I am borrowing the title of Dato Dzulkifli Abdul Razak's article on the NST. It isn't copyrighted under any circumstances, or is it?

When Adolf Merckle, a German billionaire decided to kick the bucket, it was a clear evidence that the economy had got better of him. All across the globe, from Tokyo to Paris, London to New York, businessmen, stock brockers and investors are being hit by the economic tsunami, and some will be left with the label "bankruptcy" on their backs after the tide has subsided.

But it's not just them, the common people on the base of the hierarchy are severely affected as well. Recessions are leaving people jobless. I chatted with a friend who told me his dad's business is non profitable nowadays. There are news of jobless dads who are facing it with patience, one of them proclaiming that he now spends more time with his children and will do so until he finds a stable job.

Thinking back of how things have gone, there seems to be a clear evidence of how material possessions are connected to our lives. Money. Wealth. All the things around you are a part of this cyclic movement of money. There is a social contract between the buyer and the seller and we're all involved in it.

But does money guarantee happiness? Well, yes and no.

Dude, if you give me one million ringgit right now, not rupiah, i will be spending it for the following stuff : retro Liverpool jerseys, tickets to Liverpool games, Michael Jordan Air Force 1 shoes, flight tickets to anywhere in the world, maybe an SLR, an iMac or MacBook, and the list goes on and on. Am i happy after this spending? Yes, i guess.

But is that what i really am looking for?

I've learned a mighty deal of philosophy from one of my all time favourite movies , "Into the Wild" (here i go rambling about this movie over and over again ;p). Growing up in a troubled family, Chris MacCandless gave away his money ($24,000 USD) to OxFam before venturing into the wild, trying to find a true meaning of life. Mind you, it is based on a true story.It just shows a detachment from the life of too much dependency on money and material possessions.

And the grunge legend, Eddie Vedder sings on the soundtrack : -

You think you have to want
more than you need
until you have it all you won't be free.

Adrian White pioneered a research on the inter-connections between subjective well being and economic indices and found out that not all rich countries are that happy, some even ranked outside the top 20. For the record, Malaysia is ranked at no. 17. Not bad at all. Now UK residents are asking for happiness, instead of wealth. To quote from a politician over there, “It’s time we admitted that there’s more to life than money, and it’s time we focused not just on GDP, but on GWB – general well-being".

As for Malaysians, we have that genetics in shopping and we shop no matter what. There are those who really suffer, but there are those who claim to suffer but still go on rampages at shopping centres week in week out. Aha! The Complaining Culture of Malaysians. Talk about complaining, i heard that some juniors complained of the state of toilets in the university which prompted the university to renovate them. I think most people know how frequent i use the toilet to poo but i never complained a bit even though those toilets are quite bad and are doorless. I would just shout, "Zanyat!Zanyat!" meaning occupied and they would just go away. But hey, have i ever mentioned i'm an introvert and just keep quiet most of the time?

Isn't it a wonder that some poorer families are happier than wealthy ones. I've been lucky enough to live a life full of blessings.

Word of the day : content.

But don't get me wrong. It is always a social responsibility for us to collect wealth. Lots of good things you can do with money! Imam Ghazali once stated that wealth is one of the means to succeed in eternal life. Being wealthy and being materialistic are both on different wavelength spectrums. He classified businessmen/economic agents into the following : -

1. Those who are fully occupied with business that they forget their place of return, the hereafter. These are the people who will be ruined.
2. Those who are concerned for the hereafter and therefore are kept away from economic sphere. These are the successful people.
3. These are the people who are involved in economic activites FOR the hereafter. This is the middle path.

We should always adopt the moderate/middle path, as this is encouraged by the Prophet from a hadeeth reported by al-Bukhari. Middle path being our hunger for both wordly and matters of the hereafter.

I'm not saying i'm liberated from all my wordly needs. I'm still chained to some things of life and trying slowly to be able to say "no" to my extra needs of this world. To share the words of Bob Marley on his song, "redemption song", :-

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery,
None but ourselves can free our mind.

To be liberated. That's my goal.


nabilah said...

i am happy that tomorrow and lusa takde kelas despite ada problems here and there. if u wanna report, feel free to contact pn wn munirah via facebook.muahahaha!

QifA said...

what problems here and there?nah..no facebook for me.

nabilah said...

takdela,tak suruh pon afiq buka fb..i thot u said ktorg byk sgt cuti sampai nak p report kt mara..haha pazhalusta laa sbb tgk org mara ada kt fb woo..jgn men2..huahau..i am dead bored pon cuti panjang sejak last week.as usualla kalo takde pressure,jgn haraplaaa nak buka buku yg dah berabok!

QifA said...

owh yeah. im still gonna do dat. im calling mara the first thing in the morning tomorrow.haha. ;p

angelus_izika said...

i love "into the wild"..but his death due to consumption of some toxic berries is kinda disappointing..

anyway. that movie prompts me to travel more :P

QifA said...

fyi, that's just a theory of his death. Some speculated his death was due to malnutrition as he didn't have proper food when he was left there in Alaska.

travel more.i wish i could.