Over the past weeks something has been going through my mind and even though I haven't had much time to ponder over it, I know I have thought about it previously and I have taken a solid stance on this issue.
This issue is the asian ideals of academic excellence: striving and putting all your efforts in to be top, perfect, or number one.
I've seen so many people in my life waste their lives away in pursuit of that OP1, of that VHA10, or the GPA 7. These people dedicate their entire lives on working hard in their studies, putting academic achievement at the top of their priorities. They want that perfect mark, to sit at the top of the heap, and to confirm their supposed intelligence.
But what's the problem about this? Isn't it good to aim high, to be the best you can be, and to work hard to get the qualifications you need for the high paying job you want? Yes, in essense that's good, but isn't that the problem? Secular life is all about me. I want to be the best. I want the lazy high paying job. I want to confirm my superiority and intelligence.
Is life only about gaining intelligence, or a pursuit of careers? Is life about me? The answer is no. Life is about God, and giving glory to our awesome creator. God doesn't care if you're the smartest person on earth, or if you have the best qualifications or the best job. What He cares about is the service and worship you bring to Him. Yes, some people are gifted and can get good marks without much fuss or hassle. But for all of us, shouldn't we spend our time on things that matter, things that will reap heavenly treasures? Someone recently said "Put your efforts in Jesus, because He is the sure winner". That made me question myself... What is stopping us from putting all our efforts for Jesus? He's the only sure winner in our rollercoaster lives.
Another person I recently talked to put it this way. Why do we put this extra effort into getting those extra marks? For example, we may have 10 contact hours a week for a subject. By studying the whole 10 hours you can get a GPA5. By adding another 5 hours, you get a 6, and another 5 hours, a 7. Are those extra hours really worth the extra marks in eternity? Wouldn't it better using that extra time serving God and sharing the gospel?
Asians in this generation really need to rethink the ideals which have been put upon them by the previous generations. We need to re-evauluate our priorities and focus on what's important and what will really reap the rewards in eternity.