Sunday, April 25, 2010

Echoes of The Rainbow (歲月神偷)

We live in a “comfortable” time, where there isn’t much war and turbulence around us (except natural and financial disaster). And if we are lucky, we will be educated with a comfortable job, and parents who could take care of themselves physically and financially. Thus, we would have no dependent (unless we have children or a spouse who is not working).

The good thing is we don’t through much hardship or difficulty in our life based on our surrounding, unless we come from really poor or problematic family, or we have a streak of bad luck and misfortunes (such as sickness, unnatural death, etc). Thus, we are not tested in our ability to face despair in our life.

I was watching Echoes of The Rainbow (歲月神偷) and felt that it’s a really “touchy” story. First we have a poor family trying their best to save the roof of their house, including pulling the roof together with their bare hands. Then they are heart broken when knowing their elder suffered from leukemia, which is very deadly at that point of time. They did all they can to keep their son alive, trying their best to go through the hard times (to believe or not to give up), but it just didn’t work out pleasant in the end. They face quite a lot of financial challenges (corruption, bad business, medical for their son, poverty), but that is nothing as compared to the lost of their child.

What’s the reason for us to work hard everyday? So that we can live a better life, or to protect and care for the people we love (our parents, spouse and children)? I was told happiness comes when we help others to achieve their happiness. No matter how selfish we think humanity might be, I think we do want to protect the people around us, even though it might incur great lost to ourselves. We live and work hard for the happiness of the people we love. We wanted a better future for our children, we wanted to make sure our parents enjoy a comfortable retirement and we wanted our spouse to be satisfied and happy.

Since we live in more “comfortable” time, we should be able to achieve more and do better than the previous generation. We should be able to give back more to our parents, and provide a better life to our children. If I only need to fend for myself, I don’t really have to work very hard and I can have a very enjoyable lifestyle. Perhaps I do feel the responsibility to protect and provide a better life for the people around me, to shield us from hardship and despair as much as I could. Then again, we could only do what we could, and the rest is up to fate.

Monday, April 05, 2010

A bigger dream

A few weeks back I visited Seri Pilmoor, a semi-d / bungalow property in Ara Damansara (strategic location surrounded by PJ, Shah Alam and Subang Jaya) out of curiosity.

It’s a pretty nice house, and what I like most is its open-air rooftop garden. I could imagine myself working or relaxing at the rooftop, enjoying my Jacuzzi or reading on the sofa. It’s a nice idea and nice place.

Basically the bungalow cost about RM 4 million, something which my entire family combined also could not afford. The semi-d cost RM 2 million and all the 20 plus unit had already been snapped up at the blink of an eye.

So, I have to conclude that there are really quite a lot of rich people in Malaysia which could afford million ringgit houses (including all those houses in Mont Kiara, Damansara Heights and Bangsar). Secondly, I could not afford these houses at the moment and I didn’t even plan to make so much money 10 years down the road. To own one of these babies, I should be making at least RM 200,000 per year minimum. I always planned my life in a simple way, living in a simple house (costing between RM 100K – 400K) and driving a simple car (RM 50K). If I aim for something bigger and higher, I would need to make bigger sacrifices today (which I could live without such luxury, and still feeling comfortable financially and freedom wise).

The problem is sometimes I have dreams which are quite expensive, such as a garden rooftop bungalow. Secondly, knowing so many people in Malaysia are making so much more than me. Thirdly, knowing something I couldn’t possibly afford now and possible in the future doesn’t really feel good.

In order to get what I wanted (which is to earn possibly 300K per year), I need to be the CEO of a sizable company, setup my own company with its stream of clients and workers or hit jackpot.

If I continue with freelance (or 1 person business), this is something I would likely not be able to achieve. At the same time, I am not quite willing to expand into something bigger, though I have a feeling I might have to do it eventually.

Perhaps there is not such thing as being small and satisfied when the bigger opportunity arises.