Children’s grades at school will never be as important as learning how to be grateful and how to behave themselves.
A Chinese proverb says: “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”
So it’s better to teach children the following lessons as opposed to leaving them billions of dollars:
1. Children must learn how to cook. It has nothing to do with serving others. It’s so that when they find themselves on their own, they can take good care of themselves. This teaches independence.
2. Children must learn how to drive. It has nothing to do with one’s status. It’s because when they want to go anywhere, they can go anytime, without considering others’ availability. This teaches them freedom.
3. Children must study at universities, formal universities. It has nothing to do with academic credentials. It’s because they need to have a carefree few years of youth and immerse themselves in an academic atmosphere. Once they have completed their education and had some fun, they are ready to settle down and enter the job market.
4. Children need to learn to dream big and not to limit what they think they can achieve. Big dreams help to make everyone happy, and education is the key. Enriching knowledge will help to broaden horizons.
5. Children must know that you only really need two bowls of water — one for drinking and one for washing. Self-esteem and good conduct does not depend on wealth.
6. Children must remember to never get upset or complain in the face of hardship. Complaining can make loved ones sad and give one’s enemies reason to rejoice. When facing up to hardships with a peaceful heart, one’s loved ones will be ready to help.
7. Children must have good table manners even if it’s only a bowl of rice with sauce. One’s manners should never change no matter what the situation.
8. Children should take a pen and paper when traveling. The scenery will remain the same, but first impressions will never be repeated. The popularity of The Travels of Xu Xiake is not because of the places the author visited, but because he captured his impressions of each place.
9. Children need to have a space to relax in, even if it’s only a few square meters. This allows them to have a place to calm down during conflicts with others. This helps to develop an independent personality.
10. We all need to accumulate knowledge during childhood, and learn from working experiences in adulthood in order to have a balanced life. It’s fine to read about others’ experiences; just make sure that you find your own.
11. Children need to be taught the value of having compassion under all circumstances. Having compassion makes you the luckiest person in the world. Compassion is not wealth or power that cannot follow when one leaves this world; rather it is the knowledge that doing good brings more good into one’s life, while doing evil deeds only leads to more evil.
12. Children must always remember that a smile, elegance,and confidence are the greatest in spiritual wealth. If you have these three qualities, you’ll have the whole world. This is the mark of a noble spirit.
Translated research by Monica Song and Billy Shyu