I have told my parents, closest friends and relatives that I want to go back to my home country, Indonesia around 2015 after being here for 10 years since 2005. I do not mean just went back temporarily for holiday but I also want to revoke my Permanent Residence and also quit from my current job.
When I explained my reason, I realized that actually I have told different things to different people and hence I thought myself as not too consistent. Additionally, some of them threw arguments that almost everything that can be done in Indonesia can be done here also. Many people from third-world countries apparently think that the life in the first-world countries is far better than actual reality (due to propaganda of ‘American dream’, mostly by mass media).
It is not. So, I decided to summarize my reasons in this post to make it clearer. Here are some reasons why I thought that going back home with make me live better life:
1) Having more frequent meeting with my parents
After my maternal grandmother passed away half-year ago, I realized that we should not let our time just pass by without any significance. People who are close to you can die anytime and no amount of money will buy you time to spend with your dead parents and relatives.
And obviously, it is not my parents that should compromise themselves and come here. It should be the reverse as it is easier for me to adapt.
2) Planning to buy land for self-sufficiency
One of the sign of the end of the times foretold by Lord Jesus is that there will be famines in various places (Matthew 24: 7b). For now, it is clear that the cause is the industrial practice which cause unstable climate throughout the earth and unsustainable agricultural practice by neglecting Sabbath year.
As the result, drought and extreme weather is everywhere and food price will be skyrocketing in future as foretold by media here. Hence, in order to better prepared and also to ensure the cleanliness and safety of your food (which is your basic need), I find it will be good if we can grow our own food by buying land.
Obviously, I cannot do it here as I am not citizen.
3) My distrust for government to manage my pension fund
Having unaccountable and unknown middlemen to manage our money, whether it is insurance, MLM agent, financial adviser, banker, or organized charity, is obviously dangerous as you can see from 2008 financial crisis. They are simply squandering our hard-earned money everywhere and still reap big bonus and even further received our money by bailout.
It is no difference than ‘official’ middlemen like government. For government managing our pension fund (CPF) is not something I asked or approved of, and neither I asked for interest which I viewed as a sin. And like other middlemen, they are hardly accountable.
For I do not know when I die and hence saving my money for something potentially happened 30-40 years later deny the fact that I have no control over my lifespan, only God has. Hence, instead of hoarding money for retirement, why don’t I donate to my relatives or other charity organization? I do not want later to be called like the rich fool who hoard money to get early pension but later rebuked by God (Luke 12: 13-21). And there are others who think the same as me.
4) To have cheaper living cost
While I think I am currently earning very decent salary compared to standard in my home country, I hardly have time to enjoy it as my job consumed most of my time and also, since the living cost in Singapore is the highest in the world, the move to any country will save you a lot of money.
We will not solve this problem (high living cost) by earning even more salary and allocate even more of our time to work to pay later for even higher living cost (mostly because of inflation). It is like what King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes:
Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them? (Ecclesiastes 5: 10-11)
Hence, more production if followed by more consumption is meaningless. Instead, we should strive to live with less money (buying and selling). Dilligent work which produces high income should be combined with simple living which cannot be done here.
5) To get more balance lifestyle
As I explained before, I found that overspecialized and repeated job is emotionally unhealthy for our soul as it reduced us like a machine (to borrow Karl Marx’s terminology). As I have told before – specialization is for insect and humans are not insect. Unhealthy soul can lead to various diseases.
Our time should be evenly divided for spirituality, community, studying, working and playing. It is impossible to do so with current 9 to 5 job (and even to 6:30 in my case!). Playing or resting is not idleness as what told by some fundamentalists.
I cannot get time to gather with community if everyone are also inside cubicle prison from 9 to 5 either. Hence, I should make myself more available by reducing working time by probably doing only freelance or part-time job and also reducing my expenditure. Most people here cannot afford to do that due to high rental and daily expenses.
So, tell me, which one of those five reasons are unreasonable? As far as I know, there is no way to do workaround for each of those five problems:
– I cannot force my parents to migrate with me here
– I cannot buy land here unless I become a citizen (and still practically impossible)
– I cannot persuade or force government to abolish pension fund
– I cannot set price for daily necessities throughout all markets
– I cannot force everyone to abandon 9 to 5 lifestyle due to high cost of living
Hence, I think those reasons I mentioned are valid and I encourage those people who are considering to work in first-world countries to consider these things before you go. Otherwise, you may be disappointed because the life here is not as rosy as depicted in mainstream media.