A better strategy is to find the right balance between material and family, with the scale tipped a little more towards the family.

WE have a ceiling fan that we purchased a couple of years ago. It’s a modern type that comes with a remote control. It used to look very nice and blended in well with our living room decor. The problem is, that’s all that’s good about the fan.

Just after a few months, the remote control stopped working. Whether it was due to the handheld remote unit or the fan sensor, we never knew what got spoilt. The speed was stuck at the highest point, which proved to be very uncomfortable on rainy days. On other days it was fine. After all, it had cost us a bit to purchase the fan and it was too soon to buy another to replace it.

But it got worse as the months went by. A strange squeaky sound started and it came and went as it pleased. It became unbearably loud recently and we couldn’t take it anymore. We made a swift decision to replace the annoying fan with one of those conventional simple three-blade types. We swore not to purchase the sophisticated ones anymore, especially those with remote controls.

DON’T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER

Sometimes, life lessons can come in the most unexpected ways — this was one of them. A nice looking item may not necessarily be the best. There’s no point being nice and pleasant on the outside but broken on the inside. The electrician that replaced the fan confirmed this — some bearings were broken inside and it’d have been cheaper to buy a new one than to repair it.

In a way, this can also be said of many families out there whose houses are filled with the latest luxuries but there’s no happiness inside. They become the envy of the neighbourhood but deep inside, things are not so rosy. Both parents may be too busy working and socialising while the children are left to their own devices. They may have three or four quality cars but they’re all going in different directions.

A better strategy is to find the right balance between material and family, with the scale tipped a little more towards the family. It’s okay if the car is a few years older than the neighbour’s, as long as you’re going everywhere together. It’s okay if the house is a little bit smaller, as long as the occupants are closer.

At the end of the day, material things will get broken no matter how nice they once were. When they do, they’ll either be fixed or replaced. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said or applied to our relationships with our loved ones. Once broken or violated, they’ll be changed or even gone forever.

We must know our priorities and focus. Don’t allow our desire for nicer things steal our attention from our beloved family.

**The article above was brought to you by AmMetLife Insurance Bhd

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