“Mummy, can I have that toy?”

“No you can’t, it’s very expensive!”

“Mummy, can I go to Linda’s birthday party?”

“No, stay home and do your homework. Your exam is coming.”

“Daddy daddy, look, I want to grow up to be an artist!”

“Dear, being an artist can’t earn you much. Study well, enter the university and get a degree. You’ll find a job that pays you well.”

How many times have we come across such conversations with our elderly?

When we were young, we all long for freedom. Freedom to do what we like, freedom to make our own decisions, freedom to go where we want to. As we grew up, we finally get that freedom. That’s when our 21st birthday became one of the most important birthday to most of us – we were given the key that marks the independence from our controlling parents/guardians.

We went on with life to create our own destiny. We studied hard at our tertiary education. Coming from an average family, some of us had to work part time to support ourselves. Finally graduating with a degree and embarked on our first money making job. We were regarded as one of the highest paid job among all freshies. Life felt good, so to speak.

As time passes by, more and more time were spend at work. Less and less time for ourselves and our family. We stayed up whole night for our night shifts. We went on trying to complete our never ending work while forgetting our lunches and dinners. As the work stress grew, we became grumpy and less and less patience. A job that used to be our passion to serve our the needy has become a chore. We drag ourselves up every morning to find ourselves dreading to work. We moan looking at our back to back call and endless reports to submit. We simply despise the working environment and the policies. Yet, we change nothing and go to work still, doing everything that seems to be the right thing to do – things that everyone else are doing!

We thought, by getting our all prestigious degree we will lead a better life. A better future. Yes perhaps, at risking our own health and family time for it. We thought, by getting a bigger figure on our paycheck every month, we are going to be free. As we go on with life, parents demand a new house to stay. Our work demand us to have a car. We have insurance to pay. We have to pay for electricity bills, water bills, internet bills, taxes, petrol etc. Marriage kicks in, babies coming the way. There is no way for us to leave our current job. We say we are independent, we have our own job, our own life. We are free to do what we likes, go where we likes, make our own decisions. Yet, when we want to take that holiday, we have to see the colour of our bosses’ face. We say we want to buy that new Apple TV, yet our paycheck does not allow us to do so.

We may be free from our parents, but we are now chained to our job. We cannot regard this as freedom anymore. This is not freedom. If this is not freedom, then what is freedom? 

Are we there yet?

Are we there yet?

Everyone has a different standard of freedom. The most basic perhaps is the freedom to choose. To have that freedom, we must have that capability and ability to choose. It is not freedom when we have plenty of money, yet have no time to enjoy. It is not freedom too, if we have plenty of time, yet has no money to do what we want. It is not freedom if we have both money and time, but has no health to live the life. It is having enough money, time and health to do what you want, when you want – this is true freedom and true wealth.  Life is all about balance.

Hope you guys are living the life of your own choice, not anyone elses. We have only one life. Appreciate life. Do good. Sieze every moment, cherish the good times and let the bad times be our motivation to be better. It is after knowing the bitterness taste of bad times that we know how to appreciate the sweetness of good times.

If by the time you finished reading this article you have yet to live the kind of life you wished, it’s time to take the right action and work towards it. If you are living the kind of life you have always wished for, then congratulations 🙂

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