Archives for category: Conversations

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Family gathering yesterday afternoon with my family brought an interesting topic up for discussion. Calvin wanted a one hundred pound note to add to his collection of notes that he has collected since his first experience of flying. My eldest son Cory, chirped……”Why would you want to keep a hundred pound note that is Scottish and has very little value as it is worth very little, plus there is no English hundred pound notes so you are going to be losing a hundred pounds?”………and dad said something very similar.  To a twelve year old who’s hobby is to collect money from all over the world to add to his expanding collection, the value of the notes are not of any interest to him. The value lies in having what he wants to add to his collection. Calvin told me he was missing a hundred pound note from his collection of Scottish and English notes. This is what my family missed from not asking Calvin why he wanted a hundred pound note. Instead, Cory and dad reacted to Calvin’s request from his gran.

This is a great example of how we are and can be easily swayed by others’ opinion of what we are doing with our lives. “Why would you do that, nobody does that?”……..this tends to come up so often around us. It is for that exact reason why we want to do it, because nobody else is doing it.  Why do we want to do what everyone else is doing?  To follow the trend or be in the crowd and to fit in? Or are we too scared of being laughed at and be criticised for doing whatever our heart desires?

I have never ever followed fashion trends. Never ever been into designer labels or had any desire to catch up with the “Jones’s”. I have my own fashion style….which is comfort and practicality. I love to do things that I set my mind to do. I have never ever cared for other’s opinion of what I do and where I go or what I wear. I love and thoroughly enjoy being who I was born to be. I picked this up from my crazy, feisty and inspirational mother.   Yet, there are so many of us, who are so scared to step out of their comfort zone and do what their heart desires to do merely because they are too scared of what others would think or say about what they want to do. They allow this to imprison them and hold them back from what they could do with their lives. They have no passion. They lose themselves to others’ opinion.

be free

I remember having a conservation with a Hong Kong-er about my personal development and how I have learned so many valuable skills from just reading books. They said to me, when I suggested that they read in their spare time, “Nobody reads in Hong Kong!”  I think what they were telling me was “Nobody that I know reads, so I am not going to read, in case they laugh at me!”   Maybe they would have started to read if they had people around them that reads. Who knows?  The fact that nobody around them reads, was their reason for not starting to read. We become the first five people we spend the most time with. I think they are definitely not the kind to start anything new unless their friends did it.

I have taught Calvin to do whatever he wants to do, regardless of others’ opinion because it is his life,  his right and freedom to do whatever he wishes to do. I have taught Calvin that no matter what we do, others’ are always going to have an opinion. As long as he never ever allows the opinion of what others’ say or think about what he does, he is going to be so much happier.

How happy are you with your passions, your hobbies, your desires, your goals, your dreams?  Where are you heading with your life in the next three years?

For parents out there, I strongly suggest that you teach your children to stick with their hobbies, goals, dreams and desires, regardless of what their friends and peers think of what they are doing. Your children need this guidance from you because they are the children of our future. They have a right and the freedom to do whatever they set their little minds on. Never ever discourage your children from whatever it is that they want to do, no matter how silly, stupid or ridiculous it seems to you. It is your children’s choice and the right to do whatever they want. Give them the freedom and encourage them to go forth. Support them and let them have fun with their hobbies, goals, dreams and desires. They shall be so much happier children and it shall pay off. Teach your children that it is quite alright to stand out from the crowd and do whatever they want to do.

Society has more than enough people who expect us to conform to their standards and expectations of us, without our children following this dysfunctional way of life.  Our children has the right and freedom to do whatever they have set their little yet smart minds to do. Freedom to do whatever we want is one of the most powerful and liberating things we could ever give to our children. Let’s all give our children this freedom for happiness!

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I love travelling on public transport because it is the best way to get talking to strangers, anywhere, anytime, any day.

As I was heading into our city centre in the the already packed bus yesterday morning,  I saw a  woman from China whom I have spoken to before, without her youngest son. So I said hello to her and we got chatting.

Now, my first language is Scottish English, second is Cantonese and this woman speaks Mandarin so our conversation was limited as my Mandarin is “half a bucket of water” as we describe it in Cantonese. Yet I was bold enough in chatting to this woman because I was interested in where she was heading to on the bus. From asking me where I was going, we found an opportunity to talk about our kids and how they are so Scottish that they talk to each other in Scottish and not Chinese, because Scottish is their first language. I found out that she was heading into college, to learn what I could not understand. Yet that was no deterrent for me to stop talking to her. I told her that I have plans on a visit to Hong Kong in October with my youngest son and he loves flying because he loves aeroplanes. So that created an opportunity for me to ask her about her kids and if they like to fly.

She told me her kids have yet to fly and they shall get their first opportunity soon, I think that’s what she had told me from what I had picked up as she used her finger making the number one and I heard the words “first time”.

Her body language is a great indicator as to what she was saying as she took full advantage of it. She was smart in expressing to me what she was saying as she knew that my Mandarin is “half a bucket of water” by using her full body language. Thank goodness!

I also found out from asking more questions about where she lived prior to moving the our neighbourhood. Then I found out that her kids still attend Saturday Chinese School at Springburn and they get two buses there and two buses back. Her college class finishes at eleven O’clock and then she picks up her youngest son from nursery.

I told her it’s great that she’s learning things at college because my dad had taught me that whatever we learn shall always be with us so learn more. Her curiosity to learn is an attractive quality to have and I am drawn to people like her. Her vibes tells me that she is a smart and intelligent woman always learning something. She comes across as positive and an inspiration because that’s what I picked up from her vibes. I have seen her about in our neighbourhood with her three kids, two sons and a daughter. I would love to talk to her more in Mandarin so I shall learn more then we could be talking until “the cows come home”!

As I was paying for my purchases in the health food shop, I got a quick conversation with the young girl behind the counter. I just love to talk and it comes from my self confidence plus it helps me to develop my quick thinking and effective communication skills.

I saw the same Chinese Mandarin speaking woman as I was walking to pick up my son from school and she had her youngest son with her, holding his hand. She said “hello” to me because we had built a connection in the morning.  I greeted her son with “little friend, how are you”? in Mandarin and he just smiled at me and then hid behind his mum! How innocent and cute?

I was quite surprised by my limited Mandarin and how much I knew. I had no lessons from a school or college so I felt proud of my achievement so far. It pays to learn another dialect or new language as it shall come in handy especially here in Glasgow, Scotland as we are a diverse city with so many cultures.