I shall echo some thoughts arising from Shepherd Group at church last night and this has to do with training our children's character for their future adult and work life. We really have a fruitful and enriching time opening the Word and gleaning wisdom from it. What a blessing!
My Pastor shared this verse:
Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men. (Proverbs 22:29 KJV)
The word "diligent" is translated from a word "mahiyr" that means skilled, prompt, ready. "Mean men" are obscure or insignificant people.
The bible tells us a man who is skilful at what he does, be it his craft, his area of expertise, his talent etc. - that man shall command the presence of the king, or important people.
This, in relation to our present consideration, is the fact that people will pay really good money for jobs to be done by people who are really good at what they do. I can think of many examples. I can think of the kind of money we have to pay heart surgeons, brain surgeons to secure a successful operation. (Though never foolproof but we want to minimise the margin of error, I suppose.)
I love to browse through the photography of Kelvin Lim (lightedpixels.com) The wedding pictures he takes are amazing. Not just the posed ones but he really shines at capturing "live" moments and that is what, to me, separates a novice and an expert. And people pay him good money and fly him to many locations around the world to take wedding albums because they love his previous work and they believe he can make them look beautiful for their special occasion. I'm sure he has a great personality as well, to put his subjects at ease to take natural looking photographs. Not easy when you are flying into different time zones, getting to remote locations with all the equipment and clothes changes in tow. I met him once when I did a wedding cake for a friend's friend. He was impressed with my work! True story. Honest! :)
Our Singaporean way of hiring people is so certificate heavy. The certificate one holds is the base line determiner whether or not a person gets the job. If they want A level holders, the O level holders need not apply. Even if the O level holder were really good at that job.
It is an easy way of measuring people, sift their skill sets, ok, this person has done this diploma in this field, therefore he is qualified to do this job.
There is, though, a divide between having the paper qualifications and actually being able to perform the job.
I have gathered that in other countries, the weight is placed more on ability to perform the job, and not the paper qualifications. Pastor was telling us about his amazing stint in Silicon Valley, California. Software companies will pay good money for teenagers because they have a reputation of excellent computer skills or software production knowledge, and they don't have any degree from some top, prestigious university. What is more important is the portfolio.
I was happy to get back in touch with my long lost secondary school friend recently. I was filled with admiration when I heard she spent her university days in a prestigious university in Germany, majoring in Piano. She said in order to enter as a student, she had to compete with 200 over applicants for 2 places. The professors don't bother how many diplomas you have because each of the 200 applicants have stacks and stacks of certificates to their name. How to decide who gets the coveted two places? Just play. Perform at the piano and the professors will decide who is the worthiest student. And Wow! My friend surpassed all the other candidates and got a place in that year!
Implications of this. We want our children to "stand before kings." How do we do this? By ensuring that in training them, we expect a job well done, whatever they do. Not only in their school work but in all areas, be it washing the dishes, cooking a meal, folding the clothes, taking nice photographs.... Always aiming to improve.
All this stems from good character traits like diligence, carefulness, perseverance, attention to detail, joyfulness even. If our children develop good character, it will carry them through *any* job, project, difficult situation that work life or adult life (life at any stage, really) presents.
I have to qualify, though, for school work, they need not be excelling in all their subjects because, indeed, we are not all made equally gifted in every subject. Some may be stronger at math and weaker in languages and vice versa for another child. And as homeschoolers, we have the breadth to go easy on weaker subjects because we are not competing for standard position like in school and these have bearing on which class/ stream/ school the child will enter into in the following year.
So, to be excellent in their school work is that the child should have a good attitude to try well even if they are struggling perhaps with a math question or a difficult topic in science.
Should there come a day that one of our children is not able to or chooses not to further his or her studies in the university (does everyone NEED to get a degree or masters? Really?) our child should still be able to earn a living by being diligent, skilful at what they do.
Kelvin of lightedpixels.com took this picture of a wedding cake baked by me. (My claim to fame, haha!)
My Facebook Cake page- https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Piece-of-Cake-Singapore/172420329932