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Worthy or unworthy to learn sth on which you will never be a professional?

I'm going to take the piano lessons.

My friend said, "i really don't understand why you want to learn this.(That's true I'll never become a pianist) And you also wasted your money on French. You should've invest your money on make-up and dress up. (so I can marry a rich guy more easily) . and you can learn the piano after you get married. (so I dont need to use my own money)."


When my sister studied in university, she saved some money and took singing lessons. My mom blamed her that she was wasting her money on this meaningless thing, because she would never become a singer. 


Is this true for most of chinese poeple that it's non-sense to learn or do it if one thing can not bring us money?


Will you invest your time and money on learning something new which you like very much, but on which you'll never become a professional? Did you ever strive for your dream in your childhood?

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I learned guitar 2 years ago. I didn't touch it for a long time, since the string was broken. But I don't regret. :-)
thanks for sharing.

Its about finding happiness and inner joy, if you are happy by doing what you want eventhough you cant be a professional, then money doesnt matter.

Thankfully there are people out there learning and even doing things that will never be their main job. They do those things because that's what they enjoy doing or for other people. They write books (how many book writers actually can make a living with their writing alone?), they work in charity organizations, they play in bands, they make other people's lives and their own better. Those people who gave you those pieces of advice are limited and dull. 


That's great you took French lessons, and piano lessons. And I strongly believe that everything you learn can be used in someway. The more you learn, the easier it gets to learn. I learnt Russian, Latin, piano, I'm learning violin and beyond the pleasure I took at it, it develops a whole set of other skills.


Keep it up and don't listen to what they say.

"everything you learn can be used in someway"
That's true. I'm sales. My poor French brought me RMB1400 and my limited German brought me RMB400. Money is not important here. One of my customer from Germany didn't show much interest in our products. And I wrote an email in German with many mistakes, he was still very supprised and looked very happy about this. I can see he is moving to us now. I'm happy!

I dont see why you feel the need to question this so much and make it a purely Chinese issue - many cultures have a similar opinion because all parents want to see their children have the potential to suceed with a good and stable career and so to improve yourself vocationally rather than artistically is always the preffered option.......


Seemingly harsh, the other words we could use to describe these opinions could be ignorance ? jealousy ? Cowardice ? 


Often the only time we are able to do things like this is when we are older and can afford to take on these new challenges but they are often considered to be follies or indulgencies when we reach this age - cant teach an old dogs new tricks but my grandmother took up painting at 80 and found she was bloody good at it - what a shame to loose all those years


Who knows you might find a skill you excell in and become a world class pianist !  If you can afford it, is it so terrible that you should want to improve yourself ?? 

Hi Hazel, I didn't mean to make it a purely chinese issue.

The interesting thing is that I told my decision to 2 foreigners, and both of them support me. While my chinese friends are against with me. I also made the example of my sister's experience. So I wonder this difference is due to culture difference or sth :-)

hi - in this instance I would say that the 2 responses you summarised in your post are typically chinese but since many things on this site are always focused at Chinese bashing I wanted to draw away from this aspect and highlight its not so unique to face these kinds of reactions, maybe slightly different in other countries but nethertheless similar, especially if its attached to the arts -


I think a lot is down to education and personal wealth, China is changing, sometimes fast, sometimes not fast enough in the attitudes of the people in how they want to embrace change which is why some people will respond positively and some wont


You see from Isabelle rather poetic post ( really Isabelle, if you havent taken up poetry you must ) no parent wants this kind of poverty and disillusion for their child while they pursue their dreams and their love of art, while it seems Isabelle brother efforts / dedication has finally paid off, its not like that for many people and he paid a heavy price for that success.  No offence to Isabelle but at the end of the day, is he able to put food on the table, maybe now but for a long time no...... and this is what people in China are focusing on because they have been hungry for a long time


Haha, I got carried away.


Anyway, I see what you're saying in regard to being able to put food on the table at the end of the day. My brother battled with this for a long time, from us, his friends, all around him almost giving up on him. Looking back, I can only admire how he just held on to his dream. Fortunately for him, he only has himself to take care of. No innocent kids went hungry during those difficult times. His wife left him but, well...that's another story. I just wish he would be wise enough to invest smartly whatever he's getting now to make sure he won't have to worry about his future.


For the OP's post on one pursuing his/her dream as nonsense, I think this would mostly apply to families who are not rich. Of course priorities are mostly dictated by the family's economic status. And it is only natural that engaging in activities that would put food on the table would be the priority of any family that do not have loads of cash to spare on "whims and caprices."

"Of course priorities are mostly dictated by the family's economic status."


This also makes it easier to understand how this attitude became a cultural thing.

Actually most of families are not striving for the food on the table now in China . This period has been gone.
In additional, most of us are not nut of something. They are just a hobby for us. Like my friend in my topic, he's richer than me. He's planning to buy a car, for sometimes he feels embarrassed before his friends without a car. What a damned reason for me. :-)
So it's not about rich or poor, it's the different attitude to the life. :-)

"Often the only time we are able to do things like this is when we are older and can afford to take on these new challenges"


But by then the Muse has died and your curiosity is gone along with a mind capable of learning and changing.  IMO



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