Day number 360. Cool getting there slowly but surely. I am already feeling excited about marking the first year of blogging. Well that excitement itself an indication that I need to stop and breathe. Blogging is simply a daily application tool, the process itself is not about blogging/writing, it merely helps in the process. Then what is this thing called my process? My life is my process. What I accepted and allowed within myself and within this world as myself. There is a lot going on both within myself and within this world, not hard to see that. As about myself the point of self-responsibility is the focus, meaning self-responsibility is something I have been avoiding in some parts of my life.
In the area of property ownership/investment I have been on the avoiding side. There are strange fears I have about purchasing property either as investment properties or as a home/house for myself.
True back in 1983 our house that we built was burned down by the ethnic rioters, I was 15 then. My dad built that house. He purchased the land, then day by day the house came up, I remember seen the concrete foundation, I recall running and playing around, that was back in 1973/74, I was may be 5 or 6. The house had 2 nice bedrooms, a big ‘hall’ as we call it, which is the living room, a huge cooking area just for cooking only, and another huge room attached to the kitchen/cooking area. All in all very pretty house, brick walls, tile roofs, none of that wooden stuff you see here in North America. Nice parapet walls around the land, 3 coconut trees, mango trees, ample banana trees and all that. But we lived in an area where the ethnic majority lived, so we were potential targets whenever they get upset. And they sure got upset on July 25, 1983, and burned down thousands of Tamil homes, ours included.
That’s a little story behind why I have been always reluctant to build/buy my own place or investment properties. However now I see that excuse is becoming way too lame. This incident happened some 30 years ago, and I still use that as an excuse? So it is more like an easy justification, I would say. Hard to believe 30 years have gone, wow, it was like yesterday.
I remember that day clearly, it was a Monday; we all went to school as normal, now because it was a weekday our lives were spared, otherwise we would have been burned alive. There is no question about it. And we didn’t see our mother for 2 weeks after the riots, as she is a stay-home wife/mom, she got caught in the riots, I think she ran away to somebody’s house and they protected her for few days, somehow she managed to escape the rioters head on. Nothing was spared, everything in the house was burned down, the roof came down, doors, windows, furnitures, everything. It was a play for the rioters, as they came and burned without any regard about consequences, obviously we had a nasty war consequently. What a loss of lives, properties and nature to some extent.
That Monday we went to school, me and my 2 brothers, and unusually my dad came to school around 1pm or so which has never happened before, he came to take us home early as the word had spread that ethnic riots had started city wide in the capital city. I think eventually it spread to the whole island; Tamils everywhere in the Island were affected. Our journey from the school to home was met with many rioters/mobs on the way; they were burning Tamils alive, either setting fire to their cars or people were dragged out of the buses to set fire.
We were lucky as some thugs came into our bus, one Sinhalese lady shouted at the mobs and said “there are no demalu [Tamils] in this bus,” I was stead right behind her; we had been quiet the whole time in the bus as not to reveal our ethnic accent. But by the looks you can say that we are Tamils to some degree, at least one of my brothers is very Tamil-looking in appearance. Had the mobs spoken to us, they would have instantly figure it out that we are Tamils, and certainly I won’t’ be blogging here right now. I would have been burned alive, dead, gone, long gone. Thanks to that one Sinhalese lady we were spared, had she KEPT silent, just silent, those thugs would have marched their way to the back of the bus towards us, because she shouted at them, they stopped at the entrance and didn’t proceed, they sort of look her command and left the bus. The power of speaking out saved our lives. I mean, the lady, all she had to do was just keep quiet, silent, she didn’t have to speak a word, that’s it; we would have been gone. There would have been no mercy. Silent is consent they say. This lady spoke up, I have a feeling she kind of knew we are Tamils, because my little brothers aged 10, and 8 were playfully chit-chatting with each other in Tamil, I mean, it’s very possible the lady heard us and knew the truth. And still, she spoke loud and clear, “there are no demalu [Tamils] in this bus”, her voice was enough for the mobs to not proceed, so they left just as they got in. Thank god for her, that one human being, her determination to speak up, saved our lives. To give an analogy, it’s like a German woman shouting at the incoming Nazi soldiers saying there are no Jews in the bus, while 4 Jews are seated right behind her and chit-chatting in Hebrew. Imagine that.
That’s a good lesson for us living humans. SPEAK UP because silence is content.
Anyways, tonight’s blog is not about the so-called ‘black July’ we Tamils mark every July 25 to remember that horrible day. A more detailed blog will come on that day.
Here the point is, buying properties, house etc. I have for too long used that excuse ‘because our house was burned down’ I am not very keen to buy properties/houses etc. I think that excuse is pretty lame now as I mentioned before. I need to let this excuse go for good. Time to look into properties, house, all that stuff. I mean buying or not buying is not the issue here, the issue is giving lame excuses. Fear of taking responsibility in regard to property/house ownership, keeping up the paper work, payments, maintenance, whereas I see renting as a cake-walk, don’t’ have to worry about all that ‘stuff’.
I need a place to live man, now and later on in my life, it’s insane to keep on paying rent month after month. At least in ownership ‘rent’ is coming back in some way, and property values are going up and up. Now that I am not living within a ‘family-context’, time to really look into this option at least as an investment chance. Get a place, rent it if all else is not possible, be a landlord, and fuck I have done that back in 2001, I was a landlord, I had tenants renting rooms in my house, I was the boss as I lived free because those renting-mates paid everything, but fool me I didn’t own the house, so at the end I didn’t’ have the last laugh.
Anyways, its never too late, still can get a house and put on my landlord hat, I can still rent to students and manage a property. I mean there are many options to consider. The bottom line is it is an investment thing. Even if the so-called economy crashed, people still have to live somewhere. So a house ownership is not a bad idea, as long as the value is not going down like it happened in the US.
Again, the point of the blog tonight is my self-responsibility in relation to property/house buying. Why have I been avoiding this for so long? What are the issues? What is that I fear? What is that I want? How do I want to live, for god sake? Do I like this vagabond mentality of renting but never owning? I mean for how long am I going to rent? So this is something I really need to sit down and direct clearly. Because I have been avoiding it for over 10 years now. In 1995 came my first chance to buy a decent house, and what did I do? I gave the same lame excuses I am still giving. That house today worth over $300,000 which was peanuts in 1995 (in today’s terms). But I was scared and fearful and afraid to take the responsibility of being a house owner, to keep up the house, to manage and maintain a house, do the paper work, make the payments etc, somehow I figure renting is easy. Then, I also felt that I would be stuck in one city so justified myself for not buying it, sucks. And uncertain job situation at times played a role too. But now I see how uncertain renting is and how invalid my excuses have been all long.
But I have to be bit careful about this ‘home’ point. I mean a home is not confined to some structure, or a property, that’s pretty lame. My body is the ultimate home for myself. I exist, I dwell in my body. A house on the other hand is just a stable roof over the head, a point of stability, a point of responsibility, but of course, the real home is the BODY, the physical, without which nothing is possible.
I don’t subscribe to the idea of working 8 days a week to pay the mortgage, I mean that’s insane, some folks take $400,000 plus mortgages and work to death all in the desire to live in one’s own massive house. Well if that’s works for them, cool, certainly its not a life policy for me. Just the rent I pay now, I would like it to be an investment, some return, some ownership, some sense of ‘home/house’. This might help me in the relationship point too (though not looking at that point for now).
The Tamils in Toronto are crazy about house buying, I have heard some real horror stories, where the husband and wife work 8 days a week to pay their giant mortgages, I mean, the egos have reached the sky, it’s certainly not done out of practical considerations, just for vanity, the competition to own a bigger better house. Luckily the gamble paid off for them as the house market kept on rising in Toronto. I know people who work as dish-washers owning $400k-500k+ houses now because the gamble worked out for them, as they bought their homes in 90s and living with many family members, they managed to play game and win it too. There were willing to take the responsibility. Me on the other hand even with a reasonable income didn’t make such an investment. But I proudly call myself a spender. It’s not I am a spender, I don’t’ like to take the responsibility of owning a house. Doing the work to manage a house. Whereas those people who love such challenges are able own and enjoy nice houses. I mean can’t have the cake and eat it too.
Enough ranting on that. One last point to mention: this is not the way to live on this earth; we ought to find a better way to share, live on this earth. A home should a birth-right; every human must be guaranteed a home from birth to death, unconditionally. And that wish is very possible, it’s no more a wish, it will be a reality, if we work together, so study, investigate the equal money system and the immediate solution the “Basic Income Grant” as proposed by the Equal Life Foundation.
Nobody should suffer from house/mortgage anxiety; everyone should have a guaranteed home. And certainly nobody should ever suffer their house being burned down, I know how it feels.
Join us in this revolution to change the world and self. www.desteni.org