Don't let adversity bring you down

Mr Toh Cheng Seong's letter really struck a chord with me (No need for poor families to keep up with the Joneses; July 7).

Even though I grew up in a poor family where meeting basic needs like food and water was a daily struggle, I did not let such adversity consume me.

Instead, I learnt from a very young age that the only way to improve my living conditions was to work and study doubly hard.

From the age of 13, I never enjoyed a single day of school holiday as I worked throughout the holidays.

I also studied very hard and despite having to juggle my education with part-time work, I was recognised as the best all-rounded student in school.

Throughout my working life, I saved up majority of my bonuses and invested.

Though I am not a millionaire, I am always proud to say that from having a bank balance of $1.17 after my polytechnic education, I now have a decent roof over my head and I am able to provide a decent living for my family.

The key takeaway for my fellow citizens is this - do not let your adversity bring you down.

In a country like Singapore, everyone can succeed as long as we work and study very hard.

Of course, the adage - it's not how much you make, it's how much you save - is also true. From my own experience, I would like to add that investing wisely also helps.

Sebastian Tan Gee How