Friday, May 27, 2016

Random thoughts: Acceptance and compassion is negatively correlated with misery

Are u feeling miserable about your life?

The past week, I have a bit more time to "talk male chicken" with people around me. I am quite shocked with the struggles people carried with them in their lives and yet still coping so well. However, there is also a case where the whole family feel so miserable because the main characters are "blind" to the situation because of lack of acceptance and compassion.

Case1: Filial son quits job to take care of father.

The filial son's wife works in the school as librarian. She used to be a parent volunteer and is working as a Libarian now for about 9 months. I was teasing her how "fortunate"'she is that her hubby still pack duck rice for her and delivered it to school as lunch. She told me her hubby has quit his job for almost 2 years now to take care of his father. It used to be her job but as her FIL's conditions worsen and need someone help to bath, her husband took over.

I asked about their cash flow and she replied they successfully applied for FAS this year. That effectively mean they are broke by blogger sphere standards. They have 2 children in our school. 

She also shared that her hubby never raise his voice at his father even if her father in law is being unreasonable. Although she is "complaining" when saying this, I commented that it is not easy for her too and that she has also been very kind and supportive to support this kind of arrangement. "Why not let the hubby continue to work (earn much more) and employ a maid?" I asked. "His father doesn't want it" was the reply.

She also commented her husband's siblings did not share in the caregiving at all, either physically or monetarily. Double whammy. 

I told her to hang in there, and that her children will be fillial to them in future.

Case2: Caring sister who take care of her single elder brother 

This caring sister is my colleague, a single parent who daughter is already grown up. She told me long ago she inherited a failed business and debts from a hubby who walked out of her. She is still clearing his debts although I think the worst is over. 

Her brother who is in the sixties also got into some financial distress. She allowed him to move in together so that he could sell or rent his unit (cannot remember)

Recently, her elder brother is down with serious lungs infection and is in ICU for the past 2 or 3 months. He is covered by insurance but she ended up picking up a lot of debts/ expenses her brother incurred due to his absence from work. She is also visiting the hospital everyday to care for him.

I told her money woes seem always unending with no fault of hers. She smiled and agreed, but added "healthy can already, very fortunate"

Case 3: unfilial and selfish son who blow 3 million in gambling debts and his foolish  mother

This person keep borrowing money and borrow several thousands from my wife several years ago. I told my wife to write it off but not to lend anymore. 

Turn out, he has gambling debts of 400k. His mother stepped in and clear his debts. My MIL and his mum want him to come clear with all the debts he had and clear it all it one go. I am not sure how much, but apprently, it is more than 400k. That is 3-4 years ago. 

Fast forward to today, on and off, there is plenty of arguments with that family, with the mum always scolding her son for breaking the family assets. My MIL and I both mentioned to her to give him a chance to turn over a new leaf and not keep harping on it.

Turned out, the reason why she keep scolding her son is because he is like a bottomless pit with debts always appearing. We suggested gambling addiction counseling, but they refused.

Her family is breaking apart now, because recently her mother wanted to sold her property to help clear his debts again. Her younger son is upset. Because she promised to leave that property to him. Her younger son is a promising and down to earth person, option to go for BTO HDB flat. His mother's favoritism is extreme and beyond comprehension, although her mother had already squander plenty of cash to clear her elder son's debts, she still paid for his lavish wedding and buy a condominium for him. While his younger son's wedding (much simpler) is helped a by my MIL. During the grey period of hush hush ( period where we thought he has turn over a new leaf ) he lived like a towkay, going for sumptuous, atas meals and long overseas holiday. He went Europe 2 years ago. 

It is very recently that her foolish mum ego is no longer bigger than the 4 million debts (accumulated) that we all came to know about it. She has hinted several time for my MIL to help. Her brother has already given her half a million when he learnt that she has mortgaged her property for a loan to help her son. Her brother wanted her to clear the debts and redeem back the property deed. But she used it to clear her son's debts.

I am highly cynical when her son said he has not gambled since 4 years ago. It is the ah longs who negated on their word that the debts is clear and keep asking for more. 

I am totally disgusted when I found out that his son cried and asked why her mum refused to sell the property and "save" him now. 

After her younger son protested, she decided to sell her recently bought smaller property near his unfilial son place. But that deal would not be enough. So his son told her that his friend would want to buy that unit but want the mum to continue paying the debts. Huh?? What logic ??

He also said he promise his friends that he can invest at a high returns but failed so that some of debts are of this nature. My balls. I am showing my middle finger in my heart and told my MIL not to believe in such bullshit. 

The foolish mother interest burden is equal to her monthly pay cheque from
His brother family business. (About 5 K for no services rendered) 

I told her very calmly one day that she is not "loving" her son in this way. She is perpetuating her son's misdeeds by supporting him unconditionally. She got the cheeks to encourage him to quickly bear a child so that she can be a grandma despite knowing all along the situation. 

She keep crying and saying she is very miserable, and telling us how insensible her younger son is and how miserable and poor thing her older son is. 

My middle finger in my mind again. 


Objectively, all 3 cases are dealt with a set of bad cards in their life. 

The first 2 cases are angels on earth. Compassion and acceptance allowed them to continue with life positively. My heart goes out to them.

The last case is not a monetary problem in my opinion. The assets are still higher than liabilities. Her brother advised calling the police but her ego does not allowed her to. They continue to feel miserable about their own lives and always ask why other seems to be so "fortunate"

I ask her to go to the temple and not ask about debts or anything. Just read the sculptures and keep the mind clear and hopefully, she can see "karma" and make better choices. Obviously I am being ignored. 

Are u feeling miserable? 

Want to feel better? Or worse? The choice is yours. 


  1. Sometimes, I admitted that I do feel my life is miserable, as I have suffer enough due to my poor health since I was young age.

    However I also do feel there are happy and fortunate things happened on me. Others than my caring parents and siblings, I always feel fortunate that I had chance to come sg to study and secured a stable, decent pay job. 2nd I met my Husband whom accept my everything and willing to take care of me while I am always sick.

    Bitter life makes us grow and learn to be gratitude.

    I always think that if I am a healthy person, maybe I would not study so hard in my secondary school and had chance to study here and get a job here then knew my Husband.
    And of course, maybe I would not be so independent.

    Life gives me what , I will just accept and live well.

    1. Yeh!!

      Thumbs up. 当局者迷,I do understand it is tough and we all look for quick fixes when we ourselves are in trouble

    2. This is my first time commenting on a finiancial blog. However, I just had to do so after reading your story. You have an amazing attitude and not everyone would do as well as you in your situation. Gratitude is key indeed. Hang in there and live well. Wishing you all the best.



    happened to read this today

  3. Hi SI,

    Wow...real life that plays out like drama. Amazing stories you have. I'm both awed and bowed by the stories.

    1. Yeah LP,

      It made what I have gone through seem like a piece of cake, and also remind myself to be thankful and kind...

      I wonder if I can cope so well

  4. We r only as miserable as we wanted it to be!
    case 3. The son behaviour is also a consequence of the mother's behaviour!

    1. Hi Rolf,

      Misery can be inflicted by others and also self-inflicted.

      Some only see "themselves" hence they "self-inflict" pain on themselves.

  5. Uncle temperament,

    Words of wisdom indeed. I agree with addiction to "anything", and also the support to be given must be consistent and patient. Easier said than done.

    I begin to understand now what my teacher mean when she says religion and philosophy is a self-defense mechanism for irrational and extreme acts

  6. I think most important is to find the meaning of life.

    Like my case, my meaning is to live well for my Husband and my mum.

    I knew if I got anything they will be sad for me.

    So I Wan live well for them

  7. Hi temperament,

    We need a god, however we "define" god. Just make sure it's a "righteous" one and not a human wearing a fake halo

  8. Hi SI,

    My heart goes out to the first two cases and wish that their situation will improve soon.

    But the last one... Errrr. Middle finger in my mind too.

    Rich materially ($5k per mth and more than one property?) but poor in terms of happiness?

    So much help could be rendered for the first two case with the 4mil debt. what a pity:(

    1. Hi PP,

      I have the same mentality and thoughts as u!!!
      I am thinking, bloody hell 4 million can be the seed fund to start a small day care center or start some charitable initiative

      Even not enough, enough to help many people improve their lives KNS

  9. Yalor.

    4mil wasted on the betting tables.

    Glad your wife has stopped lending them money. It is really akin to handing him cash to gamble.

    Totally agree with Rold that the son behaviour is a consequence of the Mother behaviour. She's too soft hearted towards him!

    We can only hope that someday if we have access to this amount of money, we will not behave in this irrational manner too.

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