May 11, 2006

Sorry, but you will have to take it.

Posted in Personal Development at 10:23 am by joeychan

I am pretty sure a lot of us have been through this: “Mum is so annoying. You know what, I swear that I am never ever going to treat my own child like how she treats me!” Or, “Dad’s habit is so irritaing and stupid that I will never ever want to follow his pattern in my life!”

……

But “unfortunately”, the older we get, the more we find ourselves resemble our parents. Be it our expressions, gestures, wordings, attitude and values…we just seem to be cursed and it doesn’t seem like there is a chance that we can get away from it. Why is it? CAN ANYONE TELL US WHY??

Well, yes. Some people blame it on genes. Yes, genes do play a role. But what actually plays the trick were the things that happened to us during our early childhood years from between 0 to 10 years old. The people who took care of us taught us most of our habits now- “What are you talking about?? I don’t remember anyone teaching me these habits!” And that’s the worst part of all. You’er right. Sometimes we learn by memorizing, like Chinese History and Economics formulae. They go into our left brain and they do not stay well and intact for long.  Short-term memories are good for exams and papers and will fade out from our memory as time goes by. But things that happen around us repeatedly for a long period of time, especially during times when we are relaxed like how we are at home, go into our right brain. They form our intuition, habit and subconcious. We may not even remember how we learned them but, sorry to say, we absorbed them completely like how a sponge absorbs water. I always love to describe these scenarios with the Chinese phrase: “kan zhai yien li”. If you have a dad who loves singing when driving, you may find yourself, one day, humming your favourite tune on the bus without awaring how other people are already looking at you with weird expressions; if you have a mum who is used to talking of others’ wrong doings, you may find yourself often drowned in conversations of the same nature. You may not have the slightest clue why you are doing it or what is causing it. You may not even think it matters, but, whether we want it or not, our subconcious is here to rule our behaviour before we even realize, and not to mention, control it.

However, there do are exceptions. Me and you are bound to know some mother who is obsessed with playing mahjong but has a son who hates the game and everything that has to do with gambling. In such cases, the parent’s behaviour gave the child such nightmares and overwhelmed the child so much that it had reached the child’s right brain in the form of: “I hate mahjong. I hate mahjong. I hate mahjong. Mahjong players are losers. Mahjong player are losers. Mahjong players are losers.” which formed a strong value in the child’s mind. If the child grows into an adult who lives his life on firm principles, it may occur to this man who suffered from mahjong shuffling sounds over long periods of time that he will never want to touch a single mahjong tile even with his toe nail. However, if, in some point of his life, he is introduced to the art of mahjong by a loved one, he will “miraculously” pick up and master the game faster than anyone else!

The conclusion is, if we want our child to behave exactly the same like we do, we should just go ahead and stick with whatever we’re having and doing now, including our little habits, attitude and values. Otherwise, we may want to think about changing,improving, or at least, hiding some parts of ourselves- any part of us which you don’t want to pass on to generations and generations to come.

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