Friday, August 30, 2013

To Live Simply is to Be Free

I don't normally get to watch TV these days. Save for some "feel good" TV shows, I don't get to hear and see local primetime news for a long time given that when I come home from work, I only want to do three things -- eat dinner, spend time engaged in short conversations with Mama and sleep. My source of news is normally surfing the Internet few minutes before I begin to work in the morning.

In a way, I am kind of aware about this Janet Napoles- Pork Barrel Scam issue that is making rounds in the news for weeks now. I may not have joined rallies or any kind of activity related to it but I'm furious and disappointed. I am a taxpayer too and just thinking that my hard-earned money is being used to fund someone else's irrelevant luxuries just leaves me enraged. For sure, no one loves the feeling of being robbed with something that they worked so hard for. It's like wanting to say "how dare you steal my money" to a snatcher when you see that person in the hands of the police. 

I may not be watching much TV but I am also familiar of the luxuries of this girl, Jeane Napoles. And honestly, when I try to figure out what she has in her plate, I can't help but feel nauseated. From those expensive bags, shoes, car, a lavish birthday party and a space in a posh establishment in the US, I can't help but feel dizzy. Seriously. And she was just 21 years old.  I was saying "Wow, this girl is indeed 'filthy rich'" at the back of my head. I could not imagine how a 21-year old can acquire such luxury at a snap of a finger. 

You can't blame me if I feel such. When I was her age, I never owned anything as expensive as those. I only have a second-hand phone which Papa gave me to replace my very old one, I don't own a house, instead, I live with my parents and while I do have a job working freelance at that time for one of the country's richest families, I was living paycheck-to-paycheck on an honest amount. And while it did not allow me to afford any luxury, it was enough to suffice. I remember back then I told someone, I don't want to be rich and she thought it was silly for me to say so because it's normally a person's utmost desire. My reasons were actually simple: being rich is stressful and in a way, dangerous. Being wealthy comes with a price. When I scored a job in an advertising company, I still did not see myself rich. Though the job paid hefty amounts, I lost time for myself and I could not spend much time with my family, and those to me are important. I realized that after a year, I finally had enough and I decided to quit. I cannot bear it if it was the cost I have to pay for the abundance I was getting. 

I'm a couple of years shy of hitting the big 3-0 and while some people my age are financially accomplished, if not wealthy, I am fine in saying that I'm lucky not to be "filthy rich". I'm still living with my parents and I own just the minimal things (a not so high-end phone, a couple of savings account on my own name from my salary and a job that which I truly enjoy devoting myself into and pays me enough to cover our needs, occasional wants and pay the bills) but at least, I am not lugging a huge burden of having to live in secrecy because I am not fearing for my own safety and that of my loved ones.

I may not have much for choosing to live a simple life. But I am living the life of a free man. And to me, having that is more than enough.

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