With the economic downturn, and my pockets emptying, can I enjoy the holiday?
If my pockets are full, and I am having fun, I must spare some thoughts for others who have lost their jobs, or those who had just received offers of that VSS, that ‘We wish to terminate your services’ letter…
I’ll spare a thought for the domestic workers in my friends’ homes, and the undocumented workers who I see all around me.
The waiters in my favourite Mamak shop, the sweeper, the janitor, the garderner.
Oh, what about the postman, or the newspaper vendors? The hawkers, the farmers, the petrol kiosk boys?
They’re all a part of my colorful landscape, a part of my worldview.
Like the actors in a stage drama, they play key roles in our daily lives. Their existence worthwhile, just as important as the loyar buroks (lawyers), the doctors or the politicians.
Just like the writers or NGO activists. The artists or the entertainers. The teachers,nurses, or that reluctant government ‘servant’.
These workers you call ‘pendatang’ or ‘aliens’…can you live without them?
I’ll remember their blood, their sweat and the cries of their kids back home, I’ll spare each one of them a space in my thoughts,as I drive through that expensive toll highway, joy ride in that sky train or hop into that big shopping mall.
There are blacksheeps too, you argue. I’ll say “what about us?”.
Are we all holier than them? Or more equal than others? Are we innocent of crime? Don’t we also beg, borrow or steal?
So, I’ll remember their hunger, their pain, their poverty as I feast with my friends in that fine restaurant.
If I sit around and bitch about my work, I’ll be thankful for once, that at least I still have one.
Though sometimes, “Work” is a four letter word. Oh, no…no…the ‘Boss’ is a &@# letter word!
But I know if I don’t take stock of what’s happening around me now, fate might just deal me a cruel blow.
I might end up just like the migrant worker I saw on the streets, or the one I might have been cruel to, or the refugee I turned away last night, the foreigner I said some harsh words to, or worst, the beggar on the street I chose to ignore.
I do not want this day to come.
My friends, I’ll enjoy today while I can. But I’ll remember you. We are after all, either the taker or the giver.
And the Lord says “The more you give, the more you receive”.
Have a thoughtful workers’ day! Let not these workers struggles go in vain.