Over the radio, I was listening in on a Chinese language station with a commentary that goes something like this; The fast food giant McDonalds was actually started by 2 brothers; Richard and Maurice McDonalds in California. One brother wanted to grow the company but that would mean extensive traveling. The other brother was not keen but rather live life as it were, favoring the country house and the woods. The other brother went off to expand the business into the franchise restaurant throughout US and world-wide.. The conclusion was that the brother who went on to develop the business made a ‘right’ or ‘better’ choice.
After some search on the internet, I found several stories that differ from the above. But that is not the point.
The assumption of the conclusion is what really bugs me. Conventional wisdom says that the more successful of the two brothers is the one who went forth to build the business. In the globalized market, conventional wisdom also calls for Singapore workers and professionals to go regional. It’s the economy ‘stupid’.
For us Christians, who are people of faith, should know better that there are more than just economics. The ‘Quality’ life is not only gauged by an reasonable level of livelihood, but more
importantly, it is about relationships. It is about being in a loving community, whether in the family or in the church. It is about seeing our children laugh and grow, a hearty meal with our parents or friends.
More than that, it is about finding meaning and fulfillment in our lives, our daily work and chores, through our understanding of God’s purpose for our lives.
Being a professional that spends more time on airplanes than MRT and buses, going regional is not as glamorous as it seems. I feel for the brother who wants a ‘quieter’ life, For me, it comes at a great sacrifice of time away to see my children grow and particularly hard when the are sick. It is also hard to see my wife bear the responsibility of a single parent when I am on the road and helpless on the other side of the phone, hundreds of miles away. If not for the understanding that my work is my call and ministry, it will be unbearable.
Economic growth, regionalization and globalization has its’ price. It’s my prayer that our next generation will not have to pay for it.
Articles / Editorial