On our way home after visited your cousin, you (Jude) asked me why he has so many toys and has so many games on his iPad, and you don’t. I could have given you a very simple (and lazy) answer by saying: Because I think you have enough and stop comparing.
But knowing you are like me, you won’t settle for lazy answers, I have decided to give you a longer one. I asked you when you were there, did you notice your cousin’s father was not home? Did you wonder why his father was not home? It was a Sunday, why wouldn’t anyone’s father be home? Well because his father had to work. His father had to work on most weekends and most public holidays. Which means to say, he hadn’t got to spend most weekends and public holidays with his father. I asked if you would want the same, if it means you would get more toys and more games on iPad. You got quiet. You got the answer yourself. You are a smart kid.
I’m not saying every kid who has a lot of toys and games on iPad also has a father who has to work on weekends. I’ll leave it to you to find out if it was the case. But what I wanted to say is, as you grow older and wiser, you will begin to learn that life is unfair, in a fair way.
From the day both of you were born, I have never been away from you for more than 12 hours; well except once I had to travel to Jakarta to handover a project. Which was the longest so far I was away from both of you — 36 hours or so!
There was another time, I had the opportunity to join one of the telcos in Singapore. The prospects sounded good. I would have jumped for it. But my first question to the person who introduced the job to me was: will I get to work from home?
You don’t need me to tell you what the answer was and why didn’t I take up the opportunity. It is so important for me to be able to be close to both of you. Not just being close, but being able to drop everything at will and give priority to you when you need me (though I must say, too much of both of you actually made me sick, sometimes *tongue in cheek*)
I could have taken up any job that paid me well so I could buy you more things that you wanted. But in return I would have to give more of my time to my employer. Would you be ok with that?
Talk about unfair. From young, I wasn’t getting much of what I wanted as kid too. Friends of my age had computer, had Nintendo, had taken aeroplane to holidays. Damn it I haven’t even had much birthday cakes to cut!
Did I complain? Yes of course I did! But did I eventually get all that I wanted? Yes, I did too! I got all that I wanted by my own effort!
I put together my first computer by using parts I salvaged from other broken computers. It served me so well I had even learned how to create website with it. Best part is, because my computer was so slow and outdated. It forced me to create websites that were compatible with my computer. Results of that? The website I created would run on any computer! Talk about cross platform? My work could cross time!
The reason I’m telling you all these, is to show you how life is unfair: Some kids have more, some don’t. But life is also fair: Those who were not given much, simply had to put in some effort to get it themselves. Trust me, the victory is a lot sweater when you won it by your own effort!
Closing note: By the way, I have no problem buying all the toys you want from Toys “R” Us, really! It happened to be my childhood dream too! But do we have enough space for all of them or not huh? Will you enjoy coming back to a home that you can hardly find space to walk? So, having desire is not wrong, but you must also desire logically. Ok?
Pro tip: Learn how to do business, then you can open a toys store and you can play with any toy you want, while making a living from it!