May 22, 2012

A baker, a tailor, a cook and a mechanic … are they any less respected?

I am sure all parents out there are always looking out for the most suitable (if not the best) education program for their kids … and as the kids grow, the cost of education increases … a lot. I want to ask … how much do you need for your kid’s higher education? Let’s not talk about those whose kids are offered scholarships and subsidies … let’s talk about the vast majority of those who have to dig into their own pockets.

Someone told me just recently that I have to set aside half a million dollars for each of my kid’s higher education. According to the person, by the time my kids go to college or university … for a 5-year degree program, the cost will be around one hundred thousand dollars a year … taking in consideration the course fees, books, food, accommodation, transport and other costs … and that is just to study at a local affiliated college or university. And if I want to send my kids for a short stint overseas … it will probably cost a hundred thousand more. That person said to me … “This is a must for a good tertiary education to open doors for better careers for your kids in the future”.

 WHAT??? If that is the case, my kids are doomed … why? I just don’t have a million dollars for both of them … so, without that kind of money for a good higher education, are they going to end up in the lower end of the society? If that is the case, so will a lot of other kids whose parents too cannot afford to fork out half a million dollars for a degree. Seriously, I want to ask … how many parents out there have this kind of money?

No, you don’t have to spend half a million for each of your kid’s tertiary education … doesn’t mean you don’t get a good tertiary education if you don’t have so much money. I agree that the cost of education is high but there are many choices … depending on what you can afford based on what you think your kids can achieve. There are many good education institutions out there offering good programs that cost a lot less … only that these institutions are not those so called “well known” education organizations. But make no mistakes … though these institutions are not the “big names”, they by no means offered any less in terms of professionalism and quality of the programs they provided.

Many parents, due to financial constraints or other reasons simply cannot allow higher academic education for their children … so, the next best thing is vocational training courses. There is nothing wrong with that … and the cost is definitely very much affordable. This doesn’t mean that their kids are going to grow up a lesser person.

Now, if you have the money, get the best for your kids … send them to the best international colleges or universities in UK. Canada, Australia or USA (I would if I have the money). Definitely it will give them a much better exposure and strong platform to obtain their tertiary education. Really, I am happy for your kids … they are so lucky to have parents like you.

YES, I agree that studying professional fields like medicine, dentistry or law (and maybe some that I have not heard of yet) will cost an arm and a leg. YES, many want their children to be doctors, lawyers, psychiatrists and the likes. But what about those who simply don’t have the big money to spend on their children’s higher education … their children probably end up being a baker, a tailor, a cook or a mechanic … so, are they going to be any less respected? I DON’T THINK SO!

May 05, 2012

Your beliefs don’t make you a better person …

What do you believe and what are your beliefs based on? People have their own reasoning for their beliefs ... many based on common logic, others applied their very own logic and some just don’t need any logic at all … they just believe.

I hear people say that life is fated … they believed everything in life is fixed. Sorry, I am not convinced … I don’t believe in fate at all. Why? I put it this way … in the ancient days when farmers planted their crops, whether it was going to be a good harvest or a bad disaster … they believe it was fated. Of course with today’s scientific information of the weather, knowledge of land cultivation and the understanding of pest control, we all know that farming have absolutely nothing to do with fate. But if people now don’t believe that fate will affect the crops … why do these same people believed that fate will affect their lives? Now, where is the logic?
Anyway, I am not here to tell you that you must accept what I said. If you believe your life is fated, I am sure you have your own logic in doing so. For me, believing in fate is as good as believing the email I received from the Interior Minister of Botswana who is going wire twelve million sterling pounds into my account as soon as I give him my banking details.

People ask me if I believe in god. I don’t … I cannot accept the logic of creationism. Then they say “But you believe in aliens”. YES, I believe in aliens and I am a big fan of ‘Ancient Aliens’ … I share the same thoughts as those in this TV series who believed that aliens visited us in the past. I know many will say it is absolutely crazy to think that aliens existed. My logic may not apply to them … they may not believe in aliens for the same reasons that I don’t believe in god … there is nothing wrong with that. Let's move on.

Then I want to ask ... will you burn your money? WHAT??? YES, I am asking if you will literally burn (light it up with fire) your money. You think I am crazy, right? Any sound person will not burn their hard earned cash … it is not right. But then to some people, if they use their hard earned money to buy fake money and then burn it … it is absolutely OK! What do I mean? Look at what people do during ‘Qing Ming’ (the Tomb Sweeping Day observed by the Chinese), you see them doing exactly what I just said … use their hard earned money to buy tons of fake money (the ‘hell notes’ as they call it) and burn it believing that their dead loved ones will receive the burnt hell notes in the netherworld and live a luxurious afterlife. Make sense? Sorry, to me it makes no sense. 

OK, we can argue until the cow comes home on what make sense and what don’t … really it is not about what you believe in or what I don’t … please don’t be bothered if I don’t share your beliefs and logic. I am not at all bothered if you choose to believe that there is an invisible being up there who created and controls everything in the universe. You do your thing, I do mine ... life goes on.

But let me say this … whatever your logic is, one cannot say yours is right and whatever your beliefs are, one cannot say yours are better.  But the problem is … there are people who simply cannot accept that others don’t share their beliefs and very often they insist that they are right and they are better. Please understand this … your beliefs don’t make you right, your beliefs don’t make you a better person … your behavior does.