Sunday, February 22, 2009

Stuff that will see one through difficult times

With the ill wind of recession blowing, many people could be handed the pink slip, while others fear being shown the door. The current economic downturn is especially gloomy to the Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMET) group as the daily papers dish out the increased numbers and the current Government's focus to help this group.

I belong to the PMET group. In some of my idle thoughts in the States, I sometimes asked myself what could I do for a living if I were there for good. During such moments, I thought hard and long but still found myself at a loss. As I stayed in the country longer, I thought maybe I could leverage on my amateur fusion cooking skills to set up a restaurant. Afterall, that was what most Chinese migrants did as portrayed in the cinemas.

A few days back, I read an article about a refugee who owned farms and was among the rich and famous in his home country but had to flee with his family in tow due to civil strife. In his adopted country, he worked as a janitor for a few years, before saving enough money to start a small grocery store. Slowly but surely, he re-built his wealth in his empire of grocery chains.

I am inspired. At the same time, I am also sober enough to realise that his success story is probably one in a million.

To those who are affected by this financial crisis, I will like to offer this Chinese proverb "liu zhe qin shan zai, bu pa mei zhai shao", roughly translated into stay alive as opportunities are abound. Remember, success in life is not measured in a single dimension as in career or wealth. It is also about being a good spouse, parent, son/daughter, and a caring person. It is also about having a good health. And when the going gets tough, these are the stuff that will help one bite the bullet and start from the lowest rung.

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