29 September, 2011

给钱 · Compensate

“给钱”直译成英文想必是 “to pay money”,但为什么是 “compensate”呢?

The direct translation of this post title could have been “to pay money”, but why did I choose to translate as “compensate”?


This is a memento of my growing up years.


Moments ago, my mum was asking if I could pick my aunt up tomorrow morning. However, she called off the arrangement upon discussion with my aunt’s daughter.


When I heard my mum’s conversation with her regarding the touring plans for my aunt, I suddenly felt a little regretful that I couldn’t bring her around Singapore. Following that, I had a thought of giving my mum some money to “reimburse” for the expenses she would incur when bringing my aunt around.


I didn’t think much of the thought at that moment, but upon reflection, I started to ponder about a question- since when did I learn to compensate what I couldn’t do in person, with money?


And was this how the only child of the family with two working adults was always said to feel?


What exactly is the intention behind this giving of money? Is it a kind of compensation?


Does it mean “I can’t be there for you, but I hope you have a reason to be happy”? Or the gradually-changing form as “my companionship isn’t important as money would do the trick”? Or even “what value is my physical companionship when all you need is money?”


It has barely been a year since my graduation from polytechnic, and my thoughts and actions seems to have changed gradually, unconsciously. Am I becoming one of those adults who would fail to understand the youths in the future? Would I become one of those moronic adults who do a superficial job of socializing with just money? Am I also learning to bribe people with materialistic gains, forsaking true effort and thoughtfulness?


Just what kind of individual am I developing into, when I’m positioned in a shallow society that simply solves problems with money? Would I truly develop, or become one of those backward individual who stoop that low for gains and successes?


I wonder.