Filling up my statement of assets and liabilities, a form required from us as government employee back in the days when I was employed full time, makes me feel proud and humbled at the same time. Proud because I could fill in the blank spaces in the assets section but humbled because after deducting liabilities my net worth is almost zero. I have no net worth compared to Bill Gates or Warren Buffet whose net worth are billions of dollars.
And so are my parents, they have no net worth. The tiny property they inherited from their parents were coveted by siblings who had money to buy out their shares. Their only “assets” are their children. It’s an old adage when children were viewed as additional help in farms, children could perform small task like picking up eggs, feeding the chicken or grazing the cows. But we’re not farming and my parents were looking forward to their children having better life than theirs by providing us with three meals a day, making sure we had proper education and provided us with the basic needs. We have lived in rented houses as long as I remember. We have lived in big houses with big yard and beautiful garden, we play in our own yard and never went out into the streets. We also lived in small apartments and made the streets our playground.
My family’s deteriorating financial situation was increasingly apparent to me as we moved from a more affluent neighborhood to houses with cheaper rents with rowdy neighbors. Encountering bullies in new neighborhood was something we weren’t ready for. We were viewed “odd” by new neighbors because we don’t mingle or play with them. We were inside our house reading books and enjoying each others’ company. Childrens’ squabble between my younger brothers and the neighbors’ children made us recoil pushing us into staying away and moving out instead of standing our right or encouraging diplomatic relationship.
The opportunity to own our own house in the 80’s came just right after I was employed and got qualified. On three separate occassions all my three application for housing loan were approved. Three decent sized family houses that I was able to pay off in the long run. You might wonder how much money I make to be able to pay for the mortgage. Good news, I didn’t wonder. I ignored it or never gave too much thought about it. I did not pay. I trusted the bureaucratic system so much it will take a decade for them to discover my case then another decade to pursue any lawsuit against me. I was positive there’ll be a reversal of good fortune in my family before that day comes. That day didn’t come but the good fortune came.
And yes there was. No, I didn’t win the lottery. My brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews were also employed and we helped out one another in the end.
I knew that life is a series of ups and downs, it all depends on me to make my dreams come true. I took advantage of the system, an opportunity that came my way and I grab it.
What’s the biggest chance you ever took? Did it work out? Do tell! In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Take a Chance on Me.”