We begin this New Year with hopes for a year blessed with health, love, peace and happiness. You might also wish for prosperity, of course, but I believe the ultimate goal is real happiness rather than wealth alone. The true goal should be peace rather than prosperity. I have always thought that financial wealth does not make for a worthwhile life goal because what good is endless wealth without peace and happiness? What value is there in having all the material possessions if one lacks the health to move about, sleep, socialize and eat? But a person with health, love, peace and happiness, in my view, has everything.
We cannot know what this year may bring and can only hope for the best. Will the rising cost of living continue its steep climb of the past year? If so, what are our hopes? How much longer can salaried workers withstand the squeeze on their incomes? Salaried employees have seen their monthly wages shrink under relentless pressure from all sides, powerless in the process.
It has become impossible for many to eat three meals a day. Indeed, for some merely eating a full meal once daily is a tremendous challenge.
I feel especially for civil servants. Based on media reports and conversations, it seems civil servants have reached their lowest point in coping with high costs. This leads me to question whether it is fair to blame civil servants looking for any opportunity to supplement their income by illicit means.
Can we truly blame some civil servants for demanding small bribes for any service the people require? How can one be expected to serve others well while struggling themselves? Is impeccable work possible from someone unsure how to get by for the second half of each month on their meager salary?
A friend recently sold her condominium to a man who happened to be a civil servant. During their celebratory lunch, he confided that he owned several houses, thankful for his fortunate life. However, we all know most civil servants, especially those who are on the lower echelons of power, could reasonably purchase is a modest condo – and only through the lottery draw. So how did this individual come to own multiple homes? I think the answer is clear. Who could fault his actions, given today’s economy?
My hope for this year is some respite from the relentlessly increasing cost of living squeezing our incomes on all sides. I hope for a meaningful solution to skyrocketing prices now threatening to drive salaried workers, particularly civil servants, to the brink of madness. Most importantly, I wish for peace in our nation – survival must come before all else. What use is wealth if we lose our lives?