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[Opinion] Rich Dad

Posted May. 07, 2004 22:06,   


A self-made American man once stayed at a hotel. He, one of the world’s richest men, chose the cheapest and the most humble room at the hotel. “Sir, your son stayed in the biggest and the fanciest room last week. We would be happy to change your room now if you want,” the manager carefully said after greeting the man. Waving his hands, the rich man answered with a smile, “My son can stay in the expensive room because he has a rich dad, but me, no. My dad is poor.”

--"Dad, my dream is to have a rich dad." a high school boy, who wanted to have brand-name products, said one day half-jokingly. The father was shocked to hear what his son just said and asked himself, “His dream is to have a rich dad, not becoming a rich man himself? What on earth made him think that?” Looking from a different perspective, however, what the son said was not really his dream—he just let out his frustration for not having a rich father who would buy him all the expensive things he wanted. The father, who valued honor over money all his life, could not overcome the shock and the shame for quite a long time.

With Parents’ Day coming up, University Culture Press and Power Jobs, an online recruiting company, conducted a survey of 606 college students and asked, “What did you want your parents to have?” The respondents answered “wealth” by far, with 44 percent wanting their parents to have more money. The result reflected the current trend of more than half of college students wanting to have a rich dad. “Understanding and generosity” accounted for 18 percent, “human networking” five percent, “high educational background” four percent, and “leadership” also four percent. Meanwhile, 17 percent said “nothing.”

“The most idealistic father is the one who dies early,” a famous Japanese politician, well known for bringing up his children strictly and independently, said. It means that only those who learn to stand on their feet with no help from others will become the most successful. Parents neither rich enough to buy expensive things for their children nor courageous enough to die early would be more than honored to receive just a carnation on Parents’ Day. Anyways, aren’t we living in a world where being good parents is even harder than being good children?

Editorial Writer Oh Myung-cheol, oscar@donga.com