Thursday, March 18, 2021

Richness far beyond that of Silver and Gold

During CNY, I went to my mum-in-law home for dinner. My son was offered 3 ice-cream cones, of which he was to choose 1 for himself alone. But he quickly grabbed all three and passed one to my wife, one for me, and one for himself. I wasn't really interested in the ice-cream so I wanted to pass it to another person, but my son took it back and pressed it in my hands. 

It's quite sweet actually that he thought of his family first. It's not the first instance when he did that. There was a time when we went up to take an MRT ride somewhere, and there were only 2 seats left. Usually, I'll just stand, so I told my wife and son to just sit at the two empty seats. They did, but when my son realised that I wasn't seated, he rushed out to grab my hands and pull me towards the seats. This is an indication that I should sit down together. Then he proceeded to squeeze his big butt in between the two of us, lol

Is my son selfish? 

Can't really say so, because usually selfish is reserved for people who think for themselves alone. But is caring only for your immediate family considered selfish behaviour? I will say that it is. But it is less selfish than those who cared for themselves only, obviously. It's just that I think the sense of 'self' should be defined a little broader. What if we treat 'self' to be inclusive of the weak and the defenceless? What if we include all other humans? Other species? The world at large? Some religious texts will say that the self is a self-construct and an illusion - everything is really just one.

I know that is an ideal case, but it's really a good goal to aim for. If he can include his 'selfishness' within his tribe, and we work to enlarge the size of the tribe to include more and more sentient beings, he will be more compassionate and empathetic. That is a far fetched goal but nevertheless a good value to inculcate to the next generation. As parents, I think it's our sacred responsibility to bring up kids that will make the world equal or better after they leave, rather than worse. I understand that as a single child, my son might inherit some characteristics associated with that status, like selfishness, self-centred, entitled etc. I'm quite determined not to make that happen.

If my son grows up well and becomes a positive contribution to the world, that will be a richness far richer than that of gold and silver. Live long and prosper.


CreateWealth8888 said...

Read? One Uncommon Act Of Kindness! (6)

la papillion said...

Hi bro8888,

Haha, next time maybe my son will give up seat for others too :)

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