Life Is a Gentle Breeze – Life Lessons from an Asian Father

Every year for Christmas, my father gives our family a gift.
“Write all you want on a wish-list, you won’t get it.” – Dad

It’s not really something you ask for… ever My father gives the gift of his words, which means “What I’ve learned this year.” And even though he’s going through a different stage in life than the kids he’s imparting this message to, he continues anyways because these are life lessons sure to apply to anyone’s situations because they are an Asian Father’s words.

So to celebrate what we’ve received, I decided to pass along a few of my favorite gems from my father because Christmas is the day of sharing knowledge.
And because I want other people to suffer too.
None of You Have Yet to Surpass Me, and I Fear None of You Will
“Now that I’ve turned 50,”(-something, I don’t remember how old he was when he said this one) “I was looking back over the past years, and you children have yet to be better than me. I don’t think you will ever be better than me.”
My sisters and I somewhat chocked this up to mid-life crisis, and we were all pretty good at our current point in our lives. I was either barely out of college or not even done yet, so my bad for not being the next Zucko. What was he expecting from us anyways? My sister had or was almost done with Law School, and my other sister was working in Hong Kong. We were proud of our work, so we laughed it off. But inside, we weren’t laughing.
“Well, he isn’t proud of me, so I guess it’s end of the line.”
Pff. My family would never consider that an option. We’re more of the vengeful type. So to prove our father wrong, we set out to show that we can surpass him.
I’ve started my own company earlier than he started his. I’m also married earlier than him, though I’m not sure that’s really a victory… sorry wife. My sister passed the CA bar and is working for him. She’s also engaged now. And my other sister worked across Asia and has probably more world experience than everyone in my family.
And that may have been his ploy all along. He may have been just completely Reverse-Psychologied us into being better than we were. Or maybe he just really thought we were worthless, and if Love Actually has taught us anything, Christmas is the time to be honest about our feelings.
“Dear viewer, you suck, and the Brits get all the ladies.” – What Love Actually taught me. | From Take148
You Need to Be Attractive to Survive
“I am only successful because I am attractive. I once scored an I grade. That’s lower than F. I was in the second to last percentile, and because Taiwan chose your profession based on your grade, I was to be a meteorologist. I changed that by begging to go into Civil Engineering, and because I worked hard but mostly because I was better looking than my other classmates, I got to where I am today. I came to America, worked for some good people, and started my own company because I knew enough people and was good looking.”
To be fair, there have been so many studies out there that better looking people get ahead in life. My friend even helped conduct a sociological study on interracial marriage (where the wife is white) gauging the success and looks of the male suitor.
“I’m still better.” – Love, Dad
I wasn’t sure if he was trying to tell us that we’re also beautiful and should thank him for it, or that he was more beautiful than us. Either way, this one was pretty hilarious to hear.

Be is a Gentle Breeze
“Your life is a gentle breeze. Rather than fighting against and toiling, you should just calmly flow through it.”
This one is my favorite one, and it’s actually a great story.
My dad stood in front of the Christmas Tree (or Christmas Poinsettia nowadays), and began to tell us what he learned this year. And though the words were as if Confucius had a second coming, it had a really great meaning. I mean – all of his speeches really meant something, he just has to work on his phrasing a bit. Or once again, it’s just the unadulterated truth.
But this specific time, he was telling us that it’s not important to be petty. All things come to pass because things will eventually disappear. Your worries now will never be your worries later, and geez, was he right.
Happy Holidays, and love you dad