What is your Dad?
I am not an admirer of Robert Kiyosaki.
I actually once thought I’d become a fan of this guru of investment, but after reading his book, I knew I never would be. While I can’t argue with his financial philosophy, I have a great deal of difficulty swallowing the title of his book that propelled him into worldwide fame – “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”.
In this book, Robert Kiyosaki talked candidly about his two 'dads'.
First, he talked about his biological dad. His biological father was a government employee who served the Hawaii Education Department faithfully his whole life. However, as his father did not retire as a person of high net worth, Robert called his birth father, 'Poor Dad'.
The other 'dad' that Robert referred to in his book was an investor who used his financial finesse to earn a passive income and led a wealthy life. Robert described himself as becoming close to this mysterious man and regarding him as a fatherly figure. Due to his financial prowess, this man was bestowed the title ‘Rich Dad’ by Robert Kiyosaki.
Now, I fully understand that ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ is figurative and really about a business concept. As well, I agree it is a great marketing idea to contrast the two ‘dads’; however, I have some serious issues about Robert putting his real father down over and over again throughout his pursuit of success.
Every time I read his book, I found myself extremely disturbed whenever he spoke about how little he had learned from his own father and how wonderful his ‘rich dad’ was. To me, his disrespect for his own parent was shocking and unbelievable.
I won’t make any assumptions about those of you growing up in America. However, I do know that in Malaysia, we were strongly taught the principles of filial piety and respect for the elders.
Most of us, regardless of religion, were brought up believing in this : when we are young, our parents take care of us; when our parents grow old, we take care of them. That’s the cycle, plain and simple.
To show disrespect to our parents is taboo… it’s something that even the most rebellious young people would never think of doing.
What Robert has done over the years is not fair to his very own father. On the cover of every copy of the book, ‘Poor Dad’ is placed on the cover alongside ‘Rich Dad’, ripe for people to do ‘physical comparisons’. In every one of his seminars, he talks about how and why people should not be like his biological father, but rather, they should emulate his ‘better father’.
Imagine the pain and hurt if your own child did this to you… that every time he talked about you, he degraded you and used you as an example of someone who is poor, stupid and unwise.
If I were Robert’s father, I would roll over in my grave if I heard my own own son humiliate me, his old man, and further more, glorify a stranger, calling him his other dad and the better one at that.
I am sorry, Mr. Kiyosaki, if you disagree with what I am saying, but I feel that there are much better ways to name a product, promote an idea, make lots of money and enjoy success than your option was.
We should never, ever seek success through the defamation of our own parents. No matter how little we think our parents have achieved compared to us, we should always make them feel loved, respected and appreciated. This way the years of tender love and care our parents have given to us become justifiable.
By doing so we are also setting good examples for our future generations to emulate.
Love thy parents!
"Life is about constantly going beyond limits!"
- Erican Chong