That comment surprised me as I'd never thought of Andre being particularly adept with the elderly. I have noticed however, that he seems to have this natural knack for looking after others. Whenever my good friends Isabelle and Joon visit with their two toddlers (or when we visit them), Andre will automatically assume the role of the big "korkor" and entertain the kiddos, much to their delight.
He'll share his toy taxi collection...
... and even bring them on a ride in their wagon.
For a long time now, we've known that Andre is very much a people person. I don't think he can explain it in so many words but often, he seems to understand intuitively what others need. For instance, there's a boy in Andre's class with a serious skin disorder that afflicts his entire body. He has to apply this ointment that leaves a sticky residue and many kids are repelled by this. In fact, some of the kids have called him "Monster" which obviously upsets the poor boy. Kids can be so cruel.
When Andre told me he sometimes sits next to this boy and just be his friend, I thought it was very sweet of him.
A few months back, I read a Forbes online article entitled "Intelligence is Overrated: What You Really Need to Succeed". Essentially, it states that while IQ is often used as a criterion for climbing the corporate ladder, it is actually your other "intelligences" - emotional, moral and body - that are bigger determinants of financial success.
I found this statement particularly interesting:
"Nobel Prize winning Israeli-American psychologist, Daniel Kahneman, found that people would rather do business with a person they like and trust rather than someone they don’t, even if the likeable person is offering a lower quality product or service at a higher price."Once, a friend of mine, who's a badminton fan, invited Andre to join him at a game at Sengkang Recreation Centre. Andre was terribly excited by the invite and at first wanted to ask his best friend who stays at Sengkang along. After some thought though, he told Kenneth, "No, I better not. It's not my court, it won't be nice."
That's when Kenneth told me, he was less worried about Andre's future because here's a boy with EQ.
As you probably know by now, I constantly worry about Andre, especially academically. Even though I know academics is not everything in life, it's hard to shed the mother hen complex. But when I hear how Andre tries to be a good friend to others, it warms my heart and it goes a long way in assuaging my concerns.
In life, there really are few qualities as important as kindness to others. Perhaps Andre's the one who's gotten it right all along.