Granted, I don’t like being in the sun a long time, but as I walked through the swankiest shopping mall in Bangkok, I felt sorry for these high society fish. They are fed daily, they have a player piano nearby which promotes synchronized swimming, and they have enough light to keep them moving. Unfortunately, to be Hi-So fish, they forfeit ever seeing the sunshine. What would that be like?
Recently, our students read the fable, The Dog and the Wolf. Here, we see a starving wolf who would like to have food but realizes that freedom is much more valuable. In reality, everything we gain comes at a cost.
Here is my short list of greater gains:
1. Living in a country other than my own- More than twenty years ago, I moved to Bangkok, Thailand, a country about which I knew very little except that they made many of the things I owned. Planting myself here, I gained a new language, a healthy lifestyle, a friendly atmosphere, and a lovely place to raise my children. On the downside, my children don’t know their real relatives well, but the have developed deep relationships within our organization.
2. Staying home with my children when they were small- This is a difficult decision for every new mother. When my children were small, I stayed home with them. I was able to teach them manners, to direct their energy in more positive directions, and to give them quality and quantity time and love. Through this, I gained peace of mind, especially as they are now grown and are leaving. I know that I have invested deeply in them. On the downside, I stopped computer programming and didn’t go back to work until the youngest child was in the sixth grade.
3. Putting my energy into other people’s children- As an adult, I went back to get a Master degree in teaching. It was a sacrifice for our family, but I now have an opportunity to pour myself into other people’s children. Our future depends on people who have the heart to mentor children. The right teacher can inspire children to be someone they never dreamed they could be. I know it sounds mushy, but I want to be that kind of teacher for each of these children. I selfishly want each one of them to look back and to know that they were loved in my classroom.
Sometimes you get something for nothing, but more often you give up something to gain something else. That’s the predicament of these Hi-So fish. In what pond are you swimming?
“Expecting something for nothing is the most popular form of hope.” Arnold H. Glasow