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I am the youngest amongst my siblings. I have two older brothers. And that means that all their items, be it their clothing, toys, or books, would be recycled to me. Why waste money to buy something new, when the old stuff still looks good and can be used again? That’s how I lived. Luckily for my parents, I would never request much from them. All I remember asking was to get me ice cream after the preschool lesson was over. I remembered that my mother used to take me to the provision shop on alternate days and get me ice cream. I was very excited and happy on the days I could get ice cream.

The first thing I would do when buying ice cream is to look at the price. Then, I will see whether this ice cream does excite me. If the price is right and it fits my taste then I will buy it. I don’t mind eating the same flavour for days. Of course, I do get bored of the same flavour, but if there is tastier ice cream at the same price, I would definitely try a different flavour.

To me, the toys I got weren’t really that amazing. In fact, I can’t really recall what toys I used to play with. But I definitely have toys to play with. I do recall that the big thing in my primary school was playing with those country erasers. I would save some money and get those erasers for a few cents. After that, we would battle it out. Who wins the battle, get to keep the other person’s eraser. I remember we used the mathematical set case and empty all the stuff out and use it as a collection for country erasers. Trust me that was very fun.

We also have a battle where we would customise our eraser with stapler bullets so that it could spin. The battle was which eraser can spin the longest. I don’t think there were any prizes to be won. But I think we had fame to our name. We need to wreck our brains to come up with a good foundation and proper placement of the stapler bullets. We were inspired by Beyblade, a cartoon show.

Since I was on financial assistance during my primary school time, I knew that we had some financial issues. So, I didn’t bother to ask anything from my parents. Usually, I will use the money that I have saved and buy things that I want. I still had pocket money even though it isn’t as much compared to my other school mates. I am thankful for that.

Growing up, I had the mentality to save and don’t waste money. And whenever I shopped, the first thing I will look at is the price. Others may look at it differently. They will look at the quality of the material, whether they will like it and then buy it. Price was never a problem. Of course, the price wouldn’t be an issue when money is never the issue to them. (I can sense that my jealousy is rising)

I remembered always being excited when being offered to be at my cousin house. Why was I excited? It’s because I get to play with their toys. They always have the coolest toys and me being curious, I loved it so much. I think at the time, they had LEGO. And you know how LEGO comes in broken pieces where you need to assemble them to be like the exact ones in the picture? I think they are interesting toys and I love to assemble things to match the pictures. It’s always very fun to be at my cousin’s house. It’s like I wouldn’t want to leave their house because there were toys!

Toys do get me excited but I don’t really fancy them till I need to own them. For me, playing with them would make me happy. There are certain things that I really want to own, but I don’t think toys will be that thing.

What I have learned

Looking back, I think I’m more grateful that my family wasn’t that rich. In a way, I tend to appreciate things better and I wouldn’t take them for granted. I think that if I was being raised in a rich family, I wouldn’t really know how to appreciate certain things. In the end, everything I own will be taken for granted.

Some children are blessed with rich parents and what happens is that when the child grows up they will be spoilt and doesn’t know how to appreciate things or people. Of course, this doesn’t apply to everyone. And that there are many factors to consider such as the upbringing of the child and how the child perceives it.

I learned that if I want to get something, I would need to save up or work hard for it. There was no such thing as I request it and I will get it in an instant. It was more of me putting the effort to get the thing I want. I think in a way, I would also treasure my items and I can call them my own. Sometimes, I don’t like to share because I worked hard for something and once I got it, it feels like my possession.

How you can apply this to your life?

Practise the art of being grateful

Ask yourself, what am I grateful for today? Stop and look at yourself. Are you healthy? Do you have food to eat? Do you have any items of clothing to wear? If the answer is still no. Then look at others who are even in a worse situation than you. At least you are slightly better than them.

I hope you enjoyed my story and what I have learnt has brought some lesson to you. If you enjoyed the story, I would appreciate it if you would help to share this story around. It could benefit those around you. 

Also, if you think you have learnt another lesson other than what I mentioned, do leave a comment below. I will be most happy to read it and learn from you. 

With that, I wish you a very good day ahead! Peace.

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