Prioritizing work over family in your youth is a grave mistake

February 19, 2024 | 03:00 pm PT
Thinking that money solves all problems, I spent my youth buried in work and neglected my wife, children and elderly parents, only to regret it later on.

I went to Laos many years ago to learn the car painting trade and established a business in that field.

After a decade of effort, I have a beautiful wife and two well-behaved children.

In the week before every Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday, my family and I would arrange our schedule to return to our homeland.

During these occasions, I would leave my wife and children with my parents while I spent the whole day gambling, visiting karaoke bars, and engaging in other entertainment activities.

For me, this was a well-earned reward for myself after a year of hardship in a foreign land.

This lifestyle is a popular one for me and many other young expatriates who often return home for the Lunar New Year.

However, last year, my business went downhill along with Laos's economy due to the global economic downturn.

To add insult to injury, my wife asked for a divorce and went back to Vietnam at the same time my father fell seriously ill and passed away.

One tragic event after another opened my eyes to reality. I hastily sold off my business and packed my bags to return home. Now looking back at my elderly mother and my two little children, I am filled with immense regret.

I sacrificed my youth to make money, neglecting my family in the process, because I mistakenly thought that money would keep them happy and healthy.

More than the money I brought home every year, what my parents needed to be happy was sharing meals with their children and grandchildren.

Selling all my assets in Laos has helped me secure a decent amount of capital to live modestly in my hometown.

At the same time, I can take care of my elderly mother and provide for my children's education.

Earning money is indeed very necessary, but family connections, parents, and children are even more important.

Fortunately, I reflected on my life before it was too late to take care of my elderly mother and my children.

I hope that sharing my experience will serve as a valuable lesson for the youth who are sacrificing everything to chase after money.

Please do not wait until you are exhausted to realize what the most precious things in your life are.

What do you think about prioritizing work over everything else, including family?

Reader Tran Bom

*This opinion was translated into English by AI. Readers’ views are personal and do not necessarily match VnExpress’ viewpoints.

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