Giving your son a skill is better than giving him one thousand pieces of gold. – Chinese Proverb
What does that mean?
This is a quote about preparation. Whether it is a son or daughter, a niece or nephew, or even a friend of the family, a skill is a gift which will last them a lifetime.
Gold, money, jewelry, or cars, these gifts are only a one-shot potential. A skill will still be theirs long after they have spent the gold or money, pawned the jewels, or wrecked the car.
We often give others what we consider valuable. To someone with the skills to earn gold, money, jewelry, and cars, those things are how they demonstrate their ability and worth.
But to someone just starting out, these are not sustainable gifts. To sustain a nice car, one needs a skill to trade for money. Without that skill, they will be living their life on the charity of their friends and family.
Why is having a skill (or two) important?
We all have things we know and can do. Some of them are even of value on the market. As adults, most of us have a skill or two we could teach to someone else. That could be our children (a very old and traditional method), or the children of others.
Even young adults can be taught a skill. This might take the form of an apprenticeship, or you could be a mentor to someone with some potential skills, but in need of polish and fine tuning. Sometimes it is formal, and in a work environment, and sometimes the training is on the weekends.
However we gain the skills, without them, we are in a bad situation. What will we trade for the money to buy the things we need to live? Food, water, and shelter, they all cost money. Without skill, you are without money. Without money, you’re hungry, among other things, and that’s not good.
That is why there are so many places which try to encourage homeless and impoverished people learn skills, that they might better their situation. This is often referred to as a ‘hand up’ rather than a ‘hand out’ as it helps them help themselves, and make progress in their lives.
Where can I apply this in my life?
I have a few skills, but only a handful of them are useful for earning a living. I suppose if I could get over my fear of the stage, I could probably make a living as an entertainer, if you call living like a starving college kid an actual living.
However, I am fortunate that one of my better skill sets is quite marketable. I have an ability to see problems, and come up with ideas on how to fix them. This skill has been polished over the years by both my grandparents and parents, by my teachers, and experience.
But the question is what are your skills, and how can you pass them on to another, as that is the thrust of the quote. This can be broken down into identifying skills, how to pass them to another, and selecting that person to whom you will try to pass some measure of your skill.
It would make sense to start with determining what skills you might have which could be of use to someone younger than you. In some neighborhoods, just staying alive is a useful skill. Whether it is corruption, violence, or crime, there are many places where it takes skill just to stay alive.
In other places, a certain level of social skill is required to move in certain social circles. In some cultures, a proficiency in basic dances is considered the mark of a valuable person, even if it is just in attracting a spouse. Or it might be speaking a foreign or special cultural language.
Then there are the basic chores. Can you do basic cooking and cleaning, as well as the other household chores? Or do you think someone just starting up will be able to hire someone to do all that for them? Until they are sufficiently skilled at making money, they’ll have to do it themselves.
There are also the work related skills. Can you help them get organized? Can you teach them a trade? What specific skills do you possess? Are you a skilled laborer or an office drone? Office politics can be as brutal as a workman’s pecking order, if you don’t know what you are doing, right?
The world is full of people with great skills. There are also plenty of people in need of the skills necessary to survive and thrive in the world. The question the quote asks is will you help these people? Will you share a skill, and allow them to earn their own coins of gold?
I leave it to you to determine what the best venue for passing along your skills may be. I also leave the selection of the person to whom you will pass along your skills to you. It is often a very personal relationship, and you will have to figure out what works best for you.
From: Twitter, @Sports_HQ
confirmed at : http://www.quotery.com/giving-your-son-a-skill-is-better-than-giving-him/
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