以前在老師教導之下,各莘莘學子,就都要牢記於心:「要先修身,次齊家,後治國及平天下.」或許是代溝的原因,年青的我就不接受那一套,我想:光是修身就是一輩子的功夫.齊家一事,如眾所知,不再是媒婥之言,首婚次嫁,離離合合,找一個終身的伴侶就不容易.治國平天下就更不像以前一樣,上京考試,一舉成名天下知,就可榮昇步入宮廷,處理國家大事. 故此一早就决定了自己的去向,就是要「收身,離家,自覺,遊天下. 」這當然和老師的願望背道而馳.時光流轉,今天的我,在加拿大住了很多年日,雖未曾踏足世界每一個角落,但可幸有機會遊遍北美,也到過其它好幾個地方,見了很多世面.如果今天遇到舊時的老師,他們又會怎樣想呢?
In the old school of thoughts, every scholar was supposed to remember the four goals of achievements, in the following order: Refine yourself which meant academic and spiritual refinements. Get married which usually referred to the young man putting his House in order. Govern the state/nation which meant landing a job with the government and becoming a mandarin. The last goal 平天下could mean flattening your enemies and/or bringing lasting peace to the world (depending on how you use the Chinese word 平). Perhaps it was a generation-gap thing, as a youngster I just couldn't accept such teaching. I thought: Great, it is going to take my whole life just to refine myself to perfection and be ready to get married. Without match-makers to do the screening and matching, and given the high divorce rate, the chance of getting it right the first time is very slim and not easy. Then, there is no more annual countrywide scholar examination that will provide a launching pad into the emperor's court to govern the nation and conquer the world. So, I decided at the time that my four goals would be: Pack up; Leave home; Self reflect; and Travel the world !! Obviously I was heading the opposite way of what my teachers were expecting. Well, many years have gone by and I now find myself well settled in Canada. While I am not a global trotter who leave footprints in every corner of the world, I have been lucky to be able to travel all over North America and a few other continents. Yes, I have seen quite a bit of the different faces of the world. I wonder what the comments from my old teachers would be if I run into them today.