Don’t just give, teach youths to ‘fish’

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

I immediately thought of this saying when I read about 10-year-old Danish Izzudin who is selling mango juice to raise enough money so he can buy a video game console.

I then learnt that national footballer Safawi Rasid was proud of this boy’s determination and wants to get him the console as a gift.

But why? Why do this to a boy who has no problem working hard for a goal How does making it easy for him help or teach him any lesson?

I don’t know Safawi personally but I can only assume that as a businessman and a footballer, the gift will allow Danish to use the money he has raised for his education or perhaps another business venture.

But just rewarding someone out of pity or delight is not going to teach that someone anything. In fact, it goes to show that by just posting “hard work” on social media, there will be those who will fork out money. Hard work is a trait which does not seem to exist among many youths these days, in my opinion.

PsST poster

We don’t want our 10-year-olds hustling on the streets but we don’t want them playing video games the whole day as well. As a father of two, if my kids were to come and say they wanted to raise money to buy something, of course I would allow them to do so.

But if the grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbours and everyone made it easy for them, then what’s the lesson that they will learn? There is a difference between working smart and taking shortcuts. Know the difference.

A video game console is a symbol of a life goal in this case and upon achieving it, doesn’t mean we should rest and retire. If that’s the case, Safawi’s football team Johor Darul Ta’zim would not have won the Malaysian Super league six times in a row!

Life is now, more than ever, too short. Let’s teach our children that there is always a goal to achieve and that they should always strive to achieve their goals en route to making their family and nation proud. Danish could one day lead a government-linked company to great heights and we could all look back and be happy that he didn’t get the video game console so easily.

People like Safawi, you and me have the power to motivate the next generation to prove that living the dream is not impossible. It just takes a lot of hard work and there is no shortcut to success.

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