Friday, December 26, 2008

My Father's Death and Legacy - Part 3 of 6

My Father's Death and Legacy - Part 3 of 6

Hi. For new readers who may not know me, please note that my father, Daniel Alagaretnam Devadason, died at 1 am on Friday April 4th 2008. I've decided to celebrate his life by sharing six enrichment lessons I learnt from him.

The first was 'Pay for High Quality', which you can read more about at:

The second lesson was 'Focus on Professionalism', which you can read more about at:

I had originally planned to complete all 6 lessons within a very short time of my father's passing. But after posting the first 2 lessons, I found that I needed to keep myself very, very, very busy with other - less contemplative - work to deal with the pain of his loss. So, here I am a little after Christmas Day 2008, after celebrating the very first Christmas without my father being around, trying to pick up the threads of my thoughts...

Here's the third of six lessons I want to leave with you:

Respect Books.

I love books. It is one of my few major extravagances. I've got to the point now that both my libraries at home and in my office are overflowing, with newer book purchases and recently reread favourites forming mini-skyscrapers on cabinets, desks, chairs and even parts of the floor! It is easy for me to figure out where that passion for reading came from:

My father surrounded himself with books, as does my mother to this day.

In fact, I remember when I was very young he gave me a complete set of a children’s encyclopaedia. I avidly dipped into it throughout my primary education years. In school, first in Seremban and later in Malacca from Form 1, I discovered his generous gifts of books had permitted me to leapfrog most of my classmates in terms of linguistic development and general knowledge.

Today, I find the lifetime love affair with books has granted me an edge in each of the 3 key areas of professional endeavour I have chosen to pursue. For those of you who don't already know me well, those 3 areas are consulting, professional speaking and writing, mainly on financial planning and retirement planning funding.

As I write this, 2008 is down to its waning days. God alone knows just how bad, how deep and how long the global recession we find ourselves in now will be. But strangely enough I have this abiding sense of calm that I've been preparing half a lifetime for this very season of crisis. Some people say that in every crisis there is an element of danger and another of opportunity. The awful economic news emanating from every corner of the globe is an effective means of alerting everyone to the danger that lies ahead of us, specifically the danger of serious wealth destruction. But there is also a great opportunity in the weeks and months ahead; it is an opportunity to place yourself on the side of the winners who will grow wealthier in the vast transfer of global riches that will take place throughout 2009.

My own preparation has hinged upon my father's lesson to respect books. If you are already a reader, wonderful. If you aren't, I suggest you plant seeds today to turn your children into readers. It may be a cliche, but it is true that readers are, generally, leaders. That's because leaders require vision above all else, the ability to perceive in the mind's eye a better tomorrow, a preferred future! That vital ability is developed over a lifetime of intelligent reading that develops the imagination and informs the intellect.

We live in a Knowledge Economy. Dare you call yourself a true 'player' in this 21st century K-economy if you aren't reading about the world we live in and the world we might be inheriting?

I hope you will choose to follow D.A. Devadason's Principle Number 3: Respect Books, and gradually see that respect grow into love and eventually passion!

I hope to write on my father's fourth lesson soon, so if you wish to read about it, please do check back here at The Cool Time and Money Blog by making a note of this URL,

Finally, for the sake of completeness because this blog is often read by individuals in my home country of Malaysia who might wish to solicit my help in reaching long-term goals, you may learn about my life planning, financial planning or retirement planning consulting services by reading my bio. Thank you for dropping by. It's been a pleasure writing for you.

Warmest regards,


PS. I'm on extended year-end leave, so please use the comment facility, via the 'COMMENTS' link below, should you wish to leave a message for me or even a thought to share with others about what I've written today. Thank you, once again.

Rajen Devadason is CEO of RD Book Projects and its sister company RD WealthCreation Sdn Bhd. He lives in sunny, peaceful Malaysia with his gorgeous wife Rachel. He's a Malaysian Securities Commission-licensed financial planner, a life planning consultant, a professional speaker and a serial author... which probably explains why he's so exhausted! Some of his books are available here, and, if you're interested, here are some quotations he reckons are accurate, bold or cool.

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