Lessons in val­ues be­gin at home

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - FAMILY - By MARC LIM

MANY things have changed at home in the last decade or so.

For one thing, my mother has stopped do­ing my laun­dry. Her ra­tio­nale: If I’m old enough to fa­ther a child (never mind the fact that I don’t have a child), I’m old enough to wash clothes.

On a more pos­i­tive note, I no longer have to ob­serve cur­fews and I can re­turn home in the wee hours of the morn­ing. Gone are the days when I would walk through the front door and be greeted by my fa­ther star­ing at the din­ing-room clock.

But one thing has re­mained con­stant through­out the years: the re­frain that my par­ents like to use on me: “You think this is a ho­tel, is it?”

I have been amazed at how my par­ents have found so many in­stances to use that col­lo­quial phrase.

When I was a teenager, it was the phrase which greeted me when I came home af­ter spend­ing a large part of the day out and failed to greet mum and dad.

“You think this is a ho­tel, ah, come and go as you please.”

As I en­tered adult­hood, the same words were ut­tered af­ter I hosted one too many drink­ingcum-foot­ball-watch­ing ses­sions.

These days, un­washed dishes in the sink or a laun­dry bag full of un­washed clothes would elicit the all-too-fa­mil­iar re­sponse – mainly be­cause my dad would end up wash­ing the load.

“You think this is a ho­tel, is it, peo­ple wash for you.”

I may be 35, about to own my place and hope­fully start a fam­ily. But in the eyes of my dear folks, I am never too old for a les­son in val­ues.

So when it was an­nounced re­cently that the (Sin­ga­porean) Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry will now place more em­pha­sis on build­ing char­ac­ter and in­still­ing val­ues into young stu­dents, I could re­late to that.

Even though I would like to think that I am a pretty up­stand­ing hu­man be­ing, who was taught at a very young age the

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