Monday, July 27, 2015

Parenting by example but are we making a difference to the world?

There are 2 points that I know in my mind and parents can usually agree on.

1) We should parent by example AND
2) We don't need our kids to be brilliant and rich. Instead we would like to see them happy and capable to make a difference in their world.

But can we and do we link these 2 conditions together? We want them to be happy, are we? And more importantly we want them to make a difference in their world, but are we doing the same? The latter question being the crux of the matter.

Or are we caught up in the endless cycle of making a living for the sole purpose of elevating our lifestyle and creating a safety net for our kids?

There are 2 aspects to this from the people I see and know around me.

The first is easier so I shall mention that first. The parents themselves don't see the need to make any difference to the world. And even if they do, since every one has a conscience, they do so through means of once-in-a-while charity or recycling. What I have in mind when I talk about making a difference is in our everyday lives. Forever and always considering love for thy neighbor.

But the excuse behind this would be - I don't even have sufficient time to get my own house in order, what more love my neighbor. Truthfully, it does not take much effort to love thy neighbor. It just takes a determined action to divert some time and effort from self pleasure. In other words, our sole purpose should not be in purely elevating our lifestyle but to live a life of sufficiency.

The second aspect is the concept of a safety net. We work hard to earn sufficient savings, for a rainy day, so to speak. But savings are never sufficient. It's very much like losing weight, once you start and feel elated with the results, it becomes an endless cycle of requirement, counting, increasing the limitations.

So much so, love to thy neighbor becomes a calculated action. Sometimes even an action that subconsciously demands something in return. After all, we need to take care of ourselves. If we don't do that, who will?

But living in God's kingdom seems contradictory to the 2 aspects and excuses we think of. Living in God's kingdom is not all about leaving it up tot God. He never told us to live our lives that way. But He did command us to love our neighbor, sometimes even more than ourselves. Not that we should suffer in their stead. But in right sense to consider the needs of our neighbor and not only our own.

If I want to take it a little further, I should ask myself: How can I make a difference to my world? Will the difference I intend to make be a positive example for my kids?

But I do know that if we live a white mice wheel of stagnant running in that circle that goes no where, this will also be the live that they will turn out to lead. In my case, always working for safety, never working for the now.

Food for thought.....

Sunday, July 26, 2015

A weekend of investments

I did want to say that it was an expensive weekend initially. But then, everything should be viewed as half full. So, in that light, I will go with the term investments.

First one was done after some deliberation.

You see, I was always known as the anti-Apple one. In a crowd of 5, I would be the only one pro Android. Not so much that I knew so much about the technology but well, I always fought for the under dogs. And the picture they painted of an Android was too extreme, most of the time. I mean, Apple must have some faults apart from just battery issues right?

So, when my Samsung started crashing on me, making me almost late for my son's school 3 times in a row, I decided since I was going to change my phone, let me try an iphone once in my lifetime. Just to really know how 'good' an Apple product really is. Also, I was trying to shed off being stubborn about things - you know an Android-always-an-Android mentality.

So, 1 hour later, I was MYR 2,800 poorer and 2 years bounded by Digi on the MYR78 plan. Moving from Android to Apple is a pain but so far I am loving how fast the phone is working in my hands. On the positive note, there were 2 calendar apps which I managed to download where I could restore the data through the App from my Android to my iphone.

I am still calling my phone an Apple and not an iphone. And I have come to realize a phone is really just a phone to me. All I need from it is stability and storage. Seriously, I was not that excited when I was buying the phone.

Second investment was also done after much encouragement.

Hubby is learning swimming. He has signed up for the MYR2000 course with Swimin12 and will learn EJ's marvelous techniques up to freestyle level. I am glad after his first trial lesson hubby was super tired but super excited for his next lesson! Soon we will be swimming together as a family!

Third investment was on some skincare and hair care that I have been looking for.

Costing less - MYR148, I got myself Aloe Vera + Olive Oil cleanser (it was marketed for body but I am using it for my face), Water Gel Aloe Vera which leaves a layer of water which hydrates the skin after usage. I reckon a night cream off the shelf cost almost the same. So, an organic aloe lotion for my night regime seems reasonable. And a conditioner which I bought simply coz it smells great and well, my long hair could do with some intense moisture once in a while.

So, the weekend set me back MYR 5000 but the first 2 is really an investment after all.