From The Taker to The Giver

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Life is often likened to a journey, a winding path fraught with unexpected twists and turns. Within this journey, there exist moments of both profound joy and deep sorrow, each shaping our understanding of the world and our place within it. For Ko Kyaw Kha, a man of seventy years, this reflection on life’s journey comes as he sits patiently in an office, awaiting the bureaucratic process of registering a bond and transferring his property to his adopted son. In this mundane moment, he is transported back in time, thirty-five years prior, to that very same office with vastly different intentions and circumstances.
In his younger days, Ko Kyaw Kha was a man driven by ambition, deeply immersed in his career within the echelons of government service at the township level. It was during this period that he found himself in a similar office, but with an entirely different purpose – to register a bond for a property bestowed upon him by his aunt over a decade prior. At that juncture in his life, his focus was singularly directed toward the accumulation of material wealth and the cultivation of his own status within society. Yet, amidst the pursuit of personal gain, he overlooked the necessity of official documentation, a critical oversight that would later come to haunt him.
The unregistered bond, a mere administrative formality in his eyes at the time, would soon emerge as a formidable obstacle when he became embroiled in a legal dispute. This unforeseen predicament served as a stark reminder of the inherent importance of official documentation in matters of property ownership and legal rights. Through this experience, Ko Kyaw Kha learned a profound lesson about the significance of foresight and diligence in safeguarding one’s assets and securing their rightful inheritance for future generations.
As he sits in the office, contemplating the passage of time and the myriad experiences that have shaped his life’s journey, Ko Kyaw Kha finds solace in the wisdom gained from his past mistakes. In this moment of quiet introspection, he recognizes the transient nature of earthly possessions and the enduring value of lessons learned along the way.
Sitting in the office, amidst the paperwork and bureaucracy, Ko Kyaw Kha finds himself occupying a vastly different role than he did in his youth. No longer is he the driven and ambitious young man relentlessly pursuing personal gain. Instead, he sits as a symbol of maturity and wisdom, preparing to pass on his hard-earned property and assets to his adopted son. This transition from accumulator to bestower marks a significant shift, one that underscores the inevitability of change and evolution in the journey of life.
As Ko Kyaw Kha contemplates this profound transformation, he delves into the deeper meaning behind these shifts in perspective and priorities. Life, he muses, is a continuous cycle of growth and adaptation, wherein our values and aspirations undergo profound metamorphoses over time. What once held paramount importance – such as the acquisition of material wealth and individual success – now pales in comparison to the overarching desire to secure a prosperous and stable future for his beloved family.
With each passing year, the passage of time has bestowed Ko Kyaw Kha with a profound sense of humility and gratitude. He now understands that genuine fulfilment derives not from the accumulation of possessions but rather from the enduring bonds formed with others and the legacy we leave behind. In choosing to entrust his property to his adopted son, he is making a conscious investment in something far more precious than mere material wealth: the perpetuation of familial ties and the perpetuation of love and support across generations.
In relinquishing his possessions, Ko Kyaw Kha is not only ensuring the financial security of his descendants but also cementing his enduring presence in their lives. Through this act of generosity and foresight, he seeks to impart a timeless lesson on the importance of compassion, integrity, and familial solidarity. As he sits in the office, pen-poised to sign the necessary documents, Ko Kyaw Kha finds solace in the knowledge that his legacy will endure long after he has departed, a testament to the enduring power of love and kinship.
Surrounded by his support system – his lawyer, his son, and a handful of well-wishers – Ko Kyaw Kha finds himself enveloped in a palpable atmosphere of patience and resilience. By the way, here, it is necessary to mention his supporters. The lawyer was his ex-pupil. The other two supporters who would sign the bond about to be registered were also his ex-pupils; one is a doctor, and the other one is an expert in electronics. In the old times, they were just young ones who could afford nothing in social activities, but now, they are mature and reliable persons for Ko Kyaw Kha. He visualized the scenes when they studied the lessons he taught in his tuition classes.
In addition, he saw the two women and two men who were also his ex-pupils at that registration office. As soon as they saw Ko Kyaw Kha and his party, they greeted him and gave him seats in a friendly manner. Despite the bureaucratic hurdles and unforeseen delays that threaten to impede their progress, he remains unwavering in his resolve to navigate through this labyrinthine process until its completion. This gathering serves as a poignant reminder of the invaluable role that solidarity and perseverance play in overcoming life’s myriad challenges.
Through the crucible of his own experiences, Ko Kyaw Kha has gleaned invaluable insights into the capricious nature of existence. What once appeared to be a linear trajectory defined by the pursuit of material possessions and societal accolades has metamorphosed into a more nuanced exploration of purpose and significance. He has come to appreciate that while the external trappings of success may fluctuate, the core principles and values that underpin his identity remain resolutely intact, serving as steadfast beacons amidst life’s tempestuous seas.
As the minutes stretch into hours, and they continue to await the arrival of the pertinent officer, Ko Kyaw Kha finds himself drawing solace from the broader perspective that his journey has afforded him. In this moment of liminality, he recognizes the ephemeral nature of temporal setbacks and bureaucratic inconveniences, understanding that they are but fleeting chapters in the grand narrative of his life. Each passing moment, each seemingly inconsequential interaction, contributes to the rich tapestry of experiences that constitute his unique existence, weaving together a narrative imbued with resilience, fortitude, and unwavering determination.
In the midst of this protracted wait, Ko Kyaw Kha finds reassurance in the knowledge that this juncture is but a transient interlude in the grand symphony of his life. Armed with the unwavering support of his loved ones and fortified by the lessons garnered through adversity, he remains steadfast in his commitment to surmounting any obstacle that dares to obstruct his path. For him, this moment serves as a testament to the enduring power of human resilience and the indomitable spirit that propels us forward, even in the face of life’s most formidable challenges.
Reflecting on the culmination of his journey, Ko Kyaw Kha finds himself overwhelmed by a profound realization: true wealth transcends the material realm. It is not gauged by the abundance of possessions one amasses but rather by the richness of the connections forged with others and the lasting imprint left upon the world. As he takes pen to paper, finalizing the transfer of his property to his son, he is filled with a deep-seated sense of gratitude and contentment that emanates from a life imbued with purpose and meaning.
In this pivotal moment, Ko Kyaw Kha recognizes the intrinsic value of familial bonds and the enduring legacy they impart. By entrusting his wealth to his son, he is not merely bequeathing physical assets but rather nurturing the foundation of a lineage built upon love, integrity, and shared values. It is a testament to the profound impact that individuals can have on the lives of those they hold dear, transcending the boundaries of time and space.
With each stroke of the pen, Ko Kyaw Kha solidifies his commitment to a legacy defined not by material abundance but by the immeasurable wealth of familial devotion and kinship. As he gazes upon the completed document, he does so with a heart brimming with fulfilment, knowing that his contributions to the world extend far beyond the confines of mere possessions. For in the end, it is the depth of one’s relationships and the imprint of one’s deeds that genuinely define the measure of a life well lived.
All in all, the first time Ko Kyaw Kha got to that office was as a taker, the one who accepted the properties of his aunt, but after 35 years, when he got there for the second time, he found himself as a giver: the one who would give his properties to his adopted son. Are lives according to natural law? Ko Kyaw Kha sighed silently.

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