The Dirt Underneath The Glory

Shit happened in life. This is my last article before I temporarily stop writing. I have much to sort out and much to worry about. Although I do not have the capacity to continue writing now, it is my intention to come back in about 6 to 12 months later. Hopefully by then, everything would have been settled. To those who like what I read, do continue to follow me and share my website / Facebook page with your friends. Just like the title of my website, there are no fairytales in life. Thank you for your support.


Pablo Escobar, perhaps known as the most notorious drug lord, is a well-known figure across the world. Even if people know little about his life, they would have heard his name. As a drug lord, he was involved in many crimes such as bribery, kidnapping, assassination, and of course drug production and trafficking to name just a few. But few would know that such a violent and cruel man would have many people liking him, siding him and even praying to him after he died.

Pablo Escobar was a well-loved character by many, especially in his hometown of Medellin. From Wikipedia, “Escobar was also involved in philanthropy in Colombia and paid handsomely for the staff of his cocaine lab. Escobar spent millions developing some of Medellín’s poorest neighborhoods. He helped build roads, power lines and soccer fields. He also built housing complexes for the homeless.”

People can turn a blind eye to the cruelty of a human, close an eye to the source of funds, if it means that they are benefitting from it. As long as people do not see it, do not hear it and do not experience it, everything else can remain as head knowledge while they continue to enjoy the benefits of it. If you think that the above logic is too grim and that people in Colombia sided with Escobar because they were too poor, and that you are morally upright enough to reject that nonsense, let me quote another example.

What are the well-known financial centres around the world? New York, London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, to name a few. What makes these cities and by extension the country, feasible financial centres? Of course, stability of the country and its economy, safe environment to conduct business and security to live life as normal, a busy centre for trade and commerce etc. But this is only the foundation for the most important factor – that financial centres do not discriminate when it comes to money. Just come in, no questions asked.

With the money that comes in, tall skyscrapers are built, fanciful malls are constructed, the government earns from taxes and the people have income as the rich spend and the people have jobs serving them. This creates a virtuous cycle where more and more wealthy people come, leading to a better economy, attracting more foreign companies to set up shop and consequently more jobs are created, boosting the economy as a final result.

For those of us who live in the financial centres, for those of us living in a country where there is a top ranking financial centre, we are no different from the many citizens in Medellin city, Colombia. We do not contribute participate directly in illegal activities nor do we harm people for our lifestyle, but just like the Colombians, we benefitted from it. A significant portion of what we enjoy is based on dirty money reaped off others through a series of illegal crimes.

I am not denouncing the good works that a particular country has done. I am saying that without the source of funds, it is difficult to build a country that those of us who live in these places can be proud of. The US is rich with all the fanciful things because with its military it plundered others, with its currency it scammed others and with its media it brainwashed others. All these it gets the money for nation building. Just like how Escobar get the bulk of the money and have some of it trickle down to others in the name of philanthropy, likewise the country and its elites will get the bulk of the funds but the commoners will get some leftover soup to drink.

But we can stand tall with our heads high, telling ourselves that we have lived an honest life and achieved success through our own hard work, then show pity to the others in the slums overseas either by donating money to World Vision or by sharing a Facebook post, because we did not see, hear nor experience the horrors others went through as they were squeezed dry without mercy.

There is nothing we can do about it. I too, benefit from the system. Just that as beneficiary of an ugly system, those of us within it should understand what is going on, lest we stand on a moral high horse and judge others in a similar situation as us. Often times, we grow up to be the very people we once despised.

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