Sunday, January 25, 2009

Role Model

Yesterday I lectured my two younger girls - the oldest one escaped because she was not in Hong Kong. In the process I brought up two persons as possible role models.

One is a former highly-placed civil servant turned “politician”. He is certainly very smart, capable, successful, and powerful. He is also well known for his quick temper, arrogance, and intolerance of dissent. Many people who worked with or for him are critical of him after they left government. His claim to be unconcerned about praises and criticisms ("mere clouds in the sky") sounded hollow and contrived.

The other is another former civil servant, but lowly-placed, who turned into an almost-full-time volunteer - my father. He has no formal education, and little money. Yet he make friends everywhere - his peers at work, his subordinates, his superiors, his nephews and nieces, his neighbours, people at his church, workers and residents at the old folks’ home and other organizations where he volunteered, ... He is cheerful, very handy and always ready to help. He never complains - except to my mother, it appears.

It should be obvious which of the two I want my girls to imitate.

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