Most of us I have been talking with during this Movement Control Order (MCO) seem to have learnt a precious life lesson through this enforced stay-home experience: We don’t need much to live comfortably — and happily!
We managed on the essentials: food, water and electricity, and, the Internet, of course! The Internet is now an essential in the new norm. We didn’t entertain, shop or travel. So, our costs came down. We could live simply on the basics and it was enough!
With family members now all living under one roof, I’m sure there was much bonding time and I am sure some fighting time, too! When we live close with one another, friction is inevitable. It’s a sign that love is hitting the walls we put up in self-defence. Hopefully, it succeeds in breaking down those walls and rebuilding better and closer ties with one another. It can be trying but those who cut through always come out with better relationships.
Trying times, unfortunately, can also produce casualties. You may have heard of how staying cooped up with one another drove spouses, partners, siblings and relatives out of their minds! Life is, indeed, hard.
But, many have found living under the MCO a pleasant experience. When the March holidays began, my niece took her family to her parents’ home in Seremban to spend the holidays there. As soon as they arrived, however, the announcement came about the MCO and the weeklong holidays extended to three months and they are still there and enjoying every minute of it!
Her brother’s family lives nearby and every day they bring their two under four-years-old kids to the grandparents’ home. My niece’s youngest boy is six and the three kids have been having a whale of a time playing and eating home-cooked meals together!
My brother’s house has a huge back garden and in the evenings the whole family is out playing badminton, volley ball or football or running from one end to the other. My nephew says, “We have Olympics here in the evenings!”
Sometimes, the young ones will join the adults gardening, growing vegetables and flowers. They now have a vegetable plot and a flowering garden! Young and old love the time they spend together and doing things together. The grandparents are old and sit back, letting their grown-up children oversee all the activities and enjoying having their family around.
It’s a very domestic, placid and bucolic life but a happy one. I live here in Subang Jaya but they keep in touch through video calls and so I don’t miss out on all the fun!
So, folks, if the future looks bleak and you know you are going to lose your job and stressed out about how to support your family and/or yourself, maybe consider the option of going back to your kampung or to the country and start a farm.
Rent or buy — if you can afford it — a plot of land. Build a simple home that can accommodate all who are dependent on you and grow rice, corn, tapioca and vegetables. Rear some chicken, goats and a couple of cows. You won’t die but will survive and you can feed your entire family. With whatever extra you have you can sell and who knows a growing business venture will start out of your self-reliance and determination to earn an honest living, honestly.
The government needs to make some allowance to allow people to go back home to start all over again.
The other option is to look for a viable business to generate income. Explore possibilities. Don’t sit on your bottom and wring your hands or stretch them out to the government for handouts. The government may not have enough and may be going broke like all the nations impoverished by the corona virus pandemic. You’ll be disappointed if you depend on them.
Strike out on your own and you’ll learn the skills of self-reliance. The countryside is an attractive alternative! Good luck!