1 January 2017
Remember my September message on visiting Taiwan? I haven’t finished yet; there was one other episode I wanted to share. I was in Ximending, a popular youngster area and don’t ask me why I was there. Colorful shops, street food stalls were everywhere. Being a glutton, I ate at every other stalls. I saw a 30-year-old man drop his ice cream cone one foot away from a garbage bin in the street. The next scene had my jaw wide open: he picked up the cone and threw it into the bin, that I understood perfectly. Then he took out tissue to clean the pavement, the way that I would wipe clean my own desk. No one was with him, he did not need to impress anyone, and no teachers were there to nag him. He did it out of his moral and civic values and duty as a member in the society.
I couldn’t help but think: who taught him that? That schools and adults, and everyone who crossed his path when he was younger was my answer. He listened, observed, agreed, internalized, and made it become his belief.
Some teachers have been sharing school happenings with parents on every other Wednesday noon. One was about what the parents could do when they were 12, but now their children could not. We concluded that adults have to take full responsibility for children’s incompetence in life: we never let them try, request them to learn, orcommunicate with them in a fashion that they have enough trust in us to think over our advice and walk on the right path on their own. It is always easier to plan for others and expect them to follow well; everything will be in better control and have more effectiveness because adults “know more”.
But if we, teachers and parents, keep babying the young people, they will never outgrow us. They need to outgrow us because they are the ones to right all wrongs for the society in the very near future.
Do the right thing, not the easy thing. Make it your resolution for 2017.