We are so used to wishing prosperity to one another over the Lunar New Year, but maybe it is time to look more closely at what we mean by prosperity.

One definition of being prosperous is to be successful in material or financial terms or to be wealthy.

Unfortunately, we have narrowed prosperity or wealth to just economic or financial terms. Perhaps that’s a product of our self-centred individualistic capitalist times.

Whereas real wealth and the riches of life are much broader concepts: the treasure of family and community life; our priceless natural heritage – the hills, the seas, the rivers, the forests, the open green spaces to recharge our batteries; food security; a decent home; congestion-free and pollution-free mobility; and inclusive and representative governance that upholds the public interest instead of crony interests.

Our wealth and prosperity should not be earned at the expense of exploited workers paid a pittance (resulting in worsening income inequality), of the environment, or of public funds meant for the poor or national development. If it is, that prosperity would be fleeting, an illusion.

The effects of such false and selfish prosperity will come back and sting us through social problems (e.g. rising crime rates, drug addiction) or even environmental problems (smog and climate change).

In the end, we are all interconnected. If we earn our financial prosperity from our greed, while ignoring workers, customers (through profiteering), the environment or through corruption, then that prosperity is likely to be meaningless and ultimately unfulfilling.

Far better to aim for a prosperity built on a foundation of living in harmony with one another – paying workers a fair and liveable wage, observing ethical practices, protecting the ecology for future generations and shunning corrupt practices.

Wishing you a sustainably prosperous new year ahead.

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19 COMMENTS

  1. Try to understand thyself, know thy strength + weakness, find thy life passion + purpose, & reign in thy covetous habits (of keeping up with the Joneses) or social class bin-chui of self-preservation in the materialistic world.
    Only when you are in tune with thy true self, will you prosper in most things of the heart.
    Prosper in pursuits, in friendship, in spiritual growth, in knowledge & understanding, & in health. (All these are long lasting & beneficial than the tons of money which may disappear or devalue)
    The financial side is secondary: the other means to an end with make its way known.

    But you will have to bravely make a distinct choice – be a master of your life or be a perpetual slave to money.
    The next time a MLM agent try to sell you his $$$Dream, pause to think with your true heart.

    • Tunglang, we go through many stages in life. In the 20s, we try hard to make money, keep up with the Joneses, yes. .

      When we come to retirement only we learn to be contented, this is the time we listen to our hearts, no more “been chui”. Maybe at this age, we attain confidence as who we are.

      Anyway, thks for your good advice as we indeed need to know ourselves, our strength n
      weaknesses and pursue what we are good at.

      • I know what I said b’cos while I was young 22 with dream & passion for what I love doing (painting + drawing), I listened to a friend’s advice to keep my nose grinding on advertising as a career which did not ‘click’ well with my inner soul in the first few months. “Be patient & you will do well in advertising”.

        Of course I did well as Designer > Art Director > Creative Director b’cos I kept my focus on one career i.e. advertising & marketing which took more than 3 decades of commitment, investment, learning & [email protected]

        In between when crisis came in 1997-1999, my same heart spoke to me to change direction to fine art. I ignored my little soul voice & kept grinding my nose on the same career out of fear for my commitments until 2009 when I dared to resign voluntary from the rat race. The little inner voice spoke again & in circumstances presented opportunities to take the challenge. That’s how I learnt thro’ the years of self-introspection what it takes to dare to listen to my inner voice. It is not about comfort, financial security nor stable life. It is about what lights up inside your soul like a burning candle in the wind of change.

        I figured out had I listened to my inner voice at 22, I would most probably not be what I am today knowing my self as I am but a more fulfilled individual with more genuine choices to live thro for myself & not for somebody nor for corporations.

        The money factor actually plays no major determining role in what makes a person truly happy & satisfied with what he or she loves doing sans the social expectation (if one dares not to play to the social gallery of conventions) but living what’s in the heart that matters before one dies.

        When you are finally at the deathbed, would you screen thro’ your life & regret for wasting a life of opportunities to live true to yourself or would you just smile & said “I had always lived a full life for myself, every moment worth my living breath”?

      • Thks for sharing, bro. Am not as lucky as you as when i was young i was quite a “lost” soul actually, no guidance, no directions, just drifted along by the waves of sea…

        I learn to be contented at my later life, so long as when i get up in the morning i still can have a cup of instant coffee, am happy !!!

        All the best, mate !!! Cheers !!!

      • You can still listen to your inner voice when you have the time – a quiet walk in the garden or forest.
        Tips: When you feel a ‘glow’ or what we called a feel-good inspiration in the little voice which usually comes at the spur of the moment, it is genuinely from the inside of you. The soft spoken words will always be from a 2nd person like “You have the talent to …” If it is “I have the talent to..” it is from the self ego. Learn to differentiate the two to listen more to the former i.e. from the 2nd person.
        Take the initiative to Just-Do-It & your life will never be the same, regardless of whether you are young or old.
        Cheers Kopi-O kau kau.

  2. It is practical for rakyat to wish for some prosperity to beat inflation caused by Barang Naik regime and our devalued ringgit, in order to sustain our purchasing power. No everyone can have a Saudi sugar daddy to give you donation/investment in time of financial difficulties.

  3. Great Article Anil…
    Just back from celebration with Rungus people, a Korean and a scotch…what a harmony
    This harmony I also met in Sarawak…
    such a huge difference in the East of Malaysia.

    Much love from Kudat

  4. To prosper for a sustainable flow of knowledge to overcome greed and to succeed in maintaining life equilibrium between true needs and unnecessary wants.

    • True needs n unnecessary wants, well defined !

      As the road ahead of us is bumpy we would better spend wisely.

      Again, thanks be to that 1pm because of one man’s greed, we are all made poor unnecessary…

  5. Rich? I’m already rich
    “though he was rich,yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” 2 Colossians 8;9

  6. Yes, Mr Anil, very well said re the true meaning of prosperity !

    In this challenging time (2.6 disappeared, and the burden of the unnecessary gst, etc etc etc), i hope the chinese will not burn away too much of their hard earned monies in firecrackers as they so believe the ping ping pong pong will bring them good luck, prosperity – more monies !!!

    • Which is more reliable? To abide to Chinese symbolism of prosperity & fengshui or to listen to your very heart & common sense?
      Time for Kopi-O kau kau @ 12:45:48 local time, 12 February sans symbolic BaZi.

  7. Thanks Anil for once again reminding us about true prosperity…”Whereas real wealth and the riches of life are much broader concepts: the treasure of family and community life; our priceless natural heritage – the hills, the seas, the rivers, the forests, the open green spaces to recharge our batteries; food security; a decent home; congestion-free and pollution-free mobility; and inclusive and representative government that upholds the public interest…”

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