I Believe in Money

Yulin - ShenZhen, China
Entered on August 14, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

Last Christmas, I was living in Hong Kong, so I had two weeks holiday. Of course, I came back Shenzhen and enjoyed this holiday with my parents. I like Christmas very much because I can buy anything I want. Before dinner, my father called my mother and told me, “Tonight we will go to a French restaurant to taste new food.” I told myself, “Life is good.”

When we came back home, I was sitting in my father’s car and we talked about my college life. On Christmas the weather was very bad. It was cold and windy outside. When the car stopped before the stoplights, I saw two persons hiding under the pedestrian bridge. To my eyes, they looked uncomfortable and they felt cold and very poor. My mother is a kind person and said, “Oh Goddess, the poor people are in that punishing wind and I think we should give them some clothes or food. Maybe then they will feel better.

But I didn’t agree with my mother’s opinion. I told my mother, “We aren’t poor men. We don’t know there are really need food, or clothing. In my eyes, I think the poor men outside are sharing a good joke. They might need some money to be able to rent a cheap motel room and enjoy this Christmas night though. When tomorrow comes, they will find a job. I think money is more helpful for them because I believe money can change their life.” My mother thought about this problem so she didn’t say anything. I thought maybe she agreed with my opinion. But my father intervened and said, “When you give them money, they will think life is easy and money is easy to gain without needing to do any work. Eventually, they will become more greedy and dependent on people giving them money in life. In the end, I think that you are not helping them and it is not useful for them either. But I will let you borrow money from me to help them and when you go to them you need to tell them something about how to use this money; however, you need to work at home to return the payment back to me.”

I thought this money maybe could change two poor men’s lives so I told father, “I will pay you back.” Then I got out of the car and walked under the pedestrian bridge before I gave them 500 Yuan, about $70.00. I said, “Today is Christmas. I know nobody likes living here, so this money will change your life. Hopefully next Christmas you will be living in a house.”

Since December 25th, I have never seen them under the pedestrian bridge. I hoped they would find a good job and enjoy life. But in the break time, I spent a lot of time to do work at home to make money to pay back my father. Now I’m starting to believe money is hard to make.