Thursday, April 09, 2009

Enough is Enough !

"When someone finds that enough is enough, he will always have enough". There, these words of wisdom were flashed on the TV mobile in bus No. 48. My niece, Kam Ning and I were on our way to Raffles Town Club. Ning had wanted to burn off all the calories that had been added to her daily diet of delicious food which she found hard to resist. Hence, she was adamant to swim a few laps and to work out in the gym. As I was still recovering from my flu, I thought I would just read while waiting for her.

"Interesting statement and an ideal table topic for a toastmasters' club meeting", I told Ning. Hence here I am, trying to pen my thoughts on the statement.

The statement immediately made me think of my relative - a dear old lady whom we called Aunty Meng who had passed away many years ago. Yet, her somewhat attractive and smooth complexion and especially that aura of serenity and calm which always seemed to surround her had been deeply etched in my memories. I loved to hear her stories of the Japanese Occupation.

"In those days, sometimes we only ate sweet potatoes, at times some rice. Whatever it was, if I had rice, I thanked God for rice; if I had potatoes I thanked God for potatoes. It was enough for me. Whatever it was , it was important that I be happy and contented. This way, I preserve my sanity and humanity!"

However, in sharp contrast most of us are a far cry from Aunty Meng. This is why in Singapore, the uniquely Singaporean characteristics is one of complaints, murmurings and discontentment where enough is never enough. That is why words like "upgrading, improving and excellent" are trendy words. A mother would still cane her son for scoring only 98 marks for his Arithmetics test! A person living in a 3 room flat must upgrade to a 5 room flat, and his salary will soon be not quite enough to upkeep his improved lifestyle of an additional 4 wheels. That is why he must work harder and harder. Probably this is why Jack Neo had come up with his movie, "Money, no enough", and every sibling in the family was trying to shove the responsibility of looking after the mother.

Let us all learn to say that enough is enough, so that we could all have a more balanced lifestyle. Let us not continue to pursue that promotion which gives better salaries, for better salaries also imply that we will have less time for our loved ones and for a more leisurely lifestyle. Let us learn to know our benchmark of achievement and to learn contentment for contentment brings joy, and ultimately health and happiness.

Ladies and gentlemen, many rich people would see me as someone quite poor, but I assure you that I have enough and I am blissfully contented.

Gan Chau

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