Words of Wisdom ...or so it seems...


Tuesday, 21 September 2010

When Money Becomes Him

Someone once asked me, why on earth did I not open up my own practice. Despite the reasons I put forth, he continued to add, "Open up your own practice. Make your money, then give back to charity".

Tempting. I can do that except there is one thing that stands in my way, my conscience. My goddayng conscience, you know that irritating tiny little voice at the back of your head that nags the moment you do something you're not suppose to do and it gets louder when your daily routine winds down and you're alone in bed trying to get some sleep? Yeah, that one.

Now, please don't get me wrong. I am not saying that those who open up their own private practices are corrupted or without conscience. I just have problems handling mine. I just don't see, that in my profession, how one can get filthy rich. Comfortable, yes. Filthy rich, well, I can't really see that happening, not to me anyway. Other profession, yes, just not doctoring. Exactly what I told my kid, "If you want to make lots of money, don't bother becoming a doctor. I'm not in this for the money, and fame comes not really in a good way most of the time".

I may not be the rich, but let's put it this way, when people say they have trouble sleeping, they meant they can't sleep at night. When I say I have trouble sleeping...I meant I have trouble getting out of the delicious slumber helps when your conscience sleeps with you...

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The same way that I do not look down upon the Hollywood film stars who do lots of things in their lives they regret later (or regret that people found out, later), just to get to where they are today then donated to charity (although they get less pictures smeared all over the tabloids for that rather than say they go out with someone new). It is still a good and noble deed. They could have just kept the money all to themselves, spend it on drugs, shoes whatever but they chose to give some away to the needy instead. Giving back is still better than not giving at all, regardless of the circumstances prior to it. I'm saying that in my line of job, I cannot see how I can make money out of sick people, and still go to sleep at night with my conscience clear. It's just me.

Nothing wrong about making money at all. I just don't think it is right to make the money via wrongful methods, that's all. I have to point out however, "making money legally" and "making money ethically" are two different things. Something like "frogging" in politics. I can see that you are getting my point......

In my profession, I have to bend too much of my medical ethics not to mention humanity, in order to compete with others in their profession to attain "success". This could mean, giving antibiotics unsparingly (Asian countries are responsible in a large part for contributing to the antibiotic resistance due to doctors being lenient with prescribing antibiotics), issuing MCs (need I explain this? eyes rolled up my sockets) as a form of business promotion, sometimes selling steroids and trust me...there are more stuff some doctors do that kills the nobility of the profession, just for the extra money. If one were to open the clinic by owing the bank, well, I leave it to you to do the math on what a debtor needs to do to manage paying the bank on time. If I have my own capital and open up my own, well, then that may lessen the temptation of corrupting my soul I guess.

Back to those who have a higher level of some of that irritating conscience, they may just not do as well as some who may have sold their souls to the devil, but of course would be branded by society as "under-achievers". I am an under-achiever but a proud one. That is because my definition of "achievements" differs from that of majority in the society. So, I can live with that brand comfortably.

To me, life is not about getting rich materially, screw our ethics and self worth whilst on our peregrination there, become filthy rich, donate to charity so as we can feel better about ourselves. So yes, to me life is not so much about the destination, but about the journey. This is it. This is our journey folks, this small little things we do on a daily basis, that are collectively called "living". What we do on daily basis IS what counts. It does matter how many people we do not screw on daily basis as we carry on our routine in life, to make a living for ourselves and our family.

It takes a real man to restrain himself from screwing others for self interest, than it does to sell your soul to the devil and do what it takes to become materially filthy wealthy. The latter is just easy and natural for most human.

Don't get me wrong. I have no qualms with wealth or people who posses it, but it is important that that wealth comes from day to day righteous living. Someone pointed out, "But it is quite impossible to become rich by being too fussy about values". He's right. But is all that wealth worth sacrificing our inner human wealth. Perhaps it is our definition of "wealth" that, have through time, got screwed up. Perhaps the society of this millennium have redefined "wealth".

THAT is the thing that bothers me. It' how people TREAT wealth. Today, people respect people based what they are able to make FOR themselves, not what they make OF themselves. The greatest conqueror, is a man who can conquer himself, for it is easier to conquer others, than to conquer oneself. I'm sure I've plagiarized someone on this one but I am pretty sure too that anyone who is deep can come up with a good philosophical quote, would not mind me plagiarizing it for the benefit of mankind as a whole. Besides, I'm pretty sure he's dead too. The best of course, are those lucky ones who work hard and righteously, and comes out both wealthy, in the sense of contact of humanity as well as materially.

Take a good look around you. Do you not find that today, our society have become superficial? It's in how we define "success". Do we hear the word, "integrity", "honesty", "loyalty", associated with the word "success"? Instead, we hear things like, "It doesn't matter how we get there, just get there". Today, a man with the bigger estate, not just bigger cars and houses, but how many they possess, people with more wives perhaps, a worldly title and to some extend, religious title, are looked upon as being "successful". And the most ironic quote of all is "success comes with a price"....'s soul perhaps?...

And what you get today is a society that is out to get each other. The system is less interested in helping you out, rather, collectively try to make as much money as they can squeeze out of you. This selfishness is reflected in the way we do our dealings with each other on daily basis, the way we drive on the roads, the way we react to crisis, the way we pick our government etc. Look around you, we are living in an almost failed society. Racism is as rampant as the corruption. The more powerful and the more material wealth you have, the more you are respected.

People are awarded bonuses, incentives not based on the integrity, honesty, loyalty at work, instead of how much revenue we bring in, it doesn't matter how this revenue is generated, so long as the credit balance is heavy on the debit side. Tell me something, how much money is much?

This country is run by politicians who do not see wrong in practising corruption. Money politics are brushed off with only "stern warnings". If anyone cannot see that "money politics" is synonym to "corruption", and he gets off with merely stern warning, then you know that that society is in deeper trouble morally, than they think they are. But why are we quick to criticize these corrupted politicians? After all, who put them there? If a country practices democracy, then simply put, the government reflects the society, because it is the majority who put them there. A corrupted government arises from a corrupted society. So why don't we look at our reflection. How do we go about in our daily dealings. If we, the society is not corrupted, then naturally there won't be any corrupted human beings to make politicians out of them then to elect ,right?

George Carlin will tell ya...

And for those who fight for the good against evil, it is our responsibility to unite and do something in our capabilities to make that change. Because to practice reticent, is as good as condoning the crime. Guilty by silence. Third Newton Law stated, "for every action there is a reaction". The good practices reticent ergo no action, so obviously there is no reaction in the form of change in the attitude of the rulers.

Please remember, that making money and power our god, is the root cause of the coruption. Corruption is like consumption, TB if you prefer. It consumes a society and kills it insidiously. But unlike cancer, the good news is that, it can be cured. But the TB treatment sometimes have a lot of side effects. It needs compliancy and the tenacity to complete it's course. Basically,what I'm trying to tell you is that corruption is curable. It just need the people's will, strength , tenacity and perseverance to do so.

How do we get out of this mess? Well, for starters, out-Islamizing each other is definitely not the answer. We don't need to start flogging alcohol consumers, selectively if I may add ( I mean, why the hypocrisy....if you want to set an example to people, why not go for the big guns?), just to show that we've suddenly become more righteous. You don't need religion to not be corrupted. The happiest people on earth, with less rate of corruption, are the Swedish and more than half of them are atheists. In Sweden, you can leave your baby outside to get some sun for a bit and you'll still have them giggling in the pram when you get back to them. No need religion to recognize humanity. Besides, we have enough examples to show that religion makes failed nations.

Take home message? Well, it's okay to be wealthy, long as we all achieve it by not cutting each others' throats and that wealth is not THE only reason for us to respect a human being.

Practicing some humanity may just get the job done actually. You need not embrace any religion to recognize humanity too. You just have to be human, that's the minimum qualification actually. All we need is just basic understanding of how to recognize what qualities makes one respectful, other than material evaluation. A little less ego and playing obtuse may take us far...

"Everyone is entitled to be stupid. Some just abuse the privilege"

Perhaps we should all start with the man in the mirror?
(Oh by the way, for those who never know who you are.....the rabbit hole ends here)
...Click here to find out how deep the rabbit hole goes.....


Monyet King said...

Filthy rich is relative. For some one earing RM 500 a month, the person earning RM 5000 a month is filthy rich. And a for someone earing RM 5000 a month, the person earning RM 50K a month a filthy rich.

To Robert Kuok or Ananda Krishnan, the fellow earining RM 50,000 is a pauper.

PahNur said...

Yupp....filthy rich is relative...when you are rich, you hear from relative you never knew you had ;->

RM500 can be a filthy rich benchmark to a person, but how he achieves it would justify righteousness. If I work like hell to earn that rm500, righteously, then it's money well worth earning. But if it is from pawning the gold chain I've just snatched from an old lady with or without alzheimer, then it's corrupted money... it's not about the amount, but about the principals involved in earning that money... sometimes i wonder what people whisper to their conscience when they go to sleep at night, to justify screwing others for money so as to make their conscience go to sleep with them :-|