One Wo(Man)'s Pain is Another Wo(Man)'s Cure
(Why the title? - In today's hypersensitive world, I try to be as fair and politically right as possible. If I've not done enough, please close one eye and let me pass.)
I was in my head one evening, walking towards the neighbourhood supermarket to replenish our grocery supplies.
I was thinking about my mother and her baby boomer generation.
My mother is in her late 70s. In all her life, she never really talks about her pain and hardship. She simple does what she needs to do and finish them off without muzzling a single sound. When we were growing up, she would never let us dirty our hands in the kitchen or with any household chores. When she was divorced, she never spoke about her pain. In her old age, she never spoke about how her bodily system is failing and causing her pain or inconvenience.
Many of you would have started to wow and haw at the strength of her character and what a great mother she is. But this is really not the gist of this post.
What i realised in my reflection and recollection was - I never learnt how to cook, gotten any tips or tricks to do a household chores from her. I never learnt what happens in a marriage, what pain to anticipant when a marriage ends; what happens when we grow old, what to look out for and how to take care of ourselves when that day comes.
In other words, my mother taught me nothing since she never shares anything.
The morale of this story?
In our face-losing adversed Asian society, sharing about personal failures is a huge taboo. No doubt it is much less so with the younger generations, but it is still not embraced. From a humanly perspective, this is understandable - who likes to fail and be seen as a failure? Who doesn't like a good glamorous Hero's Journey story to be our story?
However as an entrepreneur, as a leader, as a teacher, as an elder...a person - this is actually the biggest gift and legacy we can leave for others.
One must remember - learning comes from our own experiences AND from other's experiences. Like a vaccine, our stories have strength and power to heal, protect, empower, uplift, complete another person's story.
Let us not be stingy to share.
Let us not be judgmental to those who share their failures and pains - for that's a gift next to the unconditional love from our parents.
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