A young man went to apply for a managerial position in a big company. He passed the initial tests and panel interview, and then had to meet the director for the final interview.

The director discovered from his CV that the youth’s academic achievements were excellent, so he asked, “Did you obtain any scholarships?”  The young man answered “no”.

“Was it your father who paid for you to go to college?”


“My father passed away when I was young, it was my mother who paid for my education.” he replied.

“Where did your mother work?”

“She took in washing,” replied the young man, blushing at what this important man must think of such menial work.

The director asked him to show him his hands. He looked at a pair of hands that were smooth, and strong and perfectly manicured.

“Have you ever helped your mother wash the clothes before?” he asked.

“Never, my mother always wanted me to study and read more books. Besides, she can wash clothes much better than me.”

The director said, “You seem to be an excellent candidate, but I have a request. When you go home today, go and clean your mother’s hands, and then come back and see me tomorrow morning.”

The young man felt that his chances of landing the job were very high, and went home feeling jubilant.  When he got home, he remembered what the director had said and he fetched a bowl of water, some soap and a flannel and asked his mother to let him wash her hands. His mother felt strange at this request.  Happy, but with mixed feelings, she offered her hands to her son.

He cleaned his mother’s hands slowly, and as he did so tears started to roll down his face. It was the first time he had noticed that his mother’s hands were so wrinkled, the knuckles were swollen and gnarled, and there were so many small abrasions and bruises on them. Some abrasions were so painful that his mother winced when he touched them.

For the first time he realized that it was this pair of hands that had done laundry for strangers day after day to enable him to go to college and university. The injuries to his mother’s hands were the price that his mother had had to pay for his education and his future.

After cleaning his mother hands, he quietly washed and ironed all the remaining clothes for her and folded them neatly ready for collection the next day.

That night, mother and son talked for a very long time.

The next morning, he went back to the director’s office.

The director noticed the tears that sprang into the young man’s eyes, when he asked: “Can you tell me what you learned yesterday when you went home?”

The young man answered,” I washed my mother’s hands, and also finished washing all the remaining clothes. I know now what appreciation is. Without my mother, I would not be who I am today. By helping my mother I now realize how difficult and tough it is to get something done on your own. And I have come to appreciate the importance and value of helping one’s family.”

The director said, “This is what I am looking for in a manager. I want to employ a person who can appreciate the help of others, a person who knows the sufferings of others to get things done, and a person who does not put money as his only goal in life.”

“You are hired.”

He worked very hard, and received the respect of his subordinates. He respected the work of every employee, and worked diligently alongside them as a team.

A child, who has been protected and given whatever he wants, can develop a feeling of “entitlement” and may always put him/herself first. Ignorant of the efforts made by the people around. When such children become adults and start work, they may assume that every person must listen to them, and if they become a manager, they are often unable to understand the day to day struggles of the employees who work for them. These kinds of people, who may be good academically, and may be successful for a while, eventually find no sense of achievement. They will grumble and be forever dissatisfied and always fighting for more.

If we are overprotective parents, are we really showing love, or are we spoiling our children instead?

You can provide your child with a comfortable life in a big house, eating good meals, learning to play the piano, watching movies and playing games on a big screen TV. But when you are cutting the grass, please let them experience it. After a meal, let them wash their plates and bowls together with their brothers and sisters. It is not because you do not have money to hire a maid, it is because you want to love them in the right way.  One of the most important things your child can learn is how to appreciate the effort, and experience the difficulty of day to day life, and to learn how to work with others to get things done.