Posted by: incywincy | November 8, 2006

Quality of Life

While in the shower just now, I pondered over the meaning of “Quality of Life”. This phrase was what made the difference between Hunter “Patch” Adams (of the movie Patch Adams), and the rest of the doctors.

Patch Adams believed in enhancing patients’ quality of life, not just prolonging their lives or delaying death. He did so by making them laugh.

I’ve decided that I’m not going to write a review about the movie, which was deeply moving, and thought-provoking, but I’m simply not good at writing movie reviews, or any sort of reviews, for that matter of fact . So instead of torturing you with further adjectives that I would possibly use to describe the movie and that may not hold any meaning, I will talk about “Quality of Life” instead. (Sorry BB, I know I said I’ll write a review. Pst. It’s one of my BB’s fave movie!) 

Quality of life refers to that which is neither quantifiable nor measurable, and which holds no material value. As with everything related to human, we need to answer the question of “how much is enough?” How ‘good’ must life be in order to qualify as the maximum, or at least, sufficient?

My answer to that question is: If you’re happy, it’s enough.

I formulated a checklist while shampooing just now. I would be completely satisfied and happy with my life if (in random order):

1. I can have dinner with my husband and children every night
2. I can maintain a loving and close relationship with my siblings, parents, and in-laws
3. I get job satisfaction from the workplace
4. I have a loving relationship with my husband which grows everyday
5. I have a child who adores me
6. I have close friends whom I can talk to and call up for meals
7. I can explore the world more, travel more with my family and experience more
8. I can continue to learn new things everyday and teach my child too
9. I can wake up in the morning and think happy thoughts on most days (PMS days excluded)
10. I can find time to indulge in the activities I’m interested in

That said, I still believe that people can only begin to aim for a better quality of life, only if they have had their material needs satisfied. People who have insufficient money cannot worry about this – somehow, I feel that it is a privilege of the affluent and those who are adequately renumerated for their work.

I know that I’m contradicting myself here, because I said that quality of life has no material value. But if you try to internalize my point of viewing the issue, you may understand what I’m trying to say. Otherwise, nevermind.

I used to have ideas of having 3 or 4 children. I grew up with 3 siblings, and I wanted my children to feel as lucky as I did, by being able to learn from each other, having companionship, having sibling support and protection when they need it most, as well as experiencing the down sides of sibling rivalry and exasperation at times. Haha.

But I realised tonight that if I want to give my children the best or highest quality of life that I can, I need to pay more attention to each of them, and provide better for them.  And if I want to experience more and travel more, have time to indulge in my interests or dine with friends, I cannot be tied down by having too many kids, or by having to work so hard to support them and save up for their education in the future.

So I have decided to stop at one. Okay, maximum two. I’m sure BB will be happy/relieved to hear this because his greatest nightmare is probably having to face 4 kids everyday or having to send 4 kids to university. Hehe.

Makes me appreciate my parents so. We’ve never had to worry about having money for our school fees. Although my daddy works for a company (i.e. not his own boss), he has managed to single-handedly provide for his family over the last 23 years (my mommy stopped working when she gave birth to me). Growing up, we always had enough books, enough toys, enough pocket money, and although we were always taught to appreciate the things given to us, we never had to worry about it. My siblings and I, we’re not spoilt, we’re not rich, but we are lucky to have great parents.

I think they’ve given us a good life, with great quality of life, and that’s what I hope I can do for my own family in future, and repay them as well, for all their thoughtfulness and for watching their expenditure so that we could have the wonderful lives we have now.


  1. nice ‘review’, heh… as far as people have new thoughts after watching this movie, my goal have achieved.

    orh i can’t wait to watch this movie again!

    my mom’s friend from hk recommanded this movie to her, she let me watched it once while at home. i immediately made a copy of the vcd (oops) and brought it alone with me. and i purchased the ORIGINAL Movie DVD (phew..) when i saw it in sg.

    great movie, worth collecting.

    and the part you mentioned about ur family is very touching too, love you.

  2. ok, e previous post was definitely a marriage proposal. all yr maternal instincts suddenly all acted up! and coz of tat movie? hmm, must b a ploy by cy.. haha, coz he recommended e show to u. lols..

    btw, u suddenly blog so many!

  3. bb we can watch it again during holidays! 🙂

    linda.. ure tinking too much ah. n i blog more so tt my bb got tings to read whn he come back from the library at nite.. cos he study so hard all day.. 🙂

  4. yeee… there’s a mushy motive behind the blogs..

    btw i guess our current society is so good that a typical list (I take your list as typical) can afford to take many measurable things for granted. Crime rate (u go to work, your child go to sch, your family outing in peace), unemployment rate (your family is earning income), inflation rate (value of your saving is not going to depreciate), reliable and affordable health/educational facilities, safe food/water/air (recent episode shows the importance of good air), rule of law (predictability that your employer will pay u and your CPF according to contract as what my classmate found, to his distress, about the lack of it in Korea concerning his pay of USD20,000), etc.. I believe these basic stuffs are what ppl in other unfortunate regions would consider as quality of life.. but luckily u exclude PMS, the government is helpless in PMS-related matters… 🙂

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