Why Chinese Mothers are NOT Superior (aka Why Chinese Fathers are Not Needed)

Amy Chua with daughters Louisa and Sophia

Yale Law Professor Amy Chua recently released a memoir called Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. Talk about cheesy titles. Essentially, it was about the so-called “Chinese” method of raising children that was very strict, and why it was superior, as her Wall Street Journal essay (Why Chinese Mothers are Superior, Amy Chua in WSJ, Jan 8 2011).

Essentially, it’s how one clever woman is playing the race card in on offense, in a sly way to keep tension from building while generating debate and getting her lots of money and attention. This book would be nothing but for the hype generated by these racial insinuations.

If you want the details on the no sleepover, no dates, trashing your children, threatening to burn your children’s toys, forcing them to take either piano or violin and not settling for As in school, you can read the WSJ link above or the multitude of other related articles like this one from Canada’s Globe & Mail (Why Chinese Parenting is Best, G&M Jan 11 2011).

Note again the racial insinuation in the title.

That’s because its supposed “self-deprecating” nature that was in good jest, according to Amy, is all hear say and not backed up by anything but her opinion. She is presenting an argument on what isn’t “visible”, concentrating on what is, which is the successful products of the method. But how many have been failed by the method and had their lives ruined, and who will never be known?

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Six Life Philosophies from an Obituary Writer

The Boston Globe recently had a great short article about six life lessons given by Bryan Marquard, their obituary writer of over 800 obits in the past 3.5 years. His perspective was that he looked at life through the lens of death. The article ended by asking “what have you learned from life”?

I’ll summarize the article here and give a few answers for this post.

1. Be nice.
No matter what you accomplish, how you treat people has a lot to do with how you will be remembered.

2. Don’t be mean.
You can be #1 or #2 without being the other.

3. If you want to live long, retire young…
Leave some time for fun in your life.

4. Or don’t retire at all.
Pursue your passions.

5. You don’t have to be rich – or even have a home.
It’s you, what you are and what you do that matter most.

6. Act now.
Don’t put off what you’ve always wanted to do.

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I liked the article because it looks at life through a very different perspective than one that I have. It’s not that I think most people have the view of an obituary writer, but rather how much I stay away from the thought of death. I have never fully read an obituary, even of some people very dear to me. And I don’t have insurance except for where I can’t avoid it, like to drive or insurance with my job. Sure, I appreciate a health plan and such, but insurance is like a constant reminder, with payment, of unfortunate things. As someone who believes that if you think about something enough, it might just happen to you, I stay away from those negative things.

As for some of what I’ve learned from life? For starters, I’ve got 26 life philosophies through this link. But if you’re not interested, I’ll leave three different ones here:

1. Act now, enjoy the moment, but live like there is always a tomorrow.
You couldn’t hope to either truly live every day or moment like it’s the last of your life, or last long doing it.

2. It’s not how you start that matters, but rather how you finish.
Save the best for last, and something better for tomorrow.

3. Everything means more the more you had to earn it.
“Earn” is any kind of effort you have to put in.

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If you want lots of life lessons, please check out my blogging buddy’s Lifelessons4u blog. She’s got more life lessons than you could learn in a life time!

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In the spirit of how the Boston Globe article ends, please feel free to leave comments regarding

What have you learned in life?

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Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 4.2 (pffft! topic is a little beyond grade 4!) 🙂