Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Debit affluence, credit conscience

Though I am in working in the accounting industry, I am not exactly a number person. But any accounting graduate; or even student will know the very basic of accounting. It’s called ‘double entry’. “Debit” usually means ‘inflow while “credit” usually means ‘outflow’.
One of the few things I still remember from my University days was this finance lecturer who said that the whole world functions like an account. What goes up, must come down, if there’s an input, there will be an output, when there’ a debit, there must be a credit. I find this notion very true, more apparent these days. Unless something falls from the sky, we cannot expect to gain something without losing something in return.

Looking at our society, we will all agree that we are progressing in almost all aspects as the years go by, generally speaking. People are getting more educated; we are more aware of our needs and… we have a much increased desire for luxury. As such, the motivation to succeed has been heighten tremendously. The competition to make it big and to be somebody, has reached a level no one has ever imagined before.

If the whole society is a company, we seem to be increasing our ‘revenue’; average income per capita for KL (the capital of Malaysia) folks have never been higher. We are certainly moving ahead with our way of life, just look at the amount of shopping malls and if you’re observant enough… look at the way we spend, it’s truly incredible. Also, the purchase of motor vehicle, once considered a luxury, has reached such a level where owning 1 car is already a necessity. Our society is indeed ‘debiting’ plenty of affluence.

But amidst our desire to increase our wealth… to debit our affluence, have we ever wondered what is it that we are giving away to gain what we want? Have we ever wondered what is it that we are ‘crediting’ in this big account?

Recent events reported in our local media indicate exactly what is it that we are ‘debiting’. Day after day our media reports cases of fraud, theft, robbery, murder, rape, exploitation, con-job, bribery and all sorts of other creative crime. Even cases of snatch theft resulted in death for some! And we Malaysians need not to be reminded of the gruesome murder of a little girl by her very own mother.

We may not be directly involved in such things, but can we say our hands are really clean? Just look at our daily lives, in our normal course of work, how many times have we, in the name of convenience, ignored our conscience? I don’t even dare to think about it myself. Just because our discreet deeds did not result in any lost of life (or money), doesn’t really mean we are not guilty. Perhaps guilty is a heavy word but, are we crediting our conscience to debit our affluence all in the name of convenience?

It will be a noble act for some of us to actually put our foot down and do the right thing. However, such individual will only be branded as stupid. Let’s face the fact, our hands are tied, we’ve all been hand cuffed to something we cannot live without. We all want to be affluent, and we will do almost anything to achieve that. In our quest to gain our 1st million, we don’t care if the million is going to come from a million people who probably need 1 to survive.

In debiting our affluence, have we lost of conscience? I think we are. And can we do anything about it? Looking at our history in the light of our foreseeable future, the account is definitely going to balance. As we continue to debit our affluence, we probably must continue to credit our conscience.

This affluent society is slowly losing its humanity. Robbers, murderers are rapists are no longer fearful. They seem to be having fun in their act. Just look at the news about how a break-in resulted in the son being forced to have sex with the mother and the countless rapes which happened here in Malaysia where the boyfriends were made to watch. Crime has reached a whole new level.

I once heard that conscience is the only thing that hurts when everything else feel so good. I couldn’t agree more. In fact, I will admit my tolerance to his ‘pain’ has been increasing day by day and I am sure many of you will probably be developing this same immune system. So the account will continue to balance. As we continue to debit our affluence, we will continue to credit our conscience, perhaps in the name of convenience.

But I am terrified at the thought of the account running into overdraft. Or maybe, it already has.

P/S: This article has been posted by me in TheStar before. Been modified in the light of recent events.

37 comments:

angel said...

Maybe Judgment Day is near *shrug*

Helen said...

Many might not find it relevant but IMHO, an accountable garmen leads the way to an accountable society. Much of the ills of society could be directly or indirectly contributed to corruption.

Many people think corruption is trivial stuff. But the truth is, it has more devastating far reaching effects than you can imagine.

water_angel said...

you're an accountant too?!?! hehe...
=D

Aaron Chua said...

Yeah man~ Bad bad times.
It's going to be difficult, or rather, impossible for a change.

jaezrel said...

i can count so i guess i lost all my conscience...my balance sheet is never balanced........:S

Wuching said...

there must be a balance to everything in the world like yin & yang or credit & debit or else we have chaos!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

couldnt agree with u more.. the more u wan to succeed, the more ruthless ppl become..dis is the new world..n i dont think u n i are getting used to it..

rinnah said...

This is the reason why I find society increasingly unacceptable to me. Maybe I need to find myself a hermit's cave and retire there. :o)

But then again, I'd be so bored with nothing to do, nowhere to go and no money to spend! Guess this is the end-product of our "affluent" society, huh?

cibol said...

money isn't everything
very true,
but try living without it
nah .. no can do,
think one can keep on living like a king?
I strongly doubt that,
What goes up must go down like u said .. it's a "HUKUM" what do you call hukum in english, rule? Like cramer's rule .. ha ha ha. ok, that have nothing to do with it but was trying to explain what's hukum

Tunku Halim said...

Good post, my friend. The question is: why to do we want to be affluent? Do we think we'll be happier? How much is enough?

Princess Eileen said...

Makes me wonder whether having kids is a good idea or not? I am worried that we only bring our children to the future world to suffer.

Do you agree Zewt? Do you plan to have kids?

PurpLe~MuShRooM said...

It is already running into a deficit. Look at the war... and the dickhead US president behind all these. The world is already ruled by a living devil!

U-Liang said...

"...And we Malaysians need not to be reminded of the gruesome murder of a little girl by her very own mother..."

While Ying Ying's mother may have been arrested by the police. It does not mean that she murdered her own daughter as you allege here. The case hasn't even gone to court yet. Better be careful with your words here.

Huei said...

we are contributing to the loss of money!!

u c..there's only this much money to cycle around..and..the money will only cycle around if you spend..everyone's saving..no money to go around..economy drops! =P

Angel Eyes said...

I want to have kids but i don't want them to suffer later.

alan zed said...

ok, here's a good one. if we're using our credit card, what the debit of it ? :)

TingTitLei said...

everyone has to join the rat race for a luxurious life.. or maybe just to fulfill their necessities. i think that is one of the reason why so many ppl are doing all this petty thefts and all to earn fast money

Hor ny Ang Moh said...

Dr & Cr,P&L A/c & Bal Shits!! Aiyoh! This remind me of my account lesson last time.Every a/c that I do result in loss!
Hemm! As accountant I suppose ur equation in life in micro & macro sence is in Dr & Cr.
Me being a simple fellow, my equation to life is much simple.ie what u 'poke' in, u must 'pull' out!To better ur life u must to more 'pokeing' but the harder u 'poke' the harder u must 'pull'.( Just my 'hor ny' view, no hard feeling OK )
Have a nice day to all.

SuddenlyIDunnoWhoIM said...

ur points make my brain working ever since im trying to understand ur title. it's good article...so much to ponder among the facts of today's world

p/s: ying ying's case. i read newspaper today saying some petrol station having cctv recorded the bf drove the mom to buy petrol n yet there r more work for policemen to investigate

day-dreamer said...

Sigh.

Btw, my Finance lecturer always stress on high risk high return. Hehe.

Manal said...

takotnya that newscaster/reader actually talking about himself as the Identified rapist without him realising that even. Kantoi di situ!

Accountant = accountable or is it ?

Jonzz said...

Gosh, that last reporter picture!! ROFL! where is it from?

bongkersz said...

it's a traumatic experience to read newspaper, listen to the radio or watch tv nowadays. We are bombarded with news about cruel, sick things done by homosapiens. very true, human can be worst than animal..

Rashikaps said...

Good post here! :) While the good part is we're a more ambitious generation.. and we're all chasing our dreams.. sometimes we're not even sure what we're exactly running after.. as in, will we be able to 'live' better after we have earned all the money we're chasing? Sure about that? Don't know. Till then, the race is on - to accomplish - by hook and sometimes by crook :)Stress is definitely the biggest by-product of our fast paced existence. May be I'll write on this. :|

may said...

everyone's guilty of having at least a finger in the cooking pot at the end of the day...

zewt said...

angel - nearer than you can possibly think.

Helen - yeah... corruption breeds much worse side effects.

water_angel - yup... and i can tell you're gonna be one too.

Aaron Chua - hey there! welcome to AZAIG. i think it's not impossible, but more like difficult. very difficult. but let us all play our part.

jaezrel - that is why it's called balance shit.

Wuching - so in order to have peace... chaos must take place eh? the perfect equilibrium.

zewt said...

constant craver joe - trust me my friend... we are so deep into it... we are just not aware.

rinnah - haha... if you hide... then affluence aint going do you any good.

cibol - indeed.. HUKUM... the rule of thumb. very sad dont u think?

Tunku Halim - i think it's a natural human tendency to be affluent... greed is the name of the game.

Princess Eileen - i do plan to have kids... hopefully in an country where things will be more... in control.

Purple Mushroom - well... the bible said it will... :) sigh...

zewt said...

U-Liang - good point my friend. i admit i made a mistake there. shouldnt have jumped into the conclusion like that. i guess she is indeed innocent till proven guilty.

Huei - hahahahahaha... you win la like that. keep spending... so that money keep circulating... as per Huei.

Angel Eyes - but you need to find a tall guy first right? :P

alan zed - hahaha... my friend... credit your card... debit your debt...

TTL - u see... in this world... there's only so much money and wealth... when someone gets rich... someone somewhere out there has to be poor...

Hor Ny - haaha... it's amazing how you can link everything to pokeing... good one.

zewt said...

SuddenlyIDunnoWhoIM - indeed...all the recent happenings do make us all ponder upon life.

day dreamer - maybe one day... we will all realise that we cant afford that risk.

Manal - hahhaa... that pic... yeah. as for accountant... we are not accountable at all... kakakaka....

Jonzz - hahaha... funny eh... what a day he has.

bongkersz - we are all animals actually... we are just smarter than the rest.

Rashikaps - you do that. i await your thoughts.

may - *hands up*... i am one of them. who else?

Sheena said...

Zewt, I have to say, that apart from your posts about your mother, God rest her soul, this is my favourite post.

I honestly do think people give less & less thought to how they are making money, and show less appreciation for the blessings of money that they do already have, and instead, want more.

If anything else besides our conscience crediting, I think we are also crediting a spirit of contentment. Malaysians are increasingly discontented with their lot, myself included, and always want something more, even after getting the latest thing we craved for... Sorta like Bacchus in his hell... always wanting that bunch of grapes & wine, but never quite reaching it.

The Buddhists call it craving, I think, and seek to eradicate it from their lives to achieve nirvana. Not a bad way to live, really, even if it means you don't debit your affluence as much.

zewt said...

Sheena - i think the spirit of contentment is delibrately put aside in the name of 'progress' and 'improve'. admit it, we all want to improve and wants to have 'better things'. on one hand, it is this instinct that gave us development... on the other hand... it's eating us from the inside.

this may be your favourite post but this entry has the least view.

kyliemc said...

wat u say is true..d a/c will balance but in a sad way...cruelty has conquered d heart of some souls..haiz..cant imagine how ppl can lose their senses at some point in time...some ppl r affluent coz they work like there's no tomorrow...dunno y some ppl dun think of tht n alwiz take d easy way out...harming others who hv worked hard 2 support themselves juz isnt fair~but since when is there fairness in life?

Sheena said...

Klar, I view it a lot for you then :)

zewt said...

kyliemc - indeed, having the account balanced in a very sad way for the future... but it's inevitable i think. haha... and you're right, nothing is fair in life anymore.

Sheena - haha... thanks.

kyliemc said...

lol..ya le...esp bout modern slavery :P

zewt said...

kyliemc - let us all hope we wont be one ya...

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