何毓琦的个人博客分享 http://blog.sciencenet.cn/u/何毓琦 哈佛(1961-2001) 清华(2001-date)

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A Valentine Day Tribute to My Wife 情人節献给我的终身伴侣 精选

已有 18624 次阅读 2008-2-12 23:07 |个人分类:生活点滴|系统分类:生活其它

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The Single Most Important Advice On Life I can give



Three years ago during the Question & Answer period of a lecture at

Cleveland State University, a student asked me this question: “If you only have one piece of advice to give, what would you

say to a young student starting out?”. Without

thinking I gave an answer which probably wasn’t what the
student was expecting. I said, “marry a good woman”. In the  

ensuing three years, I had reflected on this often and became more convinced

than ever about the correctness of this statement from my heart.



To paraphrase a famous Browning (Elizabeth Browning) verse “why do I think so,

let me count the ways” (actually the original quote is even more appropriate

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Barrett_Browning )



1. No one knows you better than your wife, warts and all.

2. As you climb the ladder of your career and success, you will hear more
and more “YES”s and less and less “NO”s. Your wife is the only one

with the knowledge and incentive to give you honest, frank, and sometimes

uncomplimentary advices.

3. While two cannot live as cheaply as one, two can definitely live more

efficiently than one. By dividing up the duties of home, children,
and career, each can pursue their endeavors with full confidence and
trust that that the partner is taking care of the rest. At the same time,

you enjoy the benefits and support of a family unit. In my own case, we
were the last generation where Dad earns the income and Mom holds
down the home front. But other equitable divisions are possible

4. A good wife grows intellectually along with you. You are never bored
and can always talk to her. It is 同床同夢.After so many years we can finish
each other’s sentences.

5. You have separate and shared interests. In our case, it is her love of  music
and my joy in research. But we both believe in giving back to the society
and love to travel and visiting far away places together

6.  Like a ambassador’s wife, she is beautiful, charming, and helpful
Many countries pay the wife of an ambassador a salary for being so
and with good reasons. Many of my former students know that they
received and learned as much from her as with me.

7. She is the last generation of modern women who were brought up on
the notion that their task is home-making in every sense of the word.
As a result she subordinated her talent, beauty, and career possibilities.
In my  mind, she could be the Zhang Zi-Yi 章子怡 of her day

if cirmucstances had permitted.
8. In 2007, all our children donated a prominent display case in the
renovated library of our town in honor of their Mother for her 40+
years of civic contributions to the local community. The newspaper
reporter writing a column for the donation asked our children why
they chose to honor their Mother only instead of their parents. Their

reply is that their Father has received many public honors in his life.
The children wanted Mother to have a special recognition of her own.
A sentiment I whole heartedly endorse and approve.

9. During the 1990s and the Clinton years of US presidency, there was a
joke that is actually rather relevant today in 2008. The story is about
Bill and Hilary Clinton returning to Arkansas for a visit after being

elected President. They drove past a gas station where Hilary’s old
boy friend was working as a gas station attendant. Bill Clinton said to

Hilary “I wonder what if you had married your old boy friend?”
Where upon Hilary replied,”then he will be the President and you

will be pumping gas”. That just about sums up the importance of
your life partner.



I proposed to my wife and she accepted my proposal 49 years ago on
Valentine day. 1959. As we look forward to our 50th wedding anniversary
it is appropriate for me to close with another Browning (Robert Browning)
quote  “Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be”. I think it is much more
than  白首偕老.


(Note1: My apologies to modern young woman. My remarks are from a
man’s viewpoint. But I believe with appropriate changes, the principles

apply also for women

Note2: related blog article Chinese American Weddings: reflections

http://www.sciencenet.cn/blog/user_content.aspx?id=4104.)



NOTES ADDED Feb. 18, 2008


My wife and I sincerely thank everyone for their comments and best

wishes below. This is one of the best anniversaries we had.


NOTES ADDED Feb. 19, 2008. The picture below  was taken at the Chinese New Year

celebration party given by the Chinese American Association of Lexington (CAAL) for the residents of the town

on Feb. 9, 2008.





http://blog.sciencenet.cn/blog-1565-15663.html

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