You have money. Your parents have money. Your grandfather has money. And your godmother has money. You have money and you have plenty of it.
And then you go broke. You go absolutely broke. Someone falls sick in the family or a parent gets laid off or you buy too many unnecessary shoes and clothes and perfumes and now you are broke. You are worried and scared and you want to cry and get your godmother on the phone and ask her to bail you out just this one time.
Going broke sucks but it's an almost inevitable part of life, a crucial part of adulthood and essential part of growth.
Here are eight reasons why going broke is great:
Going broke strips you naked. It strips you of your ego, bravado, pride and sense of entitlement.
The magnitude of brokenness to which I refer does not include having $5,000 in your bank account as opposed to the usual $20, 000. No, that's not broke. Being broke means having $50 in your account, $30 of which goes to your week's public transport ticket.
Being broke forces you to approach your elder brother and ask for a loan. It forces you to ask your friend for $10 too often and makes you discover where the closest Western Union branch is because that's where your uncle (who's overseas in Taiwan) will be sending your dinner cash. Being broke creates humility and humility creates good people.
The next time you encounter someone struggling, you'll understand exactly what it is he or she is going through, you'll know exactly what he or she is feeling, you'll empathize and you'll help in whatever way you can.
There's nothing as off-putting as a vain, self-indulged, human being, but you will not be that person because you've been broke before.
You will crave nachos or spaghetti bolognese or that vintage watch at the store or some nice designer jacket, but you will be broke. You will only have $20 between you nothing and you will have to figure out how to survive.
You will take the bus instead of driving, you will eat two-minute noodles, you will buy a packet of $1.50 plain flour, teach yourself how to make 30 rotis and then you will have them with tea, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You will also learn to do without juice and soda. You will survive.
Do you need to get your hair done tomorrow or can you wait until the end of the month? Do you have to buy that Veet shaving cream today or can you put on some trousers and wait another five days?
Do you really need a new laptop or could you go to an Internet cafe? Do you have to collect your phone from the repair shop this afternoon or could you stock up on toiletries instead? Going broke will lead you to discover the true meaning of the term "priority."
5. Power Of No
"Hey, how about we catch up for dinner at that new Thai restaurant tomorrow?" No, sorry, you can't. "Howdy, could we go to the mall tomorrow and just window shop?"
Mmmm, no, you'll see something you like and you'll be tempted to spend your rent money. "Hey, c'mon, stop being a bore, let's do lunch?" No, you are broke, and that means being boring. Saying no is a skill best developed when one is broke.
6. Meaning Of Life
Money does not equal life. When you are broke, you will discover that the lack of money isn't synonymous with the end of life.
Provided that you eat your rotis and drink your tea, suck up to your landlord and ask for an extension, call your cellphone provide about that overdue bill and flirt a little over the phone, you should be okay. You'll realize that life does go on and it can still be beautiful.
You will go for walks on the street, or runs around the park or go and hang by the beach or go watch a flash mob or visit a friend (and eat as much spaghetti bolognese as you can while you're there). These things cost nothing, life continues.
Once you recover from brokenness, you will begin to look at things differently — you will look at them and know their value.
You will cherish the Barbecue Meat Lovers pizza that just arrived and you will chew patiently, savoring every single ingredient in it.
You will take your car and go for a drive, wind the window down, let the breeze in, feel the gas under your foot as you accelerate and you will drive without rushing.
You will also walk out of the house, tall and content, all the way to the insurance office and pay that fee, because whilst it hurts a little to see your money leave your hands, you now know it's better to give it because you have it than to be chased because you don't.
8. Nothing Lasts Forever
Not the good nor the bad. Your state of being broke too shall pass. It's just another rainy season for you and yes, you hate how wet and muddy and mucky and disruptive it is, but it will pass and the sun will shine again.
You've just got to stick out some confidence with a smile and a little faith. You can never do it all on your own, believe in something and have faith in it. But ultimately, be strong, it will be okay, it will pass.