We Are Who We Are

It's never easy to really live as a person we truly want to be, nevertheless we'll end up trying our best in order to become one. Some of us struggle just to make sure the path that they take is leading them towards the right destination, while some take easier ways, inherited from their families; money, status and power. The wealth of one's family can be the determining factor to charge forward faster than anyone else. But life is not always that fair, for sometimes, based on mere patience and never-ending efforts, the tortoises emerge as winners instead of the rabbits.

I wasn't born in a rich family. I didn't have all those things that rich kids were playing with. When I entered school, I carried hope from my parents and brothers who never got the chance to finish what they had started. In fact, my late dad's dying wish to my brothers was to make sure this little guy finish his studies. They did. I did.

I used to envy the rich kids. They could have everything they ever wanted. I didn't always wish to get all the toys, the branded shirts and pants or even the cool mobile phones that they had. The only thing that made me envious all the time was the fact that they could afford to go and study wherever they wanted. I remember early in the morning on the registration day, me and my aunt were hopping from one bank to another just to withdraw RM40 from her account. The ATMs had only RM50 notes in them, and my aunt's account had RM43.20. My mother had given me all her money and my aunt did as well. The ones in her account were the last - our last resort. But thank God, we managed to find one ATM with RM10 notes and have myself registered. I said to myself, "If only we were rich."

But I saw something else later on. The rich kids, not all but most of them, were wasting their time and family's money. They lingered and skipped classes, and they proudly announced, "Every semester is my new semester". Not because they enjoyed it like the married couples' famous words, "Every night is our first night", but because they got barred or failed in the exams in every semester. I told myself, "If that's the attitude I would have for being rich, then I thank God for making me this broke." Yes, maybe I said that because I was indeed broke. Maybe if I was rich, I would be proud of being like them. Maybe.

I had my ups and downs, but I think I turned out to be a pretty decent guy. Not the best, but quite okay. I have fulfilled my dad's last wish and despite having done all that, I still want more. I still want to move forward. I don't want to stop. Because I realize now that money won't make you human. It's the upbringing; the family and friends you have around you... and knowledge. That's why I thank God for making me like this, for giving me the family and friends that I have now, and for providing me with mountains of knowledge to climb and explore.

We can complain about the things around us, but that does not tell us anything. Because when we look at them again one more time, we'll know that they are the reasons why we are who we are. I can never be who I am today without my family, friends, knowledge and those ATMs. Can you?

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