Knowledge Becomes Force

Studying Know-how for a Living

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by Chen Bo

Chen Bo is 71 years old. This article has appeared previously in Chinese, but this is its first English language publication.

My wife and I are both engineers who worked together in a high technical institute for over 20 years. Because it was located in a rural province in the west of China, the area around the institute was very poor. Our family too, was very poor in China, because we have three children (two daughters and one son) and we took care of my parents – who lost their jobs at home, and had no pension.

It was pitch black outside the door every night and there were no sporting facilities nearby. Since they had nowhere to play after dark, my wife guided my children to study their lessons carefully during that time.

“Knowledge becomes force,” was a saying we used in our house.

We told our children, “Our family is poor, we can’t give you anything, but we can help you finish university. After this, you must find a job for a living. You must depend on yourself!”

We always stressed the importance of education. Our children have not disappointed us. Our eldest daughter graduated university, specializing in Automatic Control. Our son graduated university in Electronics. They were both engineers. Another daughter graduated from college as an accountant.

As the new century began, our son and his wife were the first to move to Canada as new immigrants. Before coming, they worked in an American-Chinese company for several years. Employers in Toronto liked their “North America experience,” therefore they found engineering careers quickly.

A year later, our eldest daughter and her husband went to Toronto with their daughter. Finding a job was more difficult after the “9/11 event”, but about a year ago, our son-in-law found an engineering career. After our daughter gave birth to a son, she studied English very hard, and last year she too was rewarded with an engineering career. Now our daughter, son-in-law, our son and daughter-in-law are all engineers. They live in new homes and have a nice living.

And they are in a great position to keep moving forward. From where they are now, they can assess their skills, abilities and the job market needs of Canada. They can take their past work experiences and match them with the Canadian job market. They all keep improving their English language skills, have self-confidence, use networking to find work, post their résumés to targeted companies, and contact the companies in person by calling or face-to-face.

These are efficient and often successful ways to find a good job.

Our youngest daughter lives in China (a big city near Beijing) and her husband is also an engineer. They have a nice living too, with their own new apartment and new car.

So our three children are all richer than their parents. When they look back on their lives growing up in China, they are proud that they were born to a Chinese engineer’s family. We are very happy for their luck – but luck. alone would not have brought riches.

If you want to know the secret to our happiness, we will tell you what we told our children. “Knowledge becomes force.” So study hard and get ready to succeed.

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