Sometimes I’ll create a discussion in my classroom that will not only be part of an English lesson but a way for me to learn Chinese culture. One of my topics was to discuss whether working hard for a better future or working less for a better today was more suitable for their current lives. There was, of course, no answer to this and the responses were mixed. Many said the Chinese traditional way is to work as hard as possible for their future of marriage, jobs, and a steady life. Most of my students would not hesitate to get married this instant. They’re about 20-years old. I simply wanted a relaxed discussion in English. It created interesting responses but one response in particular caught my attention which was that Money is Unlimited but Life is Limited.
This got me thinking of the life I chose for myself. When I worked for corporate America, I was living for tomorrow. I was setting a path for a better future because I was programmed to think I didn’t have enough. The norm was to rise up the corporate ladder and so I did. It still wasn’t enough. As I made more money, I needed more money. Moving apartments and the ever growing amount of bills felt never ending. All this made me stop living for the moment and worry too much of what I would have in the future.
I am not saying not to prepare for your future but rather to balance your life. Simply, to remember that you are breathing today. You can use travel to re-shape your life.
Some people went around interviewing dying patients but not one person said they regretted not making more money or not working harder. They all seemed to say their regrets were not spending more time with the people they loved and not traveling more and relating more to the world and the planet. – Track name: Ta Moko by 1 Giant Leap