Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Don't give me a fish, teach me how to fish

When it comes to children, everyone (well, almost everyone) has a soft spot for their cheeky, cute looks. More even if they're our own flesh and blood. We will give them the world if we could. But is it real love by giving them everything that they want or bring them more harm by doing so?

Don't get me wrong. I do not grow up with a pair of strict parents. My parents gave me everything I need and most of the time, things I want. Things that I demanded. Barbie dolls after barbie dolls, barbie mansion with pool, bags and bags of barbie's clothes. And mind you, barbie dolls were not cheap during the 90s. I have 5 drawers full of toys, just for me. When I was 12, I paid 2 boys in school to wait for me at the front porch to carry my bag and books once I got down from the car. And when I touched 15, my dad bought me the new Motorola StarTAC mobile phone which was the 'in' thing at that time. My 16th birthday present was a Cartier watch. While my classmates were using some unknown brand bags, I had a black Prada sling bag. Even my school shoes were Fila's. That's love, defined by my parents. So what's wrong with this picture, you asked?

That was when my dad was doing well. In fact, he was doing so well that he had very little time for me. Therefore, the only way he could show his love for me was by spending money on me. When he was made redundant by the company he was working with for more than 15 years, the spending on me stops too. Of course I threw a fit for not getting what I WANT. I blamed my parents for not getting what I want and I blamed them for being poor.

Things went downhill from that day on for years. I changed to a cheaper college but it didn't get any better. Things became so bad that one of the options was for me to stop college. Lucky me, one of our relatives was kind enough to loan us my college fee while I worked 4 days in a week at a small chocolate stall to support my expenses.

Classic story of a rich brat turns poor? Just put yourself in that positon for a while. From Cartier watch and Prada sling bag to working at a small chocolate stall in a mall just to earn couple of hundreds for meals and books. Don't you feel pathetic? I did! When my friends saw me at the stall, I felt so embarassed. Embarassed for being poor. But it was a great life lesson. It taught me the value of money when I had to contemplate whether I can afford a 5-in-1 pack of Maggi mee. It taught me that there's no mercy in this cruel world. It was either I swim hard enough to grasp a breath of air or die drowning. It's just too bad I had to learn it the hard way.

If something bad happens to you or when you are no longer in this world to protect your child, do you think he or she is able to survive? And don't ever think it could never happen to you, because my dad thought the same before it happened to him.


  1. Sorry to hear what actually happened to you and your family. I hope everything is back to normal now.

  2. Oh, I also wanted to say you were indeed the envy of most girls in school and you still are. I envy you having been able to pull through such challenges in life and made it through successfully. You are at your richest when you can count your loved ones with two hands. :)

  3. Yes, I agree! Loved ones are the best 'wealth' in life. Thanks for the positive comments. Good to know I have a friend like you, really. Cheers to 15 years of friendship. Err... 16 maybe?

  4. hehe...:) nice post mey ching!ya hopefuly everything back to normal now..