No pain, no gain. What a sad phrase – especially for those who feel like they don’t have any talent. People always say you should work hard to achieve your goals, but how can you do it if you don’t know what your goals are?
This phrase is used by a lot of Hongkongers who don’t realise the harm they cause when they say it. They don’t realise how important it is for a child to know they’re worth something, and that they can do whatever they want and still be loved.
At the moment, it feels like when a child doesn’t perform well in a competition, their parents assume they didn’t prepare well enough for it. Parents should think about the real reason behind a failure like that. What if the child really hates the competition? Can they ever really succeed at something they hate, or will they just remain bad at it?
I hope more people realise how important it is to be allowed to do something you love. Not only are you more likely to succeed at it, you feel good doing what you enjoy. You will feel like you have some worth, and you will enjoy life.
Rachel Bong Tin-yan, St. Paul's Co-educational College
Thanks for your letter Rachel. We are sure a lot of readers will agree with you. It is sad that many parents force their children to compete at things in which they have no interest. It is almost as if the parents are living their lives through their children’s successes or failures.
Have we ever paused to think, though, about how difficult it must be to raise a child today? Parents want their children to have the best chance of success and so they try their very best to make that happen. Maybe this week someone will tell them that the definition of success includes science, so they will force their children to take science lessons. Maybe next week they will find out that music is really important – even if you don’t enjoy it – to developing your ability to do maths. They feel that, if they have the ability to give their children music lessons, they would be terrible parents if they didn’t.
The greatest asset students have is knowing that their teen years won’t last forever. Just because you hate doing something now doesn’t mean you will be forever trapped in the hell-dungeon of your parents’ wishes. Soon enough you will be making your own choices. Keep that bright day in mind, always.