A Tribute To My Father (Part 4)

It’s Father’s Day On Sunday, 15 June 2014

This was one face-off that I would never forget for the rest of my life. It was not a normal face-off but one that was between a father and his son.

I know that scene well because the two protagonists were Papa and me. It happened in his bedroom one evening in 1973.

That evening, Papa had called me to talk to him.

It was a meeting that I dreaded and one that Papa held with every one of his children when they reached their sixteenth birthday.

Papa sat me down on his bed. He then pulled a chair and sat facing me.

I could see him consciously trying to stay calm and collecting his thoughts.

Our eyes met but none of us wanted to start the conversation.

In my mind, I thought I knew what Papa was about to say to me. My brother who was two years older than me had prepared me for this day.

Papa would repeat the same message he made to my elder siblings. It went somewhat like this,

“You know, Papa has worked very hard to help provide more than sixteen years of education to you.

“It’s getting harder and harder to look after the family and to support you in your studies. I hope that you will do well in your final exams.

“I may still be able to provide for your pre-university education but thereafter, you will be on your own. I cannot afford to help you complete your tertiary education.

“You need to go and look for a job and support yourself.”

That evening, the conversation went completely different.

Papa had changed his usual script and had quite clearly took awhile to prepare for the new one.

That experience was another turning point in my life. It had not only made me respect Papa more deeply, it had also helped strengthen my appreciation of education.

Papa took a deep breath. He swallowed remnant of saliva in his mouth.

Then, he held my hands so very gently.

This was what he told me.

“You know, Papa has worked very hard to help provide more than sixteen years of education to you and your brothers.

“It’s getting harder and harder to look after the family and to support you in your studies. I hope that you will do well in your final exams.

“I will help support you to complete your pre-university education.”

He paused for a moment and looked into my eyes. It was as if he wanted to speak right through to my heart.

Then, he continued, “I have always wanted one of my children to complete a tertiary education.

“I want you to do it.”

When I looked surprised, he must have misinterpreted my expression to be one of sceptism.

He quickly tried to justify his proposal. He told me, “I will work very hard.

“If need be, I’ll take on a second job so that I can earn enough money to support you.”

When I reflected on that life-changing moment, I realized poverty was not measured in just financial terms.

There was more to wealth than having money and other material possessions.

That evening, I felt enriched by the love, care and concern that my parents had shown to me.

I might not have a lot in life but whatever I had was enough to realize my dreams and live a fulfilled life.

My father was poor financially but he was rich in every sense of the word. And he left behind many enriching lessons for me, including the following:

1. Rich in Love

Far worst than poverty in financial terms is a poverty of love.

When we cannot love and feel loved, our lack of love will drive us to to a life of loneliness, desolation, and abandonment. These are some of the shifting sands on the way down the pits of life.

2. Rich in Compassion and Kindness

The true mark of poverty is a poverty of compassion and kindness for our fellow humans.

When we feel we deserve to live well without due regard for others or worse, at the expense of others, our spirit will live in an emotional slum.

We can search endlessly for the next meaningless fulfillment but it will come to no avail.

Some day, we will echo the words of the Sage in the book of Ecclesiastes, Meaningless, meaningless, all is meaningless (Ecc 1:2).

3. Rich in Wisdom

Poverty becomes permanent when there is a poverty of wisdom.

When we stop learning and more importantly, stop applying lessons for the benefit of people around us, we bury ourselves in the highway of success.

As we journey in life, there are many challenges down the road that are looking for a solution from us.

Through the heat of changes and challenges, if we don’t transform ourselves and raise the game, we will soon join the dinosaurs of yester-years.

4. Rich in Humour

No poverty sucks more energy from us than the poverty of humour.

When we cannot see and enjoy the lighter side of life, we gradually deplete the energy within us.

This is the same energy that sustains us and helps us to pursue a better destination and outcome.

5. Rich in Contentment

The lack of anything may not make us poorer than the lack of contentment.

When we cry over what we have lost rather than being thankful for what we have left, we imprison ourselves.

When we are not grateful for what we have and we pursue relentless for more and more things in life, we are throwing away a key that can free us from the prison we made ourselves.

6. Rich in Desire, Determination, and Discipline

A poor bank account cannot hold us further back in life than a poverty of desire, determination, and discipline.

In fact, an empty wallet is very often a compelling motivation to fill our life with goodness from our Creator.

As I reflected on how my father has loved and cared for me, I learned these lessons and many others.

To complete the story, Papa worked very hard to see me complete another four more years of education.

Papa was there to see me graduate with a diploma and from the Officer Cadet School as a young Second Lieutenant.

Unfortunately, he did not live long enough to see me complete my first and other degree programmes.

“Papa, I have continued to learn because you taught me the importance of of being educated.

You were willing to strain your body and even break your spirit so that I could continue my studies.

I will always be grateful and thankful to you.

I will continue to learn and apply what I’ve learned to help others.

Papa, I know you are watching over me and listening to me.

How I wish you are with me again…”

Go4It!

I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/

Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net

Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

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About Patrick Liew
About Patrick Liew Patrick Liew MBA, MSc, BSc is the Managing Partner of Global Enterprise Exchange Pte. Ltd.. He is also the founder and director of Success Resources, arguably the world’s largest personal development seminar organiser and a major shareholder of a company, which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. He was previously the Executive Chairman and CEO of HSR Global Ltd., a publicly listed company on SGX-ST. Previously, he was the regional director of the Gartner Group, providing strategic advisory and planning services to governments, banks and MNCs. He was also the regional head of sales and marketing operation for Dow Jones Telerate. Patrick graduated with a BSc in Estate Management from Heriot Watt University, an MSc with emphasis in global business and marketing from The City University Of New York, and an MBA from Henley Business School / Brunel University. He has also earned more than nine other professional qualifications. Patrick is arguably the first person to develop a multimedia e-learning programme on entrepreneurship. He authored a Chinese book on business systems and was also the co-author of a Times Bookshop best-selling book. Patrick has conducted both ‘brick and mortar’ and online lessons for participants from more than 60 countries. He has also conducted keynote presentations in many international conferences, including being the first Singaporean to teach at the National Association of Realtors. Through his team at Success Resources, Patrick has organised educational conferences for prominent leaders such as President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Tony Blair, Michael Porter, Richard Branson, Robert Kiyosaki, Donald Trump, and many other prominent leaders. Patrick provides leadership and advisory services to many professional and charity organisations. He is actively involved in supporting humanitarian, philanthropic and charity causes. He has organised three fund-raising events and in the process, help to set three national records in the Singapore Books Of Records. Patrick won the Entrepreneur Of the Year Award For Social Contribution, the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Award, and six other business awards. Patrick believes the best way to live your life is to live your life for others. The more you reach out to bless other lives, the richer and better your life will become. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A Personal Note to my Friends The articles that I post online; or what I term as Love Notes, are written with the purpose of inspiring readers to live at a higher plane in life. They are also meant to motivate those who are struggling in life and help them find handlers to overcome their conflicts and challenges. It is my ardent hope that we will form networks and alliances of like-minded people who will put to right many of the wrongs in our midst. Together, we will leverage on each other's resources and create a synergistic impact in making our world a better home. These articles are written as part of regular reflection about the vicissitudes of life. They are at best work in progress and at worst, grumblings, grouses, and gripings of a finite old man. I have deliberately decided NOT to delete many of the articles and pointers that I may not agree with or are outrightly wrong. This is to keep a record of how my personal ideas, beliefs, and values have evolved over time. In addition, I hope to encourage readers by letting them know that I also make mistakes and am struggling with many of the complexity and complication in life. As long as we hang on to hope and work on finding a solution, there will be light at the end of whatever tunnel we are in. I do not pretend to know everything or for that matter, anything of substance. In fact, the more I study, learn, and think about the vast wisdom and knowledge out there, the more I realised how little I know about life and the ways of life. Hence, I have always ended my article by asking readers to continue to teach me. For I, too, am a sojourner in the exploration of truth and the adventure of finding meaning, purpose, and significance for my existence. I am proud of and make no apology for being a Christian, albeit not the most exemplary one. I believe our Creator can lead and guide us to be the best that we can ever be. I bear full responsibility for the shortcoming and error in my life, including my words. The fault is entirely mine and not due to anyone else. Readers have and can exercise the power of choice. They can discard what will not work for them and adopt those that can propel them further and faster in the pursuit of better performance, outcomes, and fulfillment. If I have disappointed or hurt you in any way, form, or manner, I would like to apologise to you. Please do not hold them against me or whoever or whatever is related to me. There are much to pray about, learn, and do. And I'll work on them with a sense of urgency. I hold on to the belief that 'Anything worth doing is worth doing with passion and excellence'. I'll endeavour to live by it. Life is short. There's no dress rehearsal and neither can we turn back the clock to change the drama of life. Therefore, by the grace and power of our Creator, let's live a full life and live it to the fullest. May God bless you abundantly on the journey of life. Your online servant, Patrick Liew I hope this message will find a place in your heart. By the way, I have also recorded other reflections. Please 'Like' me on https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg Visit my Inspiration blog at https://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/ For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/ Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net Please read my reflection and continue to teach me. Life is FUNtastic!

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