“Money can’t buy happiness”
That is what they say… But, does the saying really apply in real life? Or, is it just meant for metaphors?
Whether or not money counts as one of the criteria for happiness, nobody can’t deny that money is important. Well, let’s be real for a second and admit that we need money to survive… To buy food, to afford shelter, and many more. And, for that, some would say:
Money may not buy happiness, but it can buy the time and opportunity to be with loved ones.
For some, it may not be as simple as all of the above — Normally, we would have our parents provide us with all the things that we need to prepare us for the future. That includes our basic needs for attention and financial support, which are based on criteria of a fit parent.
However, not everybody is privileged in that matter… To have that kind of stability, to have all the support that one would need. For some, they have to be a provider in the house due to a certain condition that their family is having. Thus, not only that they have to provide for the family financially, they’re also “forced” to create a stability for the family.
Well, as I was blessed enough to have the privilege of having what considered to be a child’s rights… I can’t help but to think of their unfortunate fate. But, are they really unfortunate though? Well, I’m not one to speak about being the provider in the house. Because, up until this point, I went from having my parents provide for me, to independently provide just for my own self.
So, I reached out to the people in my life whom I know to be unprivilegedly providing for their family.
I talked to a couple of my closest friends that I personally admire and view as strong women who provide. I asked them about the challenges, how they manage, along with everything else in order for me to try to understand their position. Because, frankly, aside from their “unfortunate” circumstances, I’ve never seen any negativity that comes out from them.
Obviously, managing personal finance is much different than managing for the whole family. This factor alone can be quite challenging for anybody. Now, let’s add the fact that the family’s livelihood depends on one person. I can’t even begin to imagine the challenges they have to go through, especially when they actually have a right to enjoy their lives just like anybody else in their age. But, throughout all our conversation, they managed to inspire me with every sentences that they utter.
When asked about the greatest challenge of being the provider in the family, they vaguely admit that they are sometimes tired. Whether tiredness in physical matter or emotionally, but they always follow up that they need to keep going. Even if they know that they have the choice not to accept the burden, they respond with how they wouldn’t have it any other way.
Even though they have to work hard for their family, they mention that the circumstances have given them a sense of happiness that nobody can ever know or understand. And, with that happiness, everything went away. Which comes to my next point…
How do they keep themselves strong & motivated?
Well, one thing that they keep repeating over and over again is that always be grateful for every little thing — even for the misfortune. Just live life as it is, and face it without questioning “why” towards everything. Because, when we do question, we would get so caught up and stuck that we might not see a solution, a way out of our problem.
At that point, I could only stay silent and listen to everything that each of them had to say. It’s hard not to pay attention (even to remember) to the words that come out of their mouth. Because, for one, even I — the one that they consider to be more fortunate — they can name a few things that they feel more blessed about than I do. And, that’s why I felt so ashamed… How I can easily be so blinded by my problems, just because I forgot to be thankful.
Next, I realise that they, too, are human… I can see it in their faces, their eyes, their expression, their voice. As they talk about their challenges along with how they stay strong and motivated, it shows just how much they speak with so much passion. It’s like, they admitted the pain, but they don’t want to let it speak the loudest about themselves.
Instead, they focused on how they feel happy and proud that they can provide, give their family what they need. And, most importantly, give their family happiness.
I ended our conversation by asking for advice…
"What would you want to say to those whose privileged?"
And, their answer is,
We don’t know what tomorrow will bring. The one thing we have to do is prepare our heart, to be strong. Not only for ourselves, but we have to be strong for others too… help others, share, give. Life may be challenging — but we, too, need to challenge life. Otherwise, life will be flat.
In conclusion, they left me with this…
“Hard times do not mean suffering”