Adversity and Hardship


“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary adventure.” — C.S. Lewis


After graduating from business school, Mike went to apply for a managerial position in a big firm. He passed the initial interview, and now would meet the director for the final interview.

The director discovered from his C/V that Mike's academic achievements were excellent. He asked, “Did you obtain any scholarships in school?”

“No,” Mike answered.

“Who paid for your school tuition and fees?”

“My parents.”

“What do they do for a living?”

“They clean clothes.”

The director requested Mike to show his hands and showed a pair of hands that were smooth and perfect. “Have you ever helped your parents wash the clothes?”

“Never, my parents always wanted me to study and read more books,” Mike continued. “Besides, my parents can wash clothes faster than me.”

The director requests, “When you go home today, go and clean your parents hands, and then see me tomorrow morning.”

Mike felt demoralized. When he got home, he asked his parents to let him clean their hands. They felt strange with some mixed feelings in between. They showed their hands to their son. Mike cleaned their hands slowly. His tear fell as he did that.

This was the first time he noticed that his parents hands were so wrinkled, and there were so many bruises in their hands. Some bruises were so painful that they winced when he touched them.

For the first time Mike realized that it was this pair of hands that washed the clothes everyday to enable him to pay the school fees. The bruises on the hands were the price that the parents had to pay for his education, his school activities and his future.

After cleaning his parents hands, Mike quietly washed all the remaining clothes for  them. That night, parents and son talked for a very long time.

The next morning, Mike went back to the director's office. The director noticed the tears in Mike's eyes, when he asked: “Can you tell me what have you done and learned yesterday in your house?”

Mike answered, “I cleaned my parents' hands, and also finished cleaning all the remaining clothes.” He wiped his tears and continued, “Now I know how to appreciate and be grateful. Without my parents, I would not be who I am today. By helping them, I realized how difficult and tough it is to get something done on your own and I have come to appreciate the importance and value of helping my family.”

The director said, “This is what I am looking for in a manager. I want to recruit a person who can appreciate the help of others, a person who knows the sufferings of others to get things done, and a person who would not put money as his only goal in life.” He took a deep breath, stood up, extended his right hand, “You are hired.”


A child, who has been protected and habitually given whatever he wanted, would develop an "entitlement mentality" and would always put himself first. He would be ignorant of his parent's efforts.

If we are this kind of protective parents, are we really showing love, or are we destroying our children instead?

You can let your child live in a big house, eat a good meal, learn piano, watch on a big screen TV. But when you are cutting grass, please let them experience it.

After a meal, let them wash their plates and bowls together with their brothers and sisters. It is not because you do not have the money to hire a maid, but it is because you want to love them in the right way.

You want them to understand, no matter how rich their parents are, one day their hair will grow grey, same as the parent that of a young person.

The most important thing is your child learns how to appreciate the effort, experience the difficulty, and learns the ability to work with others to get things done.

This will also change one's attitude