Contentment and the World Economy

During Hari Raya, my better half and I visited one of my colleague's house. Compared to ours, it was very beautiful and large and had all the things I wanted. I told her that this is the kind of house that I wanted and I could only dream of having one.

She said that we should be contented with what we have. We have more than enough. When we got home, while at the computer, I had the radio on as always. Lo and behold! I heard one penceramah talk about kanaah or contentment. It was indeed a divine reminder to me.

Today, as we looked at the world economy moving up and down like a yoyo, I cannot help but think had everyone in the world been contented, we might not have such extremes. The world has been driven by expenditures.

One kingkong commented on my entry yesterday "The issue of 'memiskinkan diri' is not only a local issue. Americans have similar problem as well. They have been living on borrowed money using credit cards and bank loans that's why they were having credit crunch at the moment.Just imagine every americans borrowing 5000 us dollars and with a population of about 200 million that will be 1 trillion dollars." It is not just Americans, it is us. We can't be contented with a 42 inch tv. It has to be an LCD 42 inch flat screen tv. With 60 months credit term offered by electrical stores, everything looks affordable.

In Singapore, when people staying in subsidised public housing started buying flat screen tv, the rest of the public was outraged. In Brunei, I visit 'poverty' houses and see satellite dishes. I pass by most of the 1,600 houses in perpindahan who are so far behind their payments, chances are there would be astros and a number of cars there. I bet if I go in those houses, I will find flat screen tvs. Chances are too that they are all trying to keep up with the next door neighbours.

Sometimes we forget the simple things in life. Be thankful with what we have and I bet we won't run into financial problems. And the world will not be having this wild ride into the unknown future.


Reedz said…
What a timely post! Thank you very much for the reminder bro.
kingkong said…
Few years ago the govt had increased the salary of its civil servant (ie acclerated increment). On average people are getting around 200 dollar raise. It's suprising that today people were still talking about another salary raise.The issue is as BR said the more money we have the more unnecessary things we wanted to have unless you have sifat kanaah or bersyukur apa yang ada.Kalau ada gaji 1000 jangan kan ikut gaya orang bergaji 5000.Pandang lah kebawah bukan ke atas.
Pg Runa said…
Very interesting...I myself had been living pretty beyond my income and that increased in salary was just really like a pin in a haystack! But sooner than later I realised that's I have to be thankful (bersyukur to ALLAH) in order to really benefit from that rahmat...
p o t a t o said…
I tend to "credit" the Government's Education syllabus for the present economical circumstances. Economics, or perhaps Money Management should be taught in schools. It's as essential in life as much as MIB, PUI and Linguistics, yet the nation is depending on parents (who themselves are big spenders) to educate the next generation about how to spend money i.e. live beyond your means and finance your loans with more loans. It's not uncommon to hear parents telling their younglings to save, but they themselves are not practicing what they preach. Hence, the lure of quick-rich schemes trapping those who don't know any better.

Bruneians, or anyone for that matter, should bear in mind that even though we have only one life to live, we have a long life to live. The first 20 years of life are designated for education, the next 40 years to establish a good foundation and secure a financially secure retirement period. Judging by the way things are going, people are going to retire only to realise that they don't have enough money to finance their luxurious lifestyle. Then they become a burden to their children and grandchildren. Sure, family's there to help out, but they never helped themselves for the entire duration of their working career. Are they okay with leaving huge debts for their children to pay after they die?

I also think it is rather superficial to have a luxurious lifestyle just to impress others. Buy big cars and build a big house to "improve assets standing" just to have one's bank accounts red 2 weeks after payday? Is it really worth it?
kingkong said…
The issue of living beyond one's mean remind me of local drama darah kedayan whereby Dyg Suma bought new funiture , curtain etc for celebrating hariraya .she even showed the price tag to tell others on the cost of the items.After hariraya the husband Awang Kudil was asking . 'Sum apa kan di makan". Dyg kasum replied "Tunah nasi campo kicap sama gaam "

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