Sunday, 17 June 2012

What is hardship?


Do you think a family with 2 teen children, one studying in a private art school without scholarship, earned a family income of $7,000, capable of employing 2 maids to look after one of their bed ridden parent, and staying in a HDB Maisonette to be living in hardship?

This seems to be what it is implied in the documentary I saw recently on our local television channel. In another documentary, a family with a wheelchair bounded father being look after by his 3 adult children, 2 working and 1 studying in our local university, seems to be struggling to cope with life that they don't even have the time to clean their cobweb filled house.

Watching both documentaries, I believed that the stories being told by the tearing and sad family members ought to be true and genuine. Well, at least from their perspective.

What I am concerned and worried is that the scenarios mentioned in both documentaries, were deemed to be well to-do years back when I was still studying in polytechnic. So it leads me into thinking if we have lowered our expectation in defining what hardship meant to us? In those days, studying in mainstream school instead of the private art school, helping to look after their bed ridden parent instead of engaging not 1 but 2 maids, working part time to support their
studies, and sleeping shorter hours to clean up the house are norms in household who are living in hardship.

Before I continue, this entry was written on 17 Jun 2012 and the documentaries I mentioned were viewed a few months ago. Yeah, the slow daddy always writes about history instead of current affairs, right? Well, I have the excuses to work and keep my cute little daughter
company ma. Right? ;P


Because I am not sure what would the standard be when you are able to read and understand this post. You might even think that daddy is such an unreasonable person with no compassion on the sufferings of others.

Having seen and known that others who fit into the description of those 2 families were called well to-do years back, it's kind of hard for me to accept that those situations are now being classified as families in hardship. It's not about the re-distribution of wealth among Singaporeans that people had been talking about recently. It's not about whether those 2 families require help. And it's definitely not about me trying to judge them with my life experiences and perspective.

It's about my concern that we seems to have slowly and noticeably lost of resilience nature, our ability to withstand hardship and the fighting spirit so much needed for survival.

Daddy can give you the best education I can afford, I can share my limited life experiences with you, and I can support you to the best of my ability when I am still around.

However, I cannot guarantee that I will always be there for you, as daddy can never out live you. I cannot accumulate enough wealth to ensure that you have a comfortable life and not worried about hardship. I cannot replace you in handling those stressful moments in your life. Most importantly, while I would wish to, I am no god to ensure that your life will be smooth sailing.

What I hoped is, by writing this post; you will understand the need to have a strong character, to be brave and to build the ability to fight the challenges in your life.

Your loving and cRazY dAdDy.