Posted by: Anne | March 2, 2013

helping hands

Helping Hands

A young man applied for a position in a big company. He now would meet the director for the final interview. The director discovered from his CV that the youth’s academic achievements were excellent. He asked, “Was it your father who paid for your school fees?”

“My father passed away when I was one year old. It was my mother who paid for my school fees,” the youth replied.

“Where did your mother work?”

“My mother worked as clothes cleaner.”

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

“Never. My mother always wanted me to study and read more books. Besides, my mother can wash clothes faster than I can.”

The director said, “I have a request. When you go home today, go and clean your mother’s hands, and then see me tomorrow morning.”

The youth went home and asked his mother to let him clean her hands. His mother felt strange, happy but with mixed feelings, she showed her hands to her son.

The youth cleaned his mother’s hands slowly. His tears fell as he did. It was the first time he noticed that his mother’s hands were so wrinkled, and so bruised. Some bruises were so painful that his mother winced when he touched it.

This was the first time the youth realized that it was this pair of hands that washed the clothes every day to pay his school fees. The bruises were the price the mother paid for his education, his school activities and his future.

That night, mother and son talked for a very long time.

Next morning, the youth went to the director’s office.

The Director noticed the tears in the youth’s eyes, when he asked: “Can you tell me what have you learned yesterday?”

The youth answered, “I know now what appreciation is. Without my mother, I would not be who I am today. By helping my mother, only now do I realize how difficult it is to get something done on your own. And I have come to appreciate the importance and value of helping one’s family.”

The director said, “This is what I am looking for. You are hired.”


A child who has been “protected” from work and habitually given whatever he wants tends to develop an entitlement mentality. He puts himself first, ignorant of others’ effort and sacrifice. If left unchecked, this attitude can grow until he is never satisfied, always wanting more yet never recognizing his own responsibilities.

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 dishes together with their brothers and sisters. Be very clear that these activities are not punishment: instead, as part of the family, the child should contribute to maintaining the household. Help them understand and appreciate the effort involved in getting things done, because a child who learns this is not only well-prepared for a career, but for life.

(Found at Facebook, and edited for space and content.)

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