Wednesday 7 December 2011

Why is the sky blue? (Mommy, why you so smart?)

Polly and Esther were 2 precocious 7 years old that were studying at the same primary school. They were the best of friends!

Every day after school, their stay at home moms will pick them up and walk them home from school. Since they all are staying in the same neighbourhood, the 4 of them frequently walked home together.

Polly’s mom is a graduate but has decided to be a full-time mom to focus on Polly’s education. Esther’s mom is not a graduate, and she works weekends at the local supermarket as a cashier.

One day like any other day, while they were walking home together in a foursome, Esther asked her mom…

“Mommy, why is the sky blue?”

“I’ve no idea…” replied Esther’s mom with a quizzical look on her face.

Polly’s mom interjected.

“Polly, do you know why? It’s because when the sun rays hit the earth’s atmosphere, all the other colours of the rainbow can penetrate it due to their longer wavelengths – except blue. Blue light will scatter in the atmosphere due to their shorter wavelengths and hence the sky we see is blue!”

Esther’s mom was impressed! Although she is not sure whether Polly and Esther understood…

“Mommy, why are some clouds bright and white, while some are dark and grey?” asked Esther again.

This time, Esther’s mom turned to Polly’s mom and looked with an expectant smile.

“Ah! When the clouds are not thick and heavy, more sunlight will pass through them – that’s why they are bright and white. Similarly, if the clouds are heavy and thick, less sunlight will pass through – hence it will become dark and grey.” Polly’s mom answered in a matter of fact way.

“Oh I see!” Now both Polly and Esther exclaimed in delight that they understood this explanation!

Now Esther did not asked about the dark clouds for no reason. The sky suddenly opened up and boy old boy, did it poured!

Polly and her mom hurriedly dashed to a nearby bus-stop for shelter. But still they got drenched…

Esther’s mom pulled out 2 umbrellas from her bag and gave one to Esther. The 2 of them waved goodbye to Polly and her mom and continued their walk home.

Esther’s mom was glad she brought alone the umbrellas when she saw some dark clouds in the horizon while leaving the house.

On the way, Esther asked her mom in a most endearing way…

“Mommy, why you so smart?”

Esther’s mom smiled and looked at Esther lovingly.

“Mommy is not smart. Mommy just knows what’s important. And that’s you!”

Both mother and daughter walked home in the rain holding hands tightly. Both learnt something about each other on that rainy afternoon.


  1. 1) Graduate moms,

    This satire is not about you! I use graduate and non-graduate as metaphors. Hope you can "see" what they meant ;)

    This story is more for investors - do we still remember what's important? Or the main reason why we are in the market in the first place?

    2) I would like to make a special acknowledgement to Panzer. His remark on bringing his daughter to Japan was the inspiration to this post.

    I am applying this perceived "strength" of mine in my investments and speculations. Once I have a more proven track record, I will share more.

    I can "see" unrelated information and piece them together to see a Van Gough. I guess it helps for Top Down Macro investing!?

  2. Ai-yah! I thought I can try to "guess" the moral of the story before you explain. But I am close haha!


  3. Hello Blackjack,

    LP gave me this tip many moons ago. Can write the moral of the story at the comments - instead of inside the post. Less of a spolier ;)

    I hope you didn't read the comments first then read the post!?


    P.S. By the way, there's no right or wrong interpretations.

    My "explanation" is merely to aid readers to explore or do their own interpretations :)

    Yours could be better! We see what we want to see. Wink, wink.

  4. Hi SMOL

    Wow, even an innocent remark about wanting to bring my daughter to Japan triggers another interesting scenario about two mothers and their daughters...


    Be well and prosper.

  5. Hi smol, haha I thought you wrote this after inspired by the PSLE results release. Apparently quite a few of the top scorers had moms who stayed at home.

  6. Hi SMOL,
    My take is you can be very knowledgeable(HIGH IQ) but if you are not prepared for the worst(High EQ), you won't go far in the market.
    So is for our daily living, i think we need more EQ than IQ. One thing, having a "HEART" is more important than having more of your "BRAIN".HA1 HA!
    My 2 cents.

  7. Hi SMOL,

    I live with my sister and niece most of the time now. So, this story is very endearing in more ways than one. I enjoyed it. :)

    Indeed, money is just, well, money. We can always make more money but once we lose someone we love, all the money in the world cannot bring the person back.

  8. sm@llfry,

    I've lost tracked of Singapore's education system liao...

    What a blessing!

    I think it's couple of years back when MOE introduced "creative" thinking in the curriculum.

    Some parents complained to the press that some of the PSLE questions are so "tricky" that even parents can't answer!?

    I remembered Straits Times posted 10 PSLE questions and I only got 2 questions right. For crying out loud! @#$%#%^*@!!#%&

    Even if I want to be a stay at home dad, I don't think I can do much help on the homework side...

    No wonder tuition is so flourishing in Singapore!

  9. Temperament,

    It's always feels good when someone get the metaphors I try to slip into my stories ;)

    Polly's mom knows a lot more that Esther's mom; but she forgot to apply her knowledge where it matters most: when see sky dark better bring umbrellas just in case.

    This way, her Polly will not get caught in the rain :)

  10. Ah AK!

    Can have all the fun with your niece without the responsibilities!

    Famiy always comes first!

    Although there were times I wished I was born an orphan whenever we had bitter arguments in the family... But that's in the past ;)

  11. Hi SMOL,
    "when see sky dark better bring umbrellas just in case."

    This type of knowledge even Ah Mao(common-man)also knows. This is where the Heart matters more than the Brains is what i mean.

  12. Hello Temperament,

    Thank goodness common sense is not so common... Then ah mao like me can survive between the cracks.


  13. Fishermen may tend to see dark cloud and check wind directiom. May be the dark cloud is not coming towards us so no need to pack up so early. Can continue fishing. Cloud and wind together matters.

  14. CW8888,

    Common sense with the addition of EXPERIENCE! Thanks for making my post more complete :)


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