Photo courtesy of Chris Tan

A reminder from a dearly departed grandma on life, fame, and money.

Photo courtesy of Chris Tan
Photo courtesy of Chris Tan

It was a lesson learnt long time ago, but perhaps we did not take heed. Everyone wants to be famous, but what kind of fame would you prefer? Fame with a lot of “unclean” monies or fame with pride and dignity? In the end, if you choose the former, you would probably die with shame attached to you.

My dearly departed grandma reminded me of something when she was lying in her coffin. She gave me an indirect thought about our life – you either live in fame, or die with shame.

I saw her lying in the coffin, breathless and motionless. It is the end of her days in this world but it is not the end for us yet. We should treasure whatever we are doing right now and also do it the right and respected way.

I attended two days of prayers and funerary rites – I witnessed it all, right up to the point when the coffin cover was slid over her body, and the coffin sealed and nailed it shut.

Grandma is in there for good, but we are still free outside here.

There are many ways to live our life. It really depends on the aims and goals that you want to achieve. You may want to be a politician and serve the rakyat or a lawyer wannabe and help people with legal services or a doctor and save many lives. Regardless of what you want to be, the most important thing I reckon, is the way you do it.

Living in fame does not mean living in the lap of luxury, dripping in diamonds and Cristal. It is also not defined as toting this season’s Louis Vuitton handbag while shopping at posh malls like Pavilion. Living in fame can simply mean that we are doing something beneficial for the people and doing it wholeheartedly.

Politicians, don’t forget that you are here because you were voted in by the people, the rakyat. Often, politicians proclaim that everything that they do is for the people, but many, many, years later – they are in the dock for graft charges. Can anyone make sense of this?

By serving the people, are you telling us that you need “service tax”? For whatever monies taken as “duit kopi”, you can never bring it along with you in your journey after death.

If you are currently a politician, think again. Do you feel proud because you have really done something for the rakyat and they are better off for what you have done? In the affirmative, I would like to congratulate you. You are living with fame. Otherwise, please do seriously consider whether you would want to remedy your mistakes.

If you believe in karma, you would realise that the money you are keeping for your future generations will be washed down the drain and it will eventually deplete. You will end up in shame anyhow… it has a way of catching up with us.

For lawyers, there are many areas of practice available. No matter which one you choose, monies should not be the determining factor(or at least not all the time), but instead the pride and satisfaction that you have in the end. It is okay to lose the case if you really do not have a good case, as it might really reflect the wrongdoings of your client. But it is really shameful to encourage your client to appeal or initiate an action just because you know big bucks are coming to your way.

Narcissistic Eagle Reflection

My current immediate boss told me that she loves her job. I truly believe that by appreciating your job with love, it allows you to naturally seek for fame by assisting your clients with honesty. With that, you know you have pocketed fame and the rewards will be fruitful in future. The fame when you have won a case is merely a stepping stone or an opportunity for you to do better in future. But once you become greedy and want to achieve more fame in association with monies, you will die in shame.

It is not a shame to live modestly or even penniless. It is a shame if we die with monies unclean, obtained fraudulently. Equity also says “you must come with clean hands.”

LB: Chris Tan reads law at a local college and aspires to be a good lawyer. He will not let the fate of the curious cat get in the way of experiencing the new and embracing opportunities to learn. He thanks his lucky stars that he continues to meet fantastic characters from all walks of life, particularly LoyarBurokkers(!), who contribute in making him a wiser person. Life experiences are guides even to heaven’s door. Be amused by his jottings and tweets @christan_yh.

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