Let’s talk about an average family in Singapore. Dads and moms are full time employees. Kids go to school. All are well fed and well clothed. Three meals a day makes no issue. Some are even showered with contemporary ipads and iphones. Some own posh homes. Some goes to the not-so-affordable (but yet they can afford) enrichment class. Fast food once a week don’t seem to be costly. Costly school bus fees and tuition fees are still ‘affordable’. Domestic helpers and irobots are pretty common. These is how a typical Singaporean child is being brought up right now.
Well, that seem to be a normal lifestyle for most young families.
However, at distinct corners of Singapore, let’s not forget about some folks are living in poverty-stricken state. They barely earn enough to sustain
their own life. They live in a severely hoarded homes that literally looks like a rubbish dump!
A recent report from Strait Times published a picture of a man sitting on his bed of his unbelievably cluttered home. My children were surprise to learn that the report said ‘hoarding’ is a common problem in rental homes. This report was further substantiated with two other similar homes elsewhere. As the saying goes ‘Picture Says a Thousand Words’, my children can see for themselves that this home is definitely not a desirable living condition!
To make the matter worse, few days later, another report published that an elderly man found dead in his trash filled flat. The saying ‘One man’s treasure is another man’s trash’ explains it all. Things like empty boxes, used cans, old newspapers and such appears to be trash for us are picked and kept by some folks over years. The purpose? To sell them for little money.
Now, with these two extreme scenario, we are fortunate that we do not find ourselves at the needy end. I had definitely took this advantage to show my children that although we don’t live a luxury lifestyle, we should certainly be happy with what we have everyday. Although we live on single income, we certainly live in a clean, neat and tidy environment. Seeing the state of this lonely man in the picture, my children suddenly began to feel that we are ‘rich’ complete with sufficient love and material needs.
Now that they learn about the less fortunate, they are constantly reminded about tidiness, cleanliness, spending wisely, appreciative and most importantly -priceless kinship among family members. You too, as a parent, can start spreading the thoughts of how fortunate we and our children are to be brought up in this era. Happiness doesn’t have to come with a bill. A session spend at playground or library comes free and meaningful!