“Okay, I’m tired, so let’s stop here. Go buy yourself something.”
Dad, you are a good man. But, I really really loathe the fact that you think money can solve everything. Look—arguments and misunderstandings are common occurrences in a family. That’s a given. But, for some reason, we were never able to resolve any of our quarrels. Whenever you and I would have a disagreement on a certain topic, you’d often try to end it quickly by throwing me a couple of bills and shooing me off. On those moments, I can’t do anything other than to shut up and walk away even when my head is throbbing with annoyance because I had given up on any ounce of hope of us working together to resolve the argument properly.
Dad, please understand that being waved off with money is one of the most heartbreaking feelings one could endure. It felt as if you didn’t think my voice mattered. I was dismissed without even being given the opportunity to explain my side of the story.
Did you really think that something as trivial as money can mend emotional wounds? Was money supposed to magically heal the pain from your hurtful words? Is it equivalent to a sincere apology?
Money has always been a crucial element in your side of the family. It was your way of saying ‘congratulations’ or ‘thank you.’ Money was a way for you to express your love to the family. And I understand that completely because I knew that you had a rough time in the past. You didn’t live a comfortable life; you had to work hard all the while balancing your academics in college. Maybe it was because of that that you ended up valuing money so much. And perhaps it’s also time to let go of this mentality.
Because dad, money has limits.
Money cannot and will never be the solution to any problem. A couple of hundreds cannot mend broken relationships. A silver coin may give you a piece of sweet candy, but that’s it. The happiness you feel is temporary. Now, what happens once the candy in your mouth disappears? The problem still lingers like a stubborn stain on a cloth. Did it go away? Nope.
While society these days has brainwashed us to grovel down at the sight of money, I believe that we mustn’t confuse ourselves with its abilities. Money can indeed solve most of our financial problems. Yes, it can bring us temporary joy, but it could never be a source for everlasting contentment. We can’t simply throw a wad of cash in and expect something to change. Life just doesn’t work that way. Respect, forgiveness, and happiness are simply some of the things money cannot buy. It is only through words and corresponding actions that one is able to achieve such.
So, dad, money can’t buy everything. And sometimes the best medicine for wounds can only be bought with heartfelt conversations.