Saturday, May 28, 2011
Till the Finish LineI've come to realize that we all are endowed with some gifts in life while restricted and challenged by the missing pieces.
In other words, the playing field could be more equal than we thought. And it's all about how we are going to go out and make up for the un-endowed gifts that we don't have by finding the right people who could complement for what you don't have yet together work as a strong team with aligned passion, dreams, and visions.
My endowed gifts come from my academic pedigree that runs deep in the family. After getting my Ph.D. degree last summer, it took Mom awhile to get used to receiving phone calls that asked to speak to "Dr. Shaw". I suppose it never occurred to her that her little daughter - forever little in her eyes, of course - could now be given such a title by people who are decades older. Several times she literally told the caller that Dr. Shaw is not in the house, only realizing suddenly - triggered by the puzzling "huh?" on the other side of the phone line - that "Dr. Shaw" by others is who she refers to (and forever will refer to I suppose) as "Mei3 Mei2".
In fact, the academic pedigree runs so deep in my family that ever since I could remember things (shall we make it age 5?), regular dinner conversations at the table consist of topics such as the May Fourth Chinese youths and their dying spirits to save the country; how the KMT lost the civil war to the Communist party and how China could be at a much better place today had the intellectuals not turned themselves leftist. To live up to your talents and gifts for the well-being of the underprivileged was a once-a-week if not once-a-day reminder; and what it means to be a true public "servant" to one's country and society was repeatedly brought up whenever news on TV showed another government official exposed of some corrupt, moral failings.
And the fact that topics of money, savings, real-estate investment, tax reductions, and pension funds were virtually non-existent has become enough of a reason (or excuse?) for me to stay financially ignorant and savings-less today.
"要雪中送炭，不要錦上添花" - "one should offer hot coal to the needed ones in winter snow; there is no need to add more flowers to already pretty ones" - is the family motto that Dad still repeats over and over again every time a phone conversation takes place across international waters.
Recently, Dad even likes to recite the following - "Count your blessings, don't count your misfortune - 99% of the people in the world would still like to trade places with you if they can".
("Wanna bet, dad?" - my immediate rebuttal with respect to the trading places part the first time when I heard that. "8 months without salary?")
Yet even with such great academic pedigree under my belt, I am still far far far from what I'd like to achieve.
To achieve what I want to achieve - to start a school/organization that works towards teaching the right morals, the right etiquette, the right mannerism, or to found a social enterprise/foundation that works towards fostering the liberal arts spirit, exciting the young people's minds, developing an independent soul and heart in them, and stirring up greater passion and compassion for the people around them - all of such grand tasks require way more than just good academic pedigree and credentials.
I still need money - lots and lots of money - as well as credibility, connections, social resources, partners and teammates who believe in the same dream as firmly and as strongly.
Yet after 9 months of starting my first major career move - I've got no money, established little credibility, and spent literally all my time, energy and emotional sanity on fighting off uninvited troubles, unwanted attempts, and unlike-minded people.
So by the end of this very long 9 months, one lesson learned - it's not about how much harder one needs to work, but it's about finding the like-minded people who could make up for the missing pieces that we all inevitably carry with us and help one another walk closer towards that finishing line.
That means, new goal for the next 9 months to come - to search for the like-minded and the kindred spirits.
It is just too lonely to run a marathon alone. And it's too hard to go through life without people who could stand by you not just as cheerleaders but as running companions as well.
ALL THE WAY until the finish line.
梅ちゃん at 3:26:00 PM