Wednesday, September 10, 2014

What would you like to be when you grow up?

Even though the picture of Sakura (from the famous online trio, Ninjagirls) as a grass cutter seems a little too sexy to be true, her latest article had me ponder a bit.

When I was little, I was constantly being 'brainwashed' by my mum to either become a doctor or a lawyer (now doesn't that sound familiar), so much that it seemed like these 2 are the only respectable jobs in the Universe, and the only 2 that will serve as a benchmark to my success as a person and my mum's personal achievement as a parent. And as Sakura mentioned, it's not uncommon to hear parents using cleaners and grass-cutters as a warning to their children if they do not do well in school.

I have posted my fair share of complaints (and praises too) about Thailand on this blog since I came, but I will have to say that after being immersed in the Thai culture for a best part of 5 years, a lot of my perspectives have changed.

I get greeted a warm "Sawadee Krup" by the guards at my condominium, banks, malls whenever they see me.

Ladies of all ages clear plates at food courts with a smile, and toilet cleaners also look just as happy as their counterparts working in nice offices. This bodes well to the end result of their work too, most public toilets in Thailand are extremely clean, even those at petrol kiosks and small eateries.

More than half of my own staff held odd jobs before they joined me, even some of my more senior staff.

I see locals making a good living in ways that would likely be discouraged by most parents in Singapore/Malaysia. Some spend years as waitresses at the same little restaurant, some repair air-conditioners so well that the ended up forming a team of technicians which can serve as many as 6 households at one go, some lose their jobs and find a new lease of life selling grilled pork along the streets. One thing that stands out, is that even if life is tough, they will try to enjoy their work when they are at it.

I have to admit though, in spite of all this, I will not be the proudest parent if Noah ends up spending his life cutting grass and pruning trees (even though I sell brush-cutters and chainsaw parts myself), but I believe that there is beauty in every job, and to excel, you have to try your best and have fun while you are at it.

At the end of the day, 行行出状元, we must give due respect to every profession that adds value to the society.

No job is more important than another, and as long as my children are happy and making a decent living out of whatever they are doing, who am I to complain?


  1. bro...this is a good post!!!! we should let them choose what they want to do as long as it is nothing illegal...

    1. Hello Collin

      Yes, it's easier said than done though, as parents, if we know they are good enough to be lawyers but would rather be a hair stylist, we might feel that it's a pity, but as long as they are happy and become the best they can in what they do, I guess it's good enough.


  2. i guess as parents, we all want the best - or what we perceive to be the best - for our kids. but we must always make sure that we are not imposing our views and creating unreasonable expectations on them. my mentality is, each generation builds upon the fruits of the previous generation. Since we are fortunate enough to be in the generation of relative abundance, we must teach our children to use their fruits for others. the aim of money is not to keep all the wealth in the house for 10 generations. but to get the children to spend a more meaningful life than just toiling for money. but easier said than done!

    1. Hi there, thanks for your comment!

      You gave me a totally new perspective that I have not thought of. Yes, life is not all about money, it's probably more important to become a source of joy and blessing to the people around you, especially the ones who mean the most to you.



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