Tuesday, March 24, 2009

This thing between rich and the very rich

His name is _____.

After my plane landed, I headed off straight to the country club to work a sweat out before going to the clinic. At the corner of my eye, I saw a young lad, not more than 14 years old wiping one of the desks of the trainers at the gym.

I asked my personal trainor if the new kid was new hire and that he was underage to get a job. My PT replied, "nope, he's the grandson of the owner of Palms Country Club. His grandmother makes him work during the summer months with the employees of the club. To get a feel of how hard money is earned day to day, he mingles with the help."

The Gotianuns own East West Bank (the local bank that bought AIG Philamlife Bank), Filinvest, to name a few.

I recalled how life was hard for me during my growing up years. Each summer, my father would make me work at my Uncle Andres' hardware store. I tended the cash register. Came in at 10am and went home at 7pm. I enjoyed the work because at the end of each summer I had extra cash on hand. And my growing up years were different - I learned that hard earned money had greater value when earned honestly and through hard work.

While I was working out, I could not help but admire at the hard work this boy was going through and how well the parents and grandparents were raising him, to make him realize the value of work. Then the families of the Sys, Gokongweis, Ayalas, and other magnates flashed before my eyes. Indeed, all their families had started from scratch and the value of hard work was a lesson learned during their growing years.

The admiration suddenly dissipated when from out the blue a couple of male teenagers came barging in and strutted their lanky bodies lifting weights, obviously showing off their mobile phones to the young giggly girls who were pedaling those bicycles, not really working out a sweat but ogling the boys who were flirting with them. Then they started making boisterous conversations on how a summer in Boracay would fill their summer moments and the raging hormones would flood the blue sea.

I realized then - that was the difference between the rich and the very rich. When push comes to shove, guess who'll end up swimming upfront at the end of an economic crisis?

There's a story about giving a man fish and he eats for the day. Teach him how to fish and he eats for a lifetime. I'm glad my dad taught me well. I wish those bratty kids luck in this journey called life.

No comments: