Sunday, April 12, 2015

Can't Rely on your Children

The life plan of people of my generation was laid out thus; get good grades, get a good job, get married, get children… and hope that your children will remember that you had to get good grade, hold down a good job to get married and raise them. So, they too will need to be sure that they get good grades so they can land a good job, with good pay, so they can give some back to their parents.
Filial piety is and has been our culture, and is taught by all religions, but we must stop this vicious circle.

So, to all parents, I say, do not burden your children and please be self-sufficient. Do not put pressure on your children. Don’t put them on a guilt trip, repeating the overused phrase of “One mother can raise 10 children, but 10 children cannot take care of one mother”. That’s unfair. Those children have children to take care, too. That mother who raised 10 children lived in a different time than the 10 children.

If you children do remember you, and take very good care of you in your twilight years, then, congratulate yourself, you did something right when you yourself were juggling between your career and raising your children, perhaps even took time to visit your parents. If your children don’t have time for you, maybe you never spent time with them, nor did you think you needed to look into your elderly parents from time to time. What goes around comes around.

Parents, your children are NOT your assets, like many people like to think. They are not liabilities either. They are trusts. Those who are privileged to have children, please understand that God, with His Grace, decided that you are worthy of this trust. And parents, your job is to ensure that these trusts will grow to be the true “Khalifahs” of this earth. Teach your children well.

Once they’re grown, you job is done. You owe them nothing, and they owe you nothing. If they decide to give you a little of their time and wealth, that is their prerogative.
Those of us who are in their mid-forties and early fifties (like myself), start thinking of how you are going to live once your employer do not require you anymore. How will you maintain living the life you are used to now, after you no longer command, much less demand, your present income? How will you pay the clinic and hospital when you get sick? How will you pay the mechanic when your car breaks down? Will you still be able to maintain a car? Will you have to give up your pay TV? Your internet connections? Your smart phone/s?

Create an alternative income NOW! So that it will replace your current income later. And let your children go about their own lives, bringing up their own children to inherit this earth.
Read ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ and ‘Cash Flow Quadrant’ by Robert T. Kiyosaki….

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Rollercoaster and Life

Here is something I learned from Kak Long. After her SPM, she was still undecided of what she was going to do. I was worried when she finally decided she wants to study medicine. I was worried, not because I doubted her abilities, but I was afraid that she had chosen that field because we (my wife, my mother-in-law and I) thought that she should be a doctor.

Later, Kak Long told me, the real reason she chose medicine, was that; looking at the subjects she has to take, she thought she can handle those in medicine, rather than learning physics and add maths. I laughed, and commended her. I liked the practicality of her answer, rather than a naive but noble ones like, I want to find a cure for cancer. Well, maybe she will.

Thus far she's been doing well. She has her priority straight, I guess. Which is something prevalent only in the women of our family.  The men folk are frivolous, and only seek instant gratification.

Ok, maybe I just described 95% of all men on earth, but, it is weird that 4 people made of the DNA of the same parents can be so different.

Perhaps, women more resilient creatures. And, perhaps, (at the risk of being sexist), I think that is the reason why women stay in bad marriages and there are more cases of wife abuse that husband abuse. Men don't hang around. Men wish that life is like a video game, that, half way through the game, if there's no way to win it, we just hit the restart button, and begin again. Of course, that is not how things are.

Women, on the other hand, treat life like taking a roller-coaster. Just like Kak Long, she knew that once she had made the decision to ride this roller-coaster, she realises that there's no way for her to get off, but to make the best of the situation and enjoy the ride. And, as I like to tell my friends who shun the roller-coaster, I tell them, the secret of enjoying the ride is to let it take you. If you anticipate the rise and the drops, and you, throughout the ride, keep bracing yourself for impact (that will most likely NOT happen) that's when you feel the pain and fear.

So there you are. Life, apart from being a like a box of chocolates, is also a series of roller coaster rides. Some of us, go through life making sure we are the one who chose which ride we take and when. The majority of us, just ride this one roller-coaster over and over again, afraid to get off and try other rides.... until we were forced to by some "unavoidable" circumstances.

Thank you Kak Long, for teaching me this invaluable and priceless lesson in life. I love you and your siblings very much.

Now, I need help to get these constricting safety belts off me, so I can try a new ride..... or should I? At more than half a century old? Where are the release button on this safety belts called self-doubts?