The Gap By CELINE CHUA
It’s time to wake up and break the barriers, a hopeful daughter says.
THERE is a man who stays under the same roof as me. He is not tall nor handsome, and not that strong. He is in his mid-50s and jobless. That is what I worry about the most. I don’t frown or show signs of worry on my face, but inside, worries fill my heart.
He thinks that he is old, but to me, he is a young man. His leg aches and he cannot walk far.
In his mind, old age and the pain in his leg are reasons why he cannot get a job. But he is wrong. I used to agree what he says, but now I don’t and never will.
You can see old men with wrinkles on their forehead and white hair filling their entire head cleaning tables in coffee shops. There are old men who sit on those big chairs with their legs crossed in their own companies or shops.
Some middle-aged men still read books in public. People who have lost their limbs are learning skills to earn money on their own.
They never give up. They never think that they are unlucky to be born into this world.
When I watch him lying on a wooden chair, I feel a sudden pain in my heart. Why is he not doing anything? Can’t he find something to do? Search for a job, perhaps?
I know it is not easy to get a job. But if he makes an effort to look, he will surely get one someday.
Does he do that? Nope. He just sits on a chair, clicks the mouse and keeps an eye on the share market. Sometimes, he goes to the cinema for a movie.
Wake up, man! You can earn some money through the share market but NOT permanently.
You think the profit you get from there is your salary? No, it’s not! It might be enough for you to survive on. What about us, your family? You’re the man of the house. We count on you.
Now I’m afraid to count on anyone. He has no earnings. Mum does all the work and I don’t want to give her pressure. She has to work hard in the office. When she comes home, she does all the chores.
Whenever I take my tuition fees from her, I feel a sense of guilt. I feel as if I’m “eating up” her years of effort within seconds. Whenever she hands me my pocket money, I’ll thrust it into my wallet and never take it out.
Nowadays, I’m “afraid” to use money. I want to save as much money as possible. After my SPM, I want to get a part-time job and earn money for my parents. The weight on mum’s shoulders is getting heavier because my sister and I need money for our studies. I will study hard and get a scholarship. In fact, it is a must that I do. There is no way mum can afford all the expenses.
What about him? Worse. I’m not insulting him. It’s a fact. How can we afford to pay for thing when there is no income? Forget about those things I love – shoes, dessert, handbags, novels and clothes. Just focus on studies …
Why does he give up? I don’t get it. People are fighting for their life. No matter how difficult things are, they still break the wall and move on. Why does he let the barriers stop him?
Nothing is impossible – just aim for it.
I know he can do it. Just don’t give up. Think positively and good things will come. There will be an opportunity. Don’t let it go; don’t run away when it approaches. Chances will always be there.
Dad, it’s time to wake up and look around you. There’s a family to support. We support you, always. We will never let you fall. W’ll grab your hand before you hit the ground and pray for you.
You’re a great dad. Don’t disappoint us, just be a hero in our heart. Make us proud, make us happy. I give you my hand, let us all be together.
PS: Be wise and be a good listener.
> Parents and their children at any age can have different points of view over just about everything. Or do they? We invite parents and children to write in to show us where the generation gap closes and widens. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.