As much as I love the Philippines, and I enjoy living here, the place is certainly not perfect. After all, there is no place on the face of this earth that is perfect, much less the Philippines. To be honest, there are things that worry me about living here.
These things that worry me are not things that I lay awake in bed at night thinking about, nor do I think about them each and every day. But, at times I do wonder to myself if I am doing the right thing by living here. It’s important to note, though, that no matter where in the world we live, we have things that we worry about, or consider if we are doing the right thing, so this is not a crisis.
Now, I know, many of you are thinking that I worry about violence, kidnapping, war and that kind of thing. Frankly, you could not be further from the truth. Things like that are really of no concern to me. Could they happen? Sure, any one of those things could happen later today, or they might never happen. The odds are that they will never happen. The other thing about those kinds of events is that they could happen if I still lived in the USA. Kidnappings do happen in the USA, and probably just as frequently as an American would be kidnapped here in the Philippines. So, those are not even on my radar as far as things to worry about.
My number one thing that I worry about from time to time is if I am doing the right thing for my kids. There are many advantages for my kids in terms of living here. For one, my oldest son Chris, who is mentally retarded, has a much better life here than he could ever hope for or expect in the USA. So, living in the Philippines is very good for him. My daughter, Jean, is actually my niece, although she has lived with Feyma and I for around 7 years now, and we consider her as our daughter. So, for her, having us live here is a good thing, because she would not be part of our lives if we did not live here. So, my periodic concern comes down to my other two boys, Aaron and Jared.
Both Aaron and Jared are smart kids, very smart. They will go far someday in whatever they choose to do in life. But, the thing that concerns me is the question of whether I am taking away opportunity from them. I mean, in another 10 or 15 years, what will these two do for work? Aaron is 13 and Jared is nearly 10 years old. The job market here is certainly not attractive. There are opportunities for upper level positions, but those are limited. I don’t want them to be faced with a future of working at Jollibee or McDonald’s flipping burgers. I don’t want them to be out in the street picking up garbage.
One consideration on this for me is that at the current time, the job market all over the world is looking very limited. Who knows what we will be facing in a decade from now when these two are just entering the job market. It’s certainly not a good thought to think that their prospects will be limited whether we are in the USA or the Philippines, but I suppose that it is some consolation to think that in either place things could be limited when it comes to job opportunities.
My hope for my kids (including Jean) is that they will be entrepreneurial, like I am. Instead of going out looking for somebody to hire them to do a job, I hope that they will be looking for ways that they can create wealth themselves, doing something that they love to do. Perhaps they will employ others to assist them in their businesses. However, I also accept the fact that not all people are born to be entrepreneurs, and some have to be the workers. I do feel, though, that in a place like the Philippines, there is a lot of opportunity for an entrepreneur, and not as much for a person who is destined to work for somebody else.
Another upside of living here is that my kids can get an excellent education, at a higher level than I could afford to provide for them in the USA. If things get back to normal in the world economy, perhaps my kids could leverage the education that they can get here and go land a nice job in the USA, or even elsewhere.
Overall, I am very happy with our move to the Philippines. From time to time, though, the thought crosses my mind that I hope that my happiness here is not selfish, something just for myself, and that it won’t hinder the opportunities that my kids have in life. Honestly, I don’t think it will, but it’s not a good thought when it does cross my mind.
Every decision that we make in life has pluses and minuses. The best thing we can do is to decide things that have more pluses than minuses, and then work to accentuate the positives, and to minimize the negatives.
I hope that I can say that I am doing that.