Love or Money?

What is the best way to build and secure a fulfilling life, especially for retirement?

a. Marry someone rich.
b. Let love handle it.
c. Leave it to God / destiny.
d. Take up financial plans.

Love or money? It is an age old question that has no expiry. Dennis asked my opinion two days ago on what would I choose… love or money? His exact words were, “你会选择爱情还是面包?” My kneejerk reaction was to ask him in what context was he asking me to base my choice. His premise to me was that if I had a choice between someone who is my type of a lover and someone who is a financial spectacle and can help me in my career, which one would I choose?

I chose love. That’s like some airy-fairy, ‘oooh… you are so noble and romantic’ kind of answer, but here’s my rationale : If someone was to be in my consideration as a lover, that person would’ve satisfied a checklist of requisites, financial abilities and possibilities being one of them, so it’s not that I think love is the answer to all the world’s problems or will fill my stomach, but simply because my partner would have all the attributes that attract me in the first place. And pecuniary competency is a big consideration. I am not a kept boy, but I don’t want to play sugar daddy either.

My wealth comes from being richly loved, and loving back with my all. When we tap into our all and give it freely, how can the person receiving not feel like a Donald Trump? Or Bill Gates? Or Steve Jobs (may he be blessed with good health even though I don’t own a single Apple item)? Or the families benefiting from our Temasek Holdings investments?

My motto is to never cheat my heart. Because I only have this one lifetime, this one chance to let it live in full honesty. I’m sure a lot of movies, books, songs, poems, paintings, buildings and theatrics had celebrated the triumphs of love, but because I’ve just watched Slumdog Millionaire last night, I thought it was exemplary of love. Love seems to always bring about the most beautiful of stories or outcomes. I can’t recall any movie which celebrated the prosperity of no love? Then again, if we treat love not as a person-to-person emotion but a driving force of our existence, then love could be applied to many areas… the love of money, the love of status, the love of beauty, the love of food, the love of self. How is that different from passion?

To me, love is something I cannot do without, but passion is something I can give up. Passion is somehow a moniker of love. With each passion, there’s a deep-seated devotion, and very often, it is the love of ourselves that motivates our actions. We may peg it to family or destiny, but ultimately, it’s because we’re obsessed with keeping status quo, we want the good things that make us comfortable last as long as possible.

But nothing stays the same forever. Time has the habit of eroding the quality of our lives. So we find pleasure in what we’ve accomplished or the hope of what we can become.

Dennis was anxious about the future, about not making enough money now to fund his retirement. The financial planner in me spoke of making financial plans for the future but I could feel the fear in Dennis that I was going to sell him something. I was a little disappointed because we’ve been gym buddies for some time and I’ve never prospected him to be my client. I’m speaking purely from a sense of professional exposure to answer his anxiety about funding the later age. He could have a financial agent who’s serving him right now and my intention was to get him to explore financial products that can help him realize we cannot FULLY rely on another person. Do you depend on another to fortune-tell your future? I think the prudent way is to look at what we have and put a plan in place. Anything that happens due to our attachment with another, on whatever level, is a bonus. I realized how far a friendship can go is determined by the fear, or trust they have in you.

When I watched Slumdog Millionaire, I kept thinking, “There, it’s an illumination to Dennis’ question.” Love is ours to decide. We can choose to let what we love decide our course of actions, and we have to bear the outcomes. But more often than not, it is my belief, that the love for people, usually brings about the most fulfilling of life’s experiences. When we love someone truly and deeply, we will have the fuel to make plans and take on responsibilities that fulfill our aspirations. Perhaps it is unfair for me to make this statement at this juncture where the person I love rewards me plentifully. What if, apart from my family, I couldn’t find another who consoles my vulnerabilities and insecurities? Will my focus then be on the functionalities of life, money being the sole part of it, and a successful life defined by the legacy I left behind?

I thought Slumdog was a great movie. It is a hard candy. While it is dissolving sweetly, I knew what I have in my mouth is something that could break my teeth. I used to think that being street-smart is an advantage. But through the movie, I felt that pure love is the denominator for all equations. As documented by my faith, Jesus went through the most painful death out of pure love for humanity to redeem our souls for eternity.

I am born and bred in Singapore. I had my time of doing doodies in iron buckets where coolies came daily to shoulder out the load and stench. Slumdog showed me what it’s like to not even have that luxury.

Today I live with a silver handle that flush my excrements. I ask myself, and Dennis… Does it matter if that handle is made out of gold? Or if I have the ability to shit?

b. Let love handle it.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ehipassiko1975
    Mar 08, 2009 @ 09:57:02

    I will choose take up financial plans.
    Not sure if love will come into my life. 🙂

    Reply

    • celebratelah
      Mar 10, 2009 @ 03:53:41

      hmm… that’s true. sometimes love eludes us no matter how patient we’ve been. heh.
      i hope your heart will find its reciprocation soon. all the best! :o)

      Reply

    • celebratelah
      Mar 10, 2009 @ 03:53:41

      hmm… that’s true. sometimes love eludes us no matter how patient we’ve been. heh.
      i hope your heart will find its reciprocation soon. all the best! :o)

      Reply

  2. ehipassiko1975
    Mar 08, 2009 @ 09:57:02

    I will choose take up financial plans.
    Not sure if love will come into my life. 🙂

    Reply

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