They say that money is the root of all evil.
The world revolves around money as though it controls us with its invisible hands. They influence our behavior and choices. We get angry. We get stressed. We get envious of people who make tens of thousands, who has the latest mobile phone model and branded shoes and high-quality make-up products.
I am only a teenager.
I am not poor. I am not rich. Like most Malaysians, I belong to the middle class. The fact that I am studying in an international school gives many the stereotype that my parents make a good sum. Sadly it’s false -the money for my tuition fees is from my aunt. Sometimes I wished my family didn’t give in to my silly complain on how much I wanted to move to a new place.
Yet I am here, struggling with Chemistry and a bunch of formulas thrown at my face. By being surrounded with many rich children, I get used to the uneasy attitudes of spendthrifts. But then again, I see many who try to save every little cent, and these were mostly children who belong in the same class as me.
Am I a cheapskate?
I try to find many alternatives when possible. Instead of buying textbooks, I borrowed from a senior (so I can return them back for her younger sister’s use) and photocopied some. Starbucks and milk tea stopped being a thing because of the bottled water I have in my bag. My clothes, though mostly branded, were always from the discounted section. Big discounts were the best, some of my bought pieces were from RM59 to RM6.
Asking my dad for money makes me dispirited. He is working so hard to support my future as well as paying for my classes -what more can I ask? I cannot wait to start working, I’ll probably take a bunch of part-time jobs after graduating high school so I can stop depending on him, or rather, depend on him less.
As a child from divorcees and living with my father, I do not treat my distant mother as Santa Claus. She would ask what I want for my birthday and Christmas, and I’ll give her my reasonable materialistic desires. This is all. I could ask for so much more, for she earns a lot, but why should I? Although money is powerful, it is never as strong as genuine love from a mother. Many children overlook this.
There’s no conclusion to this thought bubble of mine. We cannot help but let money play a huge role in our lives. Maybe it’s good to take some time to be grateful for having a roof over our heads, to have a smartphone, to have a closet full of clothes, to eat good food once in a while, to be able to go to school, and most importantly: to have enough.