Google+ Real Estate by Fanny Lee & TheTeam :Own Homes. Grow Wealth. Pass It On.: Mencius' Mother; Three Moves

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Mencius' Mother; Three Moves

Here I am, with a blog, wearing my real estate agent's hat, wondering what to write first.

Was thinking about blogging on...
Toronto real estate market updates (this or this ...); or
-  new development offerings (here or here ...) that may be of interest; or
-  my recent interviews (here and here start at 0:14) with WOWtv 's Morning 360.

Hmmm...  Nah.  Would like to share something else, something personal and relevant.

Let me start by relaying a story of Mencius (孟子),  a famous Confucian. It is actually the story about his mother. The legend of "Mencius' Mother, Three Moves" is commonly presented as the well known traditional Chinese idiom:  孟母三遷.


 "... Mencius' mother moved house three times before finding a location that she felt was suitable for the child's upbringing. As an expression, the idiom refers to the importance of finding the proper environment for raising children.
Mencius's father died when he was very young. His mother Zhang () raised her son alone. They were very poor. At first they lived by a cemetery, where the mother found her son imitating the paid mourners in funeral processions. Therefore the mother decided to move. The next house was near a market in the town. There the boy began to imitate the cries of merchants (merchants were despised in early China). So the mother moved to a house next to a school. Inspired by the scholars and students, Mencius began to study. His mother decided to remain, and Mencius became a scholar."                   ~ source:  wikipedia.

* RTHK featured a modern and humorous take by Anthony Wong (YouTube clip), spoken in Cantonese with traditional Chinese caption.

The more I muse about this legend, the more it resonates. 

If you share similar background as mine, our grandparents or parents took tremendous hardship and risk to make their way to Hong Kong from Mainland China.  They did it, legally or not, for greater personal freedom and opportunities.  Not only theirs but also ours, their children's!  As a result, we grew up in a culture where the East meets the West.  We had easy access to free, basic education.  That paved the way for our further studies and shots at greater things in life.  That made a difference.


Then the uncertainty of 1997 loomed.  My parents along with many fellow Hong Kong families gathered what they had.  Again, at all costs, sought for means and ways to cross the ocean and reach another land - Canada.  This time, they were not exactly at "have nothing to lose" stage of their lives.  They parted way with what they earnestly built - some comforts and roots - where they called it "home".  And yet, they braved their way to a new immigrant life in Canada with a new (harsher) climate, a new (foreign) language, a new (very different) culture and drove on the different side of the road and started a brand new life.  Wow! What did they do this for?  Themselves?  Definitely not!  They did it for us.  They traded in something (something substantial) so we had more, better options.

I got my degree in North America.  As the political outlook cleared and settled in Hong Kong, I moved back there to embark my career as well as personal adventures.  It was a fun, colourful and eventful ride.  Over there,  I met my husband, had our first mortgage (and had our first hand real estate education including "your property could become a  negative equity" - another story), formed our family, advanced my careers, had our most amazing boy (IC) and became a mother.  Then, suddenly, all the "our" and "my" ways yield  to "his" - the new "ours" and "mine".  As we watched IC grew, many new questions surfaced and got us pondering. Where do we want to raise our family?  What environment would be best for young people?  What doors would we like IC to have access?  The outcome - we relocated back to Greater Toronto to begin afresh, like how my parents did.  Has it been a bump-less ride?  Can't say so.  But we know it is best for us.  It is best for IC.

There is hardly anything unique about us.  The families of  IC 's Mandarin school classmates, both with links to Mainland China or Taiwan, shares similar experiences.  Our Persian neighbors can recall their step through the path not much different from ours.  IC 's Russian piano teacher and their friends have their version of the very same pursuit.  We have witnessed our Caucasian friends move to accomodate the needs of their kids.  This can go on...  You get my drift.
 
There remains much to commend on the wisdom of Mencius' mother to enable Mencius to actualize his potential for greatness.  


It is evident that we, regardless of our colours and creeds, have inherited this instinct, this universal nature of mothers (and fathers alike) - always on the lookout for our children 's well being.  Children come first.

As a real estate agent, I am blessed to have opportunities working with clients to search for  their new homes.  Oftentimes, the parents go out their way to provide a nurturing setting for their precious ones.  I am glad that I could be of help.  These have been very rewarding experiences.

In the month of Mothers Day while anticipating upcoming Fathers Day, I would like to salute to my mom and dad for their unconditional love.  I have come to the understanding and appreciation why they did what they did.  I wish, one day, I could be as strong and giving as they have always been.  My very best wishes to go to all parents out there.
    
May our children strive and excel.                                  
                                                                                                                            

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