The usual for people like me today consists of waking up at 6 in the morning, freshening up with a hot bath, grabbing a quick breakfast and heading for college – which is either a 2-minute walk from the hostel or a 1-hour bus ride from where ever you are. Our classrooms are kept neat and cool with the integrated air conditioners, and we’re provided for with fine and groovy clothing to match our tastes by our parents. Through all this, whenever my dad sits me down and speaks of his college days, I would feel unable to connect with whatever he had to say: no proper footwear, a multi-mile walk to his school or college, and meagre pocket money to keep yourself entertained. It sounded stupid to me that such a time existed where civilisation and the society could together provide for a fine education but none of the other things that went with being like someone else of your own age. The money I think I had to spend as I liked clouded my opinions about things like this. My parents’ advice stemmed from experiences like the ones they had, their advice about how to spend money, how to befriend the right people and how to spend time in general. In the beginning, when I was in my first semester in college, I used to feel bad that my parents couldn’t trust me to do such things like save up money and have a time-table for my studies. I felt I deserved much more. Whatever they had to say sounded stupid.
And then, recession happened.
My world went upside down. The one thing that lay at the root of the lifestyle I had began to dwindle in quantity: money. No longer could I spend on the clothes that I liked, no longer could I afford to have food in the middle of the night, no longer could I do things on a whim. From being an optional bonus to have a time-table, it now became mandatory. We all know we detest as well as desire change, as though it were a necessary evil. We become accustomed to things as they stand. We need to be able to wake up in the morning and do the same things we did the day before at the same time. We believe that we can survive on the same things that we learnt yesterday. But when we think those things, we forget that the world belongs to the people of tomorrow. Although this sounds like too big an idea to fit your wallet when you drop in at Costa’s for a costly cup of coffee, you can’t deny that it’s true. Those things we thought were stupid – taking the bus to where ever you had to go and borrowing anything that deserved to be borrowed – are now taking shape in our very own lives. And now, with first-hand experience, we find out why such things meant so much to our parents. Now, we know the real value of money. Now, we know the real value of all the things that didn’t deserve to be cherished as much as we cherished them, and the real value of things that deserved to be cherished more than how much we already did. By bringing down most of the indsutries and companies on the planet, the recession has shown the people of the world the importance of spending wisely. It has given those spendthrifts another chance to tread lightly, and those business moguls another chance to belong to a more perfect world.