09 July 2012

Selfish Moms

In a selfish world, the selfish succeed.

I learned this from watching "Barbie:: A Christmas Carol" with my daughter. It was a delightful movie that had all the pretty things little girls like to see and of course, it tried to have a moral teaching within it. That the lead character Eden, in the end, realised that one does not always have to be selfish in pursuit of success or happiness.

It is important to put yourself first simply because you need to first love yourself, take care of yourself and respect yourself before you can achieve anything. Once you are able to do that, then with success and confidence, one may contribute to the wider circle of society beyond yourself and your family.

I was reminded of selfishness from a conversation with a couple of moms at yesterday's ballet class. Mom X indicated to another mom in the waiting area, Mom Z, whom she knew as their daughters attend the same class in school and also share the same tuition teacher for certain subjects. Mom X said that Mom Z was very concerned about her daughter's progress in school and extra curricular activities. Mom Z would send her daughter to every tuition or enrichment class imaginable, and her daughter recently emerged as the top student in her Standard One exams.

Mom X's main complaint about Mom Z was that while Mom Z would ask her and other moms about which tuition center or tuition teacher or piano teacher etc. their kids go to, she would never share the information with others when asked in return. Mom X said, exasperated,  that Mom Z would just reply "Oh, I don't know how to describe the tuition centre/ tuition teacher to you. I forgot la!"

True, a pretty lame answer.

Sadly there are many such people like Mom Z around. She perhaps believes that once she had found a great place to hone her children's skills or intelligence, then she must keep it a top secret lest other people's kids receive the same extra coaching and threaten her child's shining star.

In these competitive times, is there truth that one must conceal resources, information and know-how to get ahead? Do you remember ever being "selfish" yourself, even for a moment? I guess the answer must be "yes".

Whilst in university, I was a diligent student and always attended lectures and tutes. My friends knew that. And there were those who would rather skip lectures to sleep in during winter, or because they couldn't wake up in time after a late night out or just plainly, decided to have some fun rather than attend class. But when exams came, these same people would come to me for my detailed, concise notes and just xerox them right off!

To be honest, even though I lent my notes to these friends, I did resent them for that. And maybe once or twice, I refused to share my notes, thinking, "Hey, I trudged to class while you guys slept in under your duvet, I paid attention and wrote down the Professor's salient points."  This may sound boastful, but my notes were good enough for you to pass your subject exam, without the need to refer to other text or reference books. So they were pretty popular. Was I being selfish?

As for sharing information regarding tuition classes for my kids, I see no problem in letting people know should they ask me. As a newbie to Ipoh, I had benefitted from generous moms who gave me information on myriad issues. I hope Mom Z would ask me one day for information (though I doubt it!) so that we would have an opportunity to talk about this issue.

(pictures from fanpop.com)

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