Does Money Really Make the World Go Round?

I grew up in a simple family. We weren’t rich, but Alhamdullilah, we were never hungry. My parents brought us up with only the basic necessities. They gave priority to what was important, leaving luxuries out of the picture. Education was a major priority. All my brothers went to private schools. I didn’t but it did not matter – back then I did not know the difference. I’d like to think that it did me well. Studying in a public school made me realize I was luckier than most kids. I had classmates who would be absent for weeks just because their parents could not spare even a few coins for their school snacks.

In college I went to a private school and had friends who drove their own cars and had the latest gadgets (but I’m not talking about laptops or celphones, they weren’t in circulation yet heehee). The cool guys had ‘beepers’ – not sure if you can remember them, though. Oh how I wanted to have one! I remember saving up my allowance so I buy a blue transparent type. But by the time I had enough money, I decided it wasn’t worth it. Who’s going to beep me anyway? So I spent my money on school bags, and books, and food. Oh, and I treated myself to a movie occasionally. And I was happy.

When I started working and had my first paycheck, I thought that was too much money I could spend. I felt like I already had everything I needed. So I asked my mom to save my salaries for me, telling her that she can get any amount for herself should she need any. When I needed to buy a desktop, I got one. When almost all my colleagues had a cell phone, I bought one (more out of necessity than luxury, really). I think the only lavish thing I got for myself (if you could even call it that), were braces. Mostly, I spent money on food. My mom always told me to strip myself off everything else but never to feel guilty about buying food. I think that’s wise.

It was when I got married that I started realizing how important money was. Now I am starting to fear, not for my own but for my kids’ future. I get frantic when I use up all the money I have in my bank account. Who wouldn’t?

Thankfully, God always provides at the time when I need it the most. He has been good, and I have always felt blessed.

I have always been frugal, having been raised the way I was. When I used to ask my husband (when he was still visible in my life) to accompany me to the mall because I want to buy shoes, or bags or clothes, he would laugh and say – “You’re just going to look – you never buy anything.” He knew me so well. I had two pairs of shoes – one for work and one for going out. I had two bags, for the same purpose. The cell phone I have now is sooo outdated. Even my laptop is Jurassic.

I think I was never rich because I never wanted to be. I just wanted to have enough. I am content that I am able to provide for my children, that I have a little amount saved up for the rainy days. Of course I want to be able to have my own house, to have my own car, and possibly to have my own business when I retire. That’s pretty much it.

But with the recent events that happened in my life, I’m thinking now how poor I must be. To lose a husband, friends and family for someone who happened to ‘have more than enough’ is just depressing. It’s the rich who have many friends – money does make the world go round. I remember the other girl asking my husband why he doesn’t want to leave me when I don’t have “anything” and she “has everything.” Sounds true, but not quite.

I am blessed. The friends I have around are real friends whom I can trust my life with. They are not around because they know they can get something from me but because they truly care. Those who left my side and got bought off would one day realize what is truly important. Money is just for the bills – you can’t buy real friends with it.


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