Yesterday I had the chance to talk privately with my mother at home, and she told me about many things about her family when she was a kid. I really really love my mother dearly and I accept her to be who she really is. But I have known this for ages that my mother has a very interesting way in viewing money… and to some they may think that she is materialistic hehehe… that in many things… money comes first. She even said many times before the interesting phrase “Money Doesn’t Know Family Kinship”, or in Bahasa Indonesia is said “Uang Tidak Mengenal Saudara”. She said before in the past that even family members can fight with each other for money.
Sometimes I thought that hey maybe because my mother is Hakka (many people told me that Hakka women is super duper good in money management and sometimes can even become stingy)… almost dragging myself into stereotyping hehehe. But what disturb me the most is that if we honor materialism more than anything then we have lost the very foundation to keep on living. It is not a secret that in my family success is equivalent with being rich. If someone want to boast something about success… they will boast about what they have just bought. So comparisons are very often being made… oh this cousin has bought house in New Zealand… oh this cousin has bought a mansion in Timbuktu… oh this cousin has just comeback from Rio… all about materialistic possession and luxury lifestyle.
Rarely being mentioned… oh this cousin helped the needy and the poor hehehe… So overall for a long time I have been quite disturbed with the fact that I too have to show the things that I have earned… which is really contradicting with my personal value. I would rather sit down quietly and keep the information to myself about my personal wealth. I don’t want to boast nor show others what I have. The more they think I am poor… the better it is for me hehehe. The more they want me to dress like a rich man… the more I will just dress modestly. But one day it will be revealed that actually I have a very significant saving for people in my age group… but let the number be a secret hahaha.
I hate that they can ask me without being embarassed “how much money you make ?”, because in the Western world that is one of the taboo questions to ask hehehe. And as usual I will give my default answer “my money is enough to buy food and drink”. Well I am not complaining about my family but that is how the way it is. So it has been for a long time that I wondered why my family is like that. Why they value money too much ? And yesterday from my conversation with my mother… I finaly found the answer. The statement saying that everything has a root cause remains true even in this case of this family of mine.
My mother told me that when my grandfather and grandmother got married they were very poor to the extent that no other relatives come to visit. At that time if you are poor… people do not want to be assosiated with you. Only when my grandparents started to become richer then the other family members starts coming down… especially during Chinese New Year when they expected hong bao (red packet filled with money). Growing up and witnessing this kind of human unpure motives… makes my mother believes strongly that MONEY DOES NOT KNOW FAMILY KINSHIP. After hearing the story from my mother I began to understand her more.
But it also gives me a burning desire to change this, and let my children to grow up in a different mindset, which is a view that is Godly. I want to pass down a new value to my children and their children that FAMILY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN MONEY no matter what. In the family everyone should be found equal whether he or she is rich or not. Our measurement of success is not based on how many ferrari cars or mansions we have… but whether we have truly lived our life according to the word of God.
Written by Handy Tirta Saputra on 4 Feb 2013.
To give comments, please CLICK HERE