A life lesson
It was probably when I was 16 and a high school student.
We were busy copying what the teacher wrote on the blackboard and the classroom was very quite. Then suddenly, the teacher broke the silence and said ‘You know about the rice..’. Rice? The food? (Rice is the staple in Korea by the way.) I lifted my head and looked at him. He carried on where he paused. ‘Imagine if the rice is too sweet or savoury. You wouldn’t want to eat every day. Because it tastes bland and blends well with other dishes you can always eat and are never tired of it.’ That was it. He stopped and moved back to the textbook.
I just laughed. I was only 16 and I didn’t know what he really meant at that time. However, this has turned out to be the most enlightening lesson of life. Now I truly know what the message was after I’ve experienced many different – good and bad – things in life.
No matter what you eat, you need staple foods. You could eat a piece of chocolate cake or a grand lobster dish every now and then but these are not something you can live on. Staple gives you confidence and security. You don’t need to struggle to choose because you can have both. It’s not a matter of choice! You can eat rice with others. Or you can eat others one day but when you’re tired you can always go back to rice. You don’t need to/cannot replace rice with something else (ok – rice, bread, potato, you know what I mean).
I could extend this even a bit further. Life is all about who you are and where you are from. As long as you are secure about yourself, you can achieve whatever you want in life. You will enjoy the experiences and learn to co-habit with those things that life has to offer. This vital lesson can apply to so many aspects of life. I’m still in awe to think about the teacher who casually said those words to us 16 year-old girls. He was a real philosopher. I cannot thank him enough.
Don’t forget the staple, it’s always there for you.