靠日积月累,不分昼夜勤求而来的。你如果偷懒,不好好读书,半途而废,就像这段被割断的布匹一样变成了没有用的东西。”

孟子听了母亲的教诲,深感惭愧。从此以后专心读书,发愤用功,身体力行、实践圣人的教诲,终于成为一代大儒,被后人称为“亚圣”。

 
 
 
Advertisements

About vickychong

Just an ordinary woman.
This entry was posted in Family. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to 半途而废

  1. Nabueh says:

    When you put what 孟母 did in today’s context (culture, cost, etc), she discovered his talent when he imitated the professional mourners, she sacrifice the comfort of a lively town/city with a vibrant market (which also means opportunity for earning money) and lastly, she awaken her son by slashing a few month’s work when he skipped classes. That’s like asking me to quit my job (give my house away), go work for $7 or less an hour and take the bus, live in a small rental apartment and sometimes have nothing to eat just to tell my daughter her consequence when she choose not to be educated. The making of a 圣人, is not just "talking". In cowboy’s term, not only did she "talks the talk", she "walks the walk". How else can "一举" (one movement) "惊醒梦中人"(Cantonese)?

  2. Vicky says:

    孟母did not quit her job. She just destroyed one of her work to illustrate a point. You need not quit your job, but just destroy one thesis/paper, that is if you want to raise a 圣人 out of Amanda. But I’m sure Amanda is a wise girl and does not need you to proove anything to her.

  3. Nabueh says:

    Aiyoh, 孟母 did not have a job. Her job is to weave cloth. So cutting the weaved cloth is like (a) have less cloth to wear; (b) lose a few months of pay (she sold her weaving for a living) and father died when Mencius was three. So cutting the cloth is a heartache similar to me donating my entire bank account and house. A sage will understand that, even at a tender schooling age. But my daughter is not a sage (一代大儒), lah. I think she only want to be a good dancer, I encouraged that. Last week, we bought the piano and she thought maybe she wants to be both a pianist and a ballerina.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s