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Passive income: A higher purpose.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Today is the 15th day of the Chinese New Year or Yuan Xiao Jie.  

It marks the end of the celebrations and, traditionally, the Chinese people would spend the evening together with family to have dinner together on this night before starting work in a brand new year.  

During dinner, glutinous rice balls as a dessert is a must.  

Of course, this tradition is more or less diluted or even forgotten in modern day society and most of us would have resumed work before today and some might not even be having dinner with their family tonight.

As if to support my observations, a friend called me out for lunch as I was blogging this.  

Over lunch, I asked if he would be having dinner with his family tonight and he went, "Huh?".  

Well, maybe not this exact word but you get the idea.  

Over lunch, we also talked about time as a form of capital and how when we spend time doing something, it is actually an investment and we must make sure we invest our time wisely because, unlike money, this is a form of capital that we cannot make more of.  

We have less and less remaining time on Earth as we grow older.

Suddenly, I feel philosophical.  

Life is so very short.  

We have only a few decades on Earth.  

Well, there are people who live to a hundred but I don't know if that is a blessing or a curse.  

Do we really mean it when we wish our elders "Chang Ming Bai Shui" (Long life and hundred years old) or is it just plain courtesy?  

I mean if we live to a hundred and have the good health of someone, say, half the age, good, but what is the probability?

Frankly, I don't want to live to be a hundred years old.  I don't want to be full of ailments and be a burden to others.  

When my time comes, I will go.  

So, what am I trying to say?  

We should cherish our loved ones because the time we have on Earth is limited.

I remember this from my primary school days (I went to a mission school):

"We often love things and use people when we should be using things and loving people."  

Overly idealistic?  

Maybe but you get the gist of it.

Humans have short memories and need constant reminders.  

This is especially true for people living in this modern world with all its distractions.  

These distract us from what is really important in life.

When asking myself why am I trying to secure a significant passive income stream in my investments, the answer is quite clear. 

This is so I do not have to spend so much time at work or any time at work at all and, instead, I would be able to spend more quality time with my family. 

In our pursuit of financial well-being, we should not lose sight of the most important people in life, our loved ones.  

I am looking forward to dinner tonight.

Happy Chap Gor Mei! (Hokkien for "Happy 15th evening!")

Added on 6 August 2017:
I have been spending every single Sunday with my family and the day started with breakfast with my dad.


la papillion said...

Hi AK,

"We often love things and use people when we should be using things and loving people."

This phrase changed me dramatically. I do not remember when I first heard of it, but in the past I was very irritated when my things are spoilt or a corner of a book is folded and so on. I learnt not to be a perfectionist and strive on the happy middle path, and to enjoy the good company of people I like.

Well said, AK :)

AK71 said...

Hi LP,

Well, I cannot take credit for coining this phrase. ;)

I used to stick a little card with this phrase inside my pencil case when I was in primary school just to remind myself every day of its significance. Human beings are selfish by nature, after all.

Guru said...

I like this article a lot, although I read it after one year later, think this is very meaningful and makes us not lose sight of what is most important now ! Happy new year!

AK71 said...

Hi Guru,

I am glad you still enjoy reading this. Let us cherish the people we love and prove it with our actions. :)

Happy new year!

Solace said...

Hi Ak,

Somehow got linked to this very old post.

I was still not a reader of your blog back at 2010.

I like what you say, thanks for sharing this, you add a very good personal touch to it. Always very good to touch base with the fundamentals of life.

I do review and reflect my life from time to time. Spending time with loved one and be a good son has always be a resolution for me every year.

In the pursuit of financial freedom, i must not neglect my loved ones and closest friends too.

Have i share with you this comic strips before?

AK71 said...

Hi Solace,

Didn't have as many readers back in those days. :)

Time truly flies. This blog post is almost 4 years old now. It adds more poignancy when reading this blog post again.

It is easy to take our family for granted and often they are the first to suffer from our bouts of bad mood. I am still trying to do better but humans are rather weak creatures.

Thanks for the links and Gambatte! :)

AK71 said...

Cindy said...
I just read some of your older posts and I was so impressed by your success!

I'm also retired (around your age). I've thought about moving back to Asia, but I don't like it when my relatives and friends ask me strange questions (like, "Why don't you look for a job?" "What do you do?" "How much do you earn?").

I also prefer living a simple life and keeping a low profile, and it's easier to do so in a western country.

I wonder if you have ever thought about moving to another country (with lower living costs, nicer homes, better life quality and more open-minded ppl).

AK said...
Oh, I know what you mean about curious relatives. I get that.

I have gained a reputation amongst my relatives for being anti-social. Not a bad thing. ;p

Move to another country? Never say never but I want to be here while my parents are still around. For now, I still like to stay in Singapore. :)

Ben said...
You make the right decision based on my perspective. Stay in Singapore while the parents are still around.

AK said...
I spend a whole day with my parents at least once a week.

We would go out shopping and have lunch and dinner together. :)

AK71 said...

Mark Lim Teng Lye says...
Respect AK. Spending time with parents is the most important thing for the parents. One day, we will be old and nothing is better than having your children around (or good friends, if we have no children)!

Nyee N Tun says...
Agree. There are many beautiful things in the world no amount of money can buy. Blindly collecting money is foolish.

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