My friend wrote in jest in FB: Stanley Ho flew his private jet to S’pore to buy 猫山王. I so wanna fly to Paris to eat my favourite Vietnamese Pho noodle there. Is he looking for wife no. 6?
I wonder how is it like to be so rich you can fly off somewhere just to buy durians without a single thought as to how much it would cost, financially as well as environmentally for the carbon footprints created.
There are rich men like Stanley Ho, or the Hiltons, and there are rich men like Warren Buffet, or Tan Kah Kee.
When i was in Xiamen, Tan Kah Kee was a local hero. In communist China where one can’t hero worship anyone except Chairman Mao, Tan Kah Kee has a park, a memorial tower for his grave and a sculpture depicting his quote. For a man who left nothing for his family but all his wealth to educating the people of Xiamen (and Singapore), I was humbled by that knowledge just walking along the park.
Warren Buffet is another famous miser and philanthropist. I saw his son being interviewed recently on TV. He is a musician and inherited some shares from his grandmother, which he sold to pursue his music. On an episode of Oprah, Warren Buffet’s grandaughter was interviewed as a struggling artist in New York City. Did she wish her grandfather could have helped with the rent at least? Of course! But they were conditioned as children to know that the wealth are not theirs. The younger Buffet generations are given enough to pursue their education. His famous quote on this: "I want to give my kids just enough so that they would feel that they could do anything, but not so much that they would feel like doing nothing".
Yesterday I had lunch with an old classmate. When we were classmates, she was the richest in the class, driving her own car to JC. Her father had a few houses and even bought his kids a house each for investment when we just graduated. The four kids, all Raffles Alumini and NUS graduates are down to earth dispite their wealth. Thank goodness for that, for their father lost it all to the Nigerian scammers and now lived alone in a rented room, ostrazised because of the money he borrowed to fund his greed. I felt really sorry for him.
I envy sometimes too, but not enough to want to marry Stanley Ho, but I know I have enough to do anything I want, yet not so much I would feel like doing nothing. That’s enough for me.