Friday, January 9, 2015

Random thoughts: What I want...

There is this passage in the curriculum that write about the woods wanting to see the world and was made to a ship, bamboo wanting to sing, and make into a flute.

So I give my class a task, I ask them what they want. I give them 12 choices.

智慧 = wisdom
运气 = luck
健康 = health
名气 = fame
钱财 = wealth
幸福 = bliss
美貌 = beauty
自信 = confidence
爱 =love
梦想 = dream 
自由 = freedom
尊重 = respect

Why these 12 choices? Because these are the words they learn, LOL, I am doing revision at the same time. They are supposed to write a short paragraph of what they want, why they want it, and how are they going to achieve it.

To give them an example, I wrote a "model answer" for their reference. I wrote it in less than 5 minutes. But when I read it aloud in class, it gave me goosebumps. It really describe how I feel, what I wanted. I would say it is 80% accurate in describing how I feel.

It goes like this:


For those who cannot understand Chinese, it is something like this:

I want wisdom,
for me to understand the truth about the world
for me to understand what is happiness
and how to achieve happiness
and at the same time, give happiness to others.
I give my best in all I do,
I think of others,
I learned contentment, I am happy.

When I marked their books today, I am not surprised to see that the majority choose wealth, followed by health. The rest choose fame, freedom and happiness. Love and dream are selected by one pupil each respectively. 

The ironic thing is, we all know the standard answer of choosing anything except wealth, but we live our life putting wealth accumulation at the forefront.

There are a few that wanted wealth so that they can be happy! Hey!! Happiness is one of the options!! Why not choose it directly, why put the cart in front of the horse? The nice thing about teaching young kids is that they are still innocent, and write very honestly. I am not going to destroy that by telling them what is the "right" choice or "standard" answer. How honest and cute can they get? I have a girl writing that one way of getting wealth is to marry well! I have a good laugh. Do note that I am not making fun of any pupil work, but really enjoy the innocence and purity in their answers. 

I ask them to share with others what they want, why and how to achieve it.

I then ask them to ask themselves is what they choose what they really want?

How hard and persistent they are in pursuit of that goal tell a lot if they really want it, most importantly, they need to ask themselves when they achieve what they want, how would they feel. 

How to see through red dusk if we do not chase after dusk at the first place?

What would you choose? LOL

Sillyinvestor aka dark teacher


  1. Frequently run out of money will be unhappy. Quite sure about it.

    Somehow, kids know it?

    1. CW

      if you have little money or not enough money to make ends meet, you will most probably be unhappy. However, how much is enough? If the money is to satisfied the material needs, it will never be enough and it will never lead to happiness.

      If the money is enough, and there is no worldly material desire, but an obsession to accumulate as much as possible is also ...

  2. if i was a primary 4 kid, i probably will choose wealth, freedom and happiness.

    i want to have more money to buy more snacks and toys. more freedom to have no tuition and less homework.
    then i will be more happy:)

    if you ask me now, serious. i do not what i want to have now.

    let things come to you.
    less expectation, less disappointment.

    1. BTW, well designed lesson.
      but i guess most pupils will choose wealth, freedom and happiness.

      am i correct? :)

    2. Yeh,

      Its wealth followed by health, then fame and freedom

      Yup, you are right, to not want anything is perhaps the best.

      SOmeone told me happiness = reality minus expectation

    3. Share a piece of good news here.
      I was awarded OCA last year. Money comes in today:) can use that money to treat my family a big feast this weekend:)

      Well. Didn expect i will get this.

      Like what I always say. Let things come to you.


    4. Wow congrats Yeh!!

      That must be something u are doing right that is appreciated by the school. I got it once!! Good money!!

      I have my MIB shortlisted by cluster once, and the incentive is $10. Lol maybe I should send in more entries. Lol

    5. What is MiB ?
      I have my plan for that amount of money.
      A portion used to treat family a dinner. A small portion used for donation.

      The rest, just keep to buy share. Hahahaha.

    6. MOE ideas bank. Used to be called wits or something like that.

      1000 buy what shares??

    7. Probably can't Buy much share.
      I normally will buy few lot. Because I feel that buy 1 lot of share waste broker fee.

      Well. I have many shares to buy leh. Like singtel. Semb corp n semb marine.

      HL finance n stamford ld n keppel corp also looks good.

    8. Yeh,

      Whoa sound like you are going on a shopping binge. Thought great singapore sale over?

      Good luck

    9. Yes.
      Dow is at all time high now. I am waiting for better chance:)

      most probably will just average down my semb corp n semb marine.

  3. Replies
    1. hmm...MSAPF

      I also choose Wisdom, do you think I have the making of a KING LOL... just kidding.

      Thanks for leaving a maiden message

  4. Hi SI,

    I'll choose 自由. Freedom from bodily restrain (ill health), freedom from unwanted thoughts (like jealousy, anger..), freedom from having to irk out a living doing burdensome work (as opposed to earning a living)....

    Too greedy? haha

    1. LOL,

      LP! That is the problem of adults. If you read how I read about Wisdom, I want wisdom leading to happiness. I want buy one get one free, you want to buy everything in bulk for economic of scale.

      We are all greedy...thats why we are financial bloggers...

      Hmm am I, my random thought series is now the majority, my company prospecting posts are getting fewer and fewer, I must be a 不务正业 financial blogger

  5. Haha, I also noticed we're too greedy..tsk tsk, cannot make it!

    I never see myself as a financial blogger these days :) I'm a blogger with interest in finance :) Frees me up to do nonsense things that are nevertheless interesting to me as well! Ah, freedom again LOL

    1. LP,

      For u iit is,金钱诚可贵,自由价更高

  6. Sillyinvestor,

    You teach Chinese?

    You majored in Chinese during U?

    1. SMOL,

      Let me pissed you with a official reply first, no I dun teach chinese, I teach children. Muhahahaj hahah

      Now SI turn.

      Yup, I teach Chinese in primary school, I actually major in Chinese Literature and minor in Chinese Language.

      Why lei??? Why lei??

    2. Haha, I also long suspected you teach children Chinese... Just not sure pri, sec, or Jc :) that will explain your proficiency in the culture and language ;)

    3. Sillyinvestor,


      Ha ha! Got me!

      Now going to work. Tonight will do a proper reply to do you justice.


      I am biased.

      My head talks in English; my heart sings in Chinese.

    4. LP,

      Not trying to be humble here, but I seriously dun dare to say I am proficient in the language. I learn chinese in uni, but all the while learn in mainstream govt schools. Those older chinese teachers who went to Chinese schools then power! Although a bit embrassed to say this: I read straits times and not lianhezaobao. My reading speed in reading English is twice that of Chinese

    5. SMOL,

      Ok I will await your reply. Oh you are going for your weekend paid networking session again! LoL.

      Poke poke Suan Suan ... Once in a while must fighy back

    6. Every weekends may be risky to SMOL if he doesn't behave and trying to be cheeky to network the wrong woman.

    7. Lol,
      CW, thanking for following up with a behind the back tony jar jar

    8. Sillyinvestor,

      Done! I've written a post to do you justice and as homage to you :)

      P.S. By the way, I am glad you have the energy to "fight back"!

      Just kicking the tire to see if there's fire in your belly :)

    9. SMOL,

      No sugarcoating, just blunt honesty here.

      I am flattered that you wrote about my post, but disappointed that there isn't much traffic directed from SMOL. Thought there will be a sudden spike in views. LOL.

      But not that I mind. Cheers!

      Anyway, do not be alarm la, P4 kids might not understand 幸福、自由beyond the literal meaning unlike wealth.

      My CCE Hod was saying aiyo, I think CCE program has filed. I dun think is so serious la.

  7. Hi SillyInvestor

    I think as long as we lack one of the important things in life, we will be unhappy. Lack of money is a given. Lack of health is obvious (I'm down with a flu since 2015 and can attest to that!). Lack of social support (friends and family) will make us unhappy. Lack of freedom and spiritual health will eat into our soul. I think the goal is to strike a balance and to know when enough is enough (particularly for money). If there are any gaping holes in any of these areas, we should work hard to close them up (e.g. if one's health is not good, then be prepared to dedicate more resources e.g. money, time for friends and family) to repair it until it is back to normal.

    1. Retail trader,

      I am down with flu too. Bless you!!

      Wow I!!! A * student! If any of pupils read something like that I will give him or her a hug... Just kidding!! Hugging not allowed.

      You are right!! The key is enough. And if something something is so valuable that a few of it can offer the many of others

  8. Hi,

    First time posting here haha. Your post led me to recall this phrase I came across somewhere years ago:


    1. Hi Eugene!

      I like that! Thanks for dropping by my humble house.



      For those who might have difficulty understanding chinese.

      Eugene said happiness is having nothing yet everything.

      One have nothing because he wants nothing, yet has everything because life is itself of abundance.

      Easy to understand but difficult to apply.

    2. Hi,

      Thanks for explaining that in English! You did a great job of explaining - no wonder you're a teacher haha. I like this phrase because it sounds contradicting at first sight yet prompts one to ponder what's its essence precisely through the contradiction. Something like Zen I suppose.

      “我有了知足,我快乐了。” - 知足常乐
      当然知易行难, 要不然众生都修成正果了!哈哈

    3. Indeed, if everybody can apply what they know, everyone would have attain enlightenment. For us, we can only try our best, live our best. Keep reflecting.


      Keep trying to keep our internal mirror clean and clear so as to see better.

      The more famous quote of
      菩提本无树 明镜亦非台
      本来无一物 何处惹尘埃

      Can only apply to those with wisdom.

      Anyway, I am glad to have meet you on the cyber world. Nice to find someone to exchange these thoughts and quotes.

    4. Haha indeed. Good to refresh these words of wisdom from time to time to remind ourselves. Have a great year ahead!


    5. Thanks EC,

      You have a great year too !!

  9. Hi Sillyinvestor

    Great topic for your students of all age including ourselves. Choosing only one is always a difficult choice. Life is simple as it seems and starts, yet complex when u live on, and back to simple n empty when u leaves.

    Without Health, nothing is as important.
    Without Experiences (added), there can be no Wisdom.
    With Action (added), wisdom will just be words which everybody seems to have
    Without wisdom, what Confidence, Wealth or even Luck to speak of.
    Without Freedom, Dream will be confined
    Without Dream, sustained Fame shall not be achieve, which ultimately brings wealth.
    Without Respect, Love will expire.
    Without love, life is just bland and never be complete.

    With all said above, Bliss surrounds us
    With Bliss, everything will seem so Beautiful.

    It's BALANCE that matters!

    At different age/ stage of life, we choose different things (if only can choose one),

    I will choose Bliss eventually!

    Just my two cents thought

    1. Hi Rolf,

      Thank you for dropping by.

      Totally agreed with you about we become more and more complicated as we grow.

      Balance is what we aim for, but how to achieve is the tough part.

      Experince+ action

      For me it's experince + filter (values) = character

      See your around

  10. Hi Sillyinvestor,

    I would choose contentment over the 12 choices as at various points in my life I chose one of them and still due to greed never got my fill of one and sometimes even started pursuing more than one of the 12 choices. Still contentment never came unless I make contentment my only choice.

    1. Googirlinvestor,

      Contentment is what I want too, but I lump it with wisdom to get it... LOL cheater..

      Indeed, with contentment, it is easier to let go, when you let go, you go of worries and troubles too.

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