Tag Archives: opportunities

Tiger Mom (or Dad)

Both my wife and I were born in Malaysia. So by default we are Asians by heart. I immigrated to US 30 years ago and my wife has been a US citizen for more than 20 years. So, the big question is do we considered ourselves fully assimilated. The answer is definitely yes, with the exception of one when it comes to raising kids.

We continue to rely on what we learn from our parents when we were growing up. One of the family values that we instill on our kids is what it means by true Asian upbringing, and that is what most Americans call “tiger” value.

I think a lot of people misconstrued what it means to be “tiger” mom or dad. To me, “tiger” mom/dad means continue to expect the best from our kids and at the same time instill strong responsibility in their behavior. At times we consider ourselves very strict, but at the same time we allow our kids to have certain freedom. And at all times, we expect them to do “very” well at school but without sacrificing time to explore.

I consider myself very strict when it comes to achieving their (my kids) best in their education. As a “tiger” dad, I don’t think I will ever be satisfied with mediocre grades. There is considerable debate when it comes to pushing our children when it comes to education. Most Americans allow their children freedom to “explore” and getting As in class is a secondary objective. However, I believe in setting high expectations or our children will never strive to achieve that spot.

For example, most American families will celebrate their children’s grades when they improve from C to B. While at the same time saying B is good enough and A would even better. My family is the opposite. Instead of celebrating good grades, we will say great but “not good enough”. If my kids receive a B grade, instead of celebrating his achievement I would say what happened to getting A? Setting the bar higher and higher will allow our kids to jump higher and higher.

However, I would like to point out that we are not like most Asian families in Asia that getting bad grades equal to shamed for life. We push our kids but not to the level that they fall off the cliff. We have heard news where Asian students committed suicides because they did not receive the grades they were expecting and they feel they let their parents down.

Instead we try to encourage our kids by giving them examples of life where aiming high is extremely important. We all know doing well in school means better opportunities in the future. At their early age I told my kids that they don’t want to work in McDonald’s as a career because it is not the most lucrative work. Most employees are paid minimum wage and promotion within the fast food restaurant is far and between. And my son is learning first hand because he started working at Chik-fil-a as a part-time job during high school. He hates the job because it is tough and doesn’t pay well.

Another example that we constantly told our kids are our family and friends in Malaysia. My wife’s immediate family in Malaysia were never educated. To this day, they continue to struggle economically because they are constantly searching for the next “big” money making opportunities. On the other hand most of my childhood friends who went on to higher education in Malaysia are living more comfortably because they have more secured and higher paying jobs.

It is true that doing well at school does not guarantee a bright and better future. At least getting good grades will open more doors than having the doors slam on our kids faces. So being a “Tiger” mom or dad will ensure that the doors will open wider and close slower.

Does God exist? Yes, miracle does happen.

I am a Christian, but not a devout one. I should, but I keep coming up with reasons not to be. Most often than not, life is just too stressful that being a devoted Christian is a second thought. My family goes to church almost every Sunday but we were just not interested in serving at Church or go on a mission like some of the brothers and sisters. I prefer to stay in one place where things are more predictable.

I remember my son said to me that he is a Christian but just does not have the same beliefs as some of his friends at Church. This prompted me to ask him if he believes in God. The question wasn’t forthcoming.

So, that begs the question, does God exist? For any believers, they believe God exists and our existence in this world is planned by God. For atheists, they believe in chances and circumstances. God has nothing to do with what is going on in the world.

I remembered when I went through my baptism class and I asked the same question to the brother who led the class. He told the class that he was an astrophysicist with a PhD degree. Him, like all doctors in his field would denounce the existence of God based on the materials presented to him during his studies. However, he had not been able to answer the simple question: who is holding the universe together? We learn about planets, black matter and galaxies. But there are no clear answers what is grasping all these items and controlling each and everyone? He believes that there is a supreme being who is responsible for everything that we see and learn.

My answer is quite simple. God does exist and this can be answered by miracles that happen around us. If none of us can explain why things happen (good or bad) through logical thinking, then we know there are higher power in this world making things happen. I believe in chances and circumstances but they are all part of God’s plan.

In the next several posts I’ll offer several miracles that had happened to me that I have yet able to come up with a clear logical answer.

Prayers Answered

After I graduated from Baruch College, CUNY with a Marketing degree, I thought that I would not have any problem looking for a job in New York city. And boy was I wrong. For several months I sent resumes to companies looking for executive assistant and to advertising agencies looking for entry level account manager. With no experience and background in any of this field put me in the bottom pile of potential candidates.

After several months of job seeking with no real prospect, I decided to take a long vacation and go back to see my sister in Malaysia. The first week in Malaysia was uneventful. The second week happened unexpectedly. My brother-in-law has an older brother who happened to have a free ticket to go to Tioman Island and I was invited to go. It was during this trip I met my wife (who happens to be a younger sister of my brother-in-law) and we were able to get to know each other well.

After the trip, my wife and I became a couple. I was worried that because I did not have a job and there would be no way for me to maintain the relationship from a long distance. I remembered my wife, who is a devoted Christing, said that she would pray for me after I return to the USA.

In less than two weeks I had an interview with Arthur Andersen. The Human Resources representative was a Baruch alumni and she pushed the hiring manager to consider me as a candidate. Through this connection I was able to secure a position at Arthur Andersen and since my career had taken off.

What are the miracles?

  1. Unplanned trip to US which coincided with a trip to Tioman Island using a free ticket.
  2. Unplanned trip to Tioman Island and met my wife whom I am happily married for 21 years and counting.
  3. Unexpected interview with Arthur Andersen.
  4. A Baruch alumni in the right time and place and recommended me as the candidate for the open position.

So my question to everyone is have you had any miracles in your life that you can’t explain? I would love to hear from you.