“You were born with nothing and you die with nothing, so don’t hold on to anything.”
Sincere words that came from my father to teach le petite 9 year old me what life was all about in a nutshell. Mind you, this is also the bad english translation lessening the probably greater profoundness to begin with.
He used the example of millionaires; they all hold on to their money right? Tight. How do you think their bank account got blown to such proportions and stay so. But he also said, what of it though. They all die, and guess where those precious blood and sweat of business managing, years of tolling and sucking up to immaculate bosses go – down the drain of your rich son/daughter’s extravagant life. Now those were some big words coming from someone who spent 20 years mulling away at their job and collecting savings, but then also became somewhat wise for the very same person to blow 3/4 of the family fortune for, well, a family trip. Maybe this is the greedy bias little girl talking, who knows, but I loved that whole 2 months of my life. We spent my entire grade 4 summer road tripping to every fun, exotic, vacational spot in the US. So basically a round trip around the perimeter. This may sound not so big a deal now, or ever, but for someone who had just come from China at the time, who never really saw her dad thanks to his job, nor her mother either – thanks to her dad, and hadn’t lived with her own sister since grade 1 this was one of those monumental events that she won’t fully recognize in its value until a later time.
My dad had taught me a number of meaningful life quotes, but aside from this, the most vivid is your cliche – you were born a blank page. Now what I would like to alter for that quote is the ending, which usually includes how your page is now fulfilled, crumbled, abused, exhausted, and old. But no, I’m going to paraphrase some famous poet I can’t recall that you just leave a blank page, and you leave golden. To be anymore is as ab-sane as that piece of paper trying to hold onto all the letters, memories and words on it. The ink will fade, the words will smudge, and soon you’ll have nothing. But you can make this beautiful – to have nothing. Nothing meaning also no regrets. As my dad had also said, there is the time to drag your feet through mud and trudge on, work hard, but after, there also comes the window of time that many people miss – the enjoyment of what they earned – and I don’t want to miss it.
And he hit core, for he died of a stroke 2 years later.
So that’s how my dad justified his sudden will for the family to move countries and continents.
In lesser words, I am did not tell you to throw away all your family fortunes for one trip. So please do not bring this post up at court when you’re broke.