The Paradox of Hedonism

Before completing his final examination (UN), my 13 year-old nephew was already excited when his school announced that after UN, all 6th grader students will have a trip to Malang. For parents with no money issues, this sounds like a good plan. But what about those who do have money issues? Well, they will borrow, they will sell something, bottom line they will not care about their own capacity. They have bills, loans, and they add it with more loans, as long as their child can join the trip.

Ridiculous? Yes, but somehow more people are doing it!

On 2007, I have a 1993-Honda-motorbike. There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s not broken and I can still ride it anywhere. But when my husband got his first job, we sold it and use the money as the down payment to buy a new one. It was one the most foolish mistake we ever made.

The satisfaction of using a “new” motorbike vanished in just few months, but the burden of paying the installment lasted for 3 damn years.

Another ironic example of this inappropriate life style is visible during Idul Fitri. I’m a Muslim, and during the fasting month we are learning on how to control our passion to eat, control our anger, and also lust. But we all know what happened, right? A week before Idul Fitri, everyone visited the mall. And you know what? I have a friend who already plan to spend all his THR (annual bonus) of Rp 2,5 million, to rent a car, so that he can take his family during Lebaran vacation to visit his parents, his in-laws, and some recreational places.

This plan came from the same friend who just sent me a text message this morning, saying “I need to borrow Rp 500,000 because I’m running out of money. I will pay you back next week.”

There are enormous examples around me which made me wonder on how fragile we are to being hedonistic, and that this kind of life style had influenced everyone from the rich and famous to the poor and the needy.

Some people are very much intrigued by pleasures hence they forget on how to prioritize.

I have a neighbor who just bought a brand new car, but everytime we met in the morning she always complained on how expensive it is to enroll his 6 year-old to an elementary school. The rich are lousy planner with no plan on how to prioritize. While the poor, are worse. Not only they don’t have enough money to support their lifestyle, they are using loan money to cover unimportant expenses. if there’s anything that we can and must remember, is that “The pleasure may stick for a while, but the burden will stay longer.”

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