It is better to lose health like a spendthrift than to waste it like a miser. - Robert Stevenson
Over dinner my wife told me a story imparted by a mom of one of our child’s classmate. I have mix reaction, so I’m sharing it to you. You be the judge.
The mom and her family lives in a residential two-story house sharing the rent with several families. There is also a small room, perhaps initially intended as a driver’s quarter, outside the main house rented by a single (without his family) person. Although they live in one compound, it seems socializing among neighbors is not common. This is understandable especially if both parents work, children at school and weekends is a family affair. But minding ones business also has its failing.
For three days nobody noticed the person renting the small room comes out or wonder why his car never moved where it’s parked. Curiosity only takes place when residence became aware of foul odor coming from his place. But it’s too late. Post mortem showed he died of a heart attack.
Snippets of information revealed the man works for a big American communication company. That he rented the room in order to save most of his housing allowance. And that he is currently building a series of apartment in the Philippines. Again, I understand saving ones earnings and investing on something tangible is a preparation for ones retirement.
I felt sorry for the family of the deceased. But my sentiment changes when my wife mentioned his room doesn’t have an air-conditioning unit.
The Middle East has one of the harshest climates in the planet. Very cold in winter and extremely hot in summer. Temperatures range from 45 to 48deg centigrade especially in the months of July and August. In a land where electricity is very cheap, air conditioning is not a luxury but a necessity. Staying in a room with nothing to cool you down but an electric fan is like pointing a hairdryer in your direction. I wonder if that factor contributed to his untimely death.
I’ve seen and heard stories of our “kabayans” making sacrifices in order to have a better life for them and their families. But to deny oneself a necessity, which without it is detrimental to ones health, so as to save extra cash is beyond my comprehension. Wala sa lugar ang pag-titipid.