My mom, who didn’t go to college, used to say this to me, and it bothered me a lot. She’d say, “We’re not meant to be successful, so what you’ve achieved is good enough!”
Privilege and inequality in Silicon Valley
Ricky Yean
2.9K164

Your story is inspiring. I found your mother’s attitude unusual, because I myself am a third generation Chinese Malaysian, my great-grandparents having come over to Malaysia from China decades ago. The Chinese immigrants who came here had hard lives, of course, and as a result strongly emphasised the importance of a good education to their kids. They saw education as the path to a more comfortable, successful life. This attitude has filtered down through the generations, so Chinese parents today send their kids for extra tutoring after school to supplement the classroom lessons; expect their kids to score straight As in exams; scrimp and save to send their kids to good universities in Australia, the US, and the UK. In fact, it’s a common joke that parents will tell their kids, “If you don’t study hard, you’ll end up becoming a janitor or garbage collector!” I find it interesting that your mother discouraged you from going too far, because in all my experience here in my country, immigrants have pushed their kids to go as far as possible… the idea being, “So you won’t have to suffer like we do.”

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