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Thread: A roof over their heads

  1. #1
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    Default A roof over their heads

    http://propertysoul.com/2012/11/22/a...r-their-heads/

    A roof over their heads
    November 22, 2012

    Last Sunday we drove to Malaysia to attend a funeral.

    On our way to the burial ground, my father-in-law pointed at a small shabby hut along the roadside. On the same street were a few simple stilt houses, all looked more elaborate than this humble place.

    "Look, this was the house where I grew up. My whole family of eight lived under the same roof."

    My father-in-law came to Singapore when he was a teenager. He worked as an apprentice, went through much hardship before he started his own business.

    I wonder how he felt when he saw his childhood home. Could he ever imagine that one day he can live in where he is staying now? What would happen if he had never left for Singapore?

    In the 1950s, my parents followed their respective parents to leave China for greener pastures in Hong Kong. Life was tough as new immigrants. For decades, they worked strenuously to support their families, later their own family, and relatives they left behind in their hometown.

    With their life savings they managed to buy a small flat. That few hundred square feet was a roof over their heads that they could finally call their own.

    One day, a developer contacted their relatives in China, offering them an incredible price to buy over their farmland to build factories and housing projects. Not having to toll a day, these relatives became the sudden-rich and spent the windfall on building their own big houses.

    Once they went to Hong Kong and paid a visit to my parents' humble flat. They stepped in for a quick glance, totally taken aback, and couldn't help asking my parents,

    "Why do you have to leave home and work hard all your life for this place?"

    My parents were speechless.

    After we drove back to Singapore in the evening, I watched a documentary about the Chinese fleeing to Hong Kong between 1966 and 1976.

    During the Cultural Revolution, the intellectuals and undergraduates were sent to work in farms or factories to experience the life of 'commoners'. Every day they worked from sunrise to sunset. At night they were tortured mentally by persecutions and political brainwashing.

    Some decided to flee the country. A popular route was leaving from Shenzhen to Hong Kong by swimming across the border or trekking through the mountains.

    A man recalled how he attempted four times to swim to his freedom. Many of his friends were drowned in the rough sea, eaten by sharks, or caught by the marine police, sent back to China and beaten up for treason.

    Anyway, it wasn't smooth sailing either for his new-found freedom. To make ends meet in an unknown country, he took up whatever unwanted job from the locals.

    Years later, his wife worked as a part-time property agent to supplement his income. They also bought properties and slowly built up a property portfolio. At one time, they had a total of eight properties, providing handsome rental income.

    Unfortunately, property prices dropped 70 percent during the Asian financial crisis and left them with nothing. He had to work for somebody again until his children completed their education.

    Despite the setback, he was never sorry for himself. He remembered the day when he came to this foreign land with nothing but the clothes on him. He was grateful that he was one of the lucky ones to be alive.

    Nonetheless, he would still be upset when he saw his old classmates who had never left China, though suffered a lot during the Cultural Revolution, were now rich businessmen earning big bucks.

    His story reminds me of a lesson from Buddhism,

    "菩提本无树,明镜亦非台,本来无一物,何处惹尘埃。"
    [Translation: Banyan is originally (an epiphyte and) not a tree. A bright mirror is also not a table. If there is originally nothing, where can it attract dust?]

    What sacrifices have you made as a foreigner coming to Singapore? What risks have you taken in the name of upgrading the roof over your head? How will you take it, when one day you realize what you have worked so hard for, is nothing much afterall?

  2. #2
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    ommmmmmm. everything is nothing and nothing is everything.

    less is best. less stress. less sun. less fats.

    treasure what we have. contentment is lasting.

  3. #3
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    dependent origination is not nothingness
    ultimately it can only be experienced, not explained
    Ride at your own risk !!!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantom_opera
    dependent origination is not nothingness
    ultimately it can only be experienced, not explained
    cheemology.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantom_opera
    dependent origination is not nothingness
    ultimately it can only be experienced, not explained
    did you read philosophy in uni? sounded like you were interviewing with cambridge for their ppe course.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by kane
    did you read philosophy in uni? sounded like you were interviewing with cambridge for their ppe course.
    I told the interviewer that to stop war, we need to first stop our inner war (i.e. learn to control our mind, which is a Buddhist concept) ... I guessed I was admitted due to that

    Later I also learnt that great traders have fantastic mind control

    Just like Jedi Master said to Anakin ... fear, greed etc is your biggest enemy
    Ride at your own risk !!!

  7. #7
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    Bro, fear and greed is also your ally if you know how to harness and curb it at will.


    Quote Originally Posted by phantom_opera
    I told the interviewer that to stop war, we need to first stop our inner war (i.e. learn to control our mind, which is a Buddhist concept) ... I guessed I was admitted due to that

    Later I also learnt that great traders have fantastic mind control

    Just like Jedi Master said to Anakin ... fear, greed etc is your biggest enemy

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantom_opera
    I told the interviewer that to stop war, we need to first stop our inner war

    Just like Jedi Master said to Anakin ... fear, greed etc is your biggest enemy
    thats the same way i felt when i was playing shares...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by radha08
    thats the same way i felt when i was playing shares...
    Bro, Gordon Gekko said "greed is good" and I agree... Greed motivates, but overly greedy and u are doom...

    Fear is good because it gives us a check and balance in our live...

    Control it... Dont let it control you...


  10. #10
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    Story got no meaning to me.

    How much one will have, how long one will live is all predetermined.

  11. #11
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    The parents' relatives were so insensitive to ask that question and also buey zi dong... the piece of land in China also partially belong the parents, how come don't want to share share the profit???

  12. #12
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    Decision making to me is often difficult especially when it comes with great responsibility. If it is the"best" choice at that time, don't look back anymore, keep pressing forward . Just my

    I read somewhere that at death bed, most people regret things they never do rather than things they have done.

  13. #13
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    look at dr richard teo's lecture..

    hug your ferrari and landed house to sleep... happy meh?



    in the end, you can't bring any of these with you when you die
    I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” - Robert Frost quotes (American poet, 1874-1963)

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    Quote Originally Posted by roly8
    look at dr richard teo's lecture..

    hug your ferrari and landed house to sleep... happy meh?



    in the end, you can't bring any of these with you when you die
    Then if u marry a girl u dun love, just for the $$... happy meh? unless she is fan bing bing or dun know wat bing bing lah & body damn hotz..

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by spyro
    Then if u marry a girl u dun love, just for the $$... happy meh? unless she is fan bing bing or dun know wat bing bing lah & body damn hotz..
    priority is still true love la

    look will fade
    money won't buy forever happiness..

    I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” - Robert Frost quotes (American poet, 1874-1963)

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by roly8
    priority is still true love la

    look will fade
    money won't buy forever happiness..

    Sometimes I wonder what is true love.
    To me, mutual respect and affection between a couple is what sustains the marriage.
    The body is just a container for the soul.

  17. #17
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    Now is where I am most happy. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow.

  18. #18
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    delete



    .

  19. #19
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    Nice dude..!!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by roly8
    look at dr richard teo's lecture..

    hug your ferrari and landed house to sleep... happy meh?



    in the end, you can't bring any of these with you when you die

    不在乎天长地久,只在乎曾经拥有

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by focus
    不在乎天长地久,只在乎曾经拥有
    remind me of this classic ads

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DbsjRuFbv8
    I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” - Robert Frost quotes (American poet, 1874-1963)

  22. #22
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    Om mani padme hum
    ओं मणिपद्मे हूं


  23. #23
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    I don't see any lesson of values in what was written, it just a matter of luck in the examples quoted, there are millions of poor in China today still, just as there are those who made it and those who didn't here in Sg and in Malaysia.

  24. #24
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    hdb housing is definitely the best housing system in the whole world
    one big attraction for new citizens?

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