Ping-Ko Chiu


Software Engineer,
Location Technologies @ Apple
pingkochiu [at]

6 June 2016

My parent's teacher

by Ping-Ko Chiu

I remember when I was about six or seven years old, my mom took me to this beautiful house in TienMu, Taipei. The house was big and filled with books, all kinds of books. There were books on the book shelf, books on the staircase, and even books on the floor. There were a lot of people in the house, most of them my mom knew. They all looked cheerful and passionate for something. I followed my mom around, like the little scared kid I was, into this room filled with people sitting in an oval listening to a man they refer to as Prof. Yi-An Chen. He was giving a lecture. That was his home and his books. He wore Harry Potter glasses, talked with a funny accent, and liked to throw in an English word here and there. He was my parents’ spiritual teacher, a learned man who shared his reflections on life. My parents described his teachings as having provided the important spiritual and philosophical discussions that every person should have, but that an underprivileged person could hardly dream of. Dad went to vocational school and mom didnt even finish high school. The lack of higher education and deprivation of physical and mental energy while making a living makes pondering philosophy a luxury. Prof. Chen was an important man to my parents and I grew up hearing his name a lot. That morning was one of the few times I saw him in person. I remember he touched my head and had the kindest of smiles. I wish I could listen to his lectures in person now that I am old enough to appreciate them, but he passed away two years ago. I never really understood who he was and what he taught. But I know for certain that his philosophy live in my parents and I have been indirectly reaping the fruits of his knowledge. I recently borrowed my parents’ collection of his writings in hopes that I can reconnect with this mysterious person that my parents praise so highly. He may have passed away, but his knowledge lives on.

tags: Life - Stories