Lessons from Li Lao Shi
I met with Teacher Li and mentioned that I want to bring my son to Taiwan for part of his grade school education. “That's good!” he said. “That's what you have to do. You're almost 40. You have to bring him along with you, so he has a strong impression of what his father did.” Then he chimes in with his joking nature, “Teach him how to earn Chinese money.”
He is joking, but he knows it is no joke, and continues into one of his philosophy raps. Such is the way of Teacher Li. “How many PhD's are there in the world today?” he queries. “So you know that a PhD doesn't mean a crap. But in this new world that your son will live in, how will people achieve value? It’s important to be able to do something that brings value. Remember my nephew? The one who was a straight-A student and went to England to study? He hurt himself and had a hard time studying ever since. Now he is training to be a chef in a famous kitchen here in Taiwan. After you graduate from school, what do you have to do?”
I've heard this particular rap a few times. So this time, on cue, I tell him the answer, “Get a job.” He replies, “Yes, get a job, so why not get a job right off, get to your goal sooner, and save yourself a whole lot of trouble?”
Li Lao Shi is an amazing character and, as a fortune teller, he knows the other side of the story. He's just waiting to see how much of the story we can piece together to create a guide for achieving the best life possible. As a fortune teller, this must be one of Teacher Li's favorite subjects.