If you’ve ever read any Chinese parables, you’ll know that they contain a lot of wisdom.
Take the parable of the Chinese farmer for instance. One day the farmer was working in the fields when his son came back home with a broken leg. Everyone in the village said what a dreadful thing it was, but all the farmer said was “maybe.”
The next day, the country went to war and local officials came to the village to round up all the healthy young men. But because of his broken leg, the son couldn’t travel and was spared the draft. When the villagers found out about this, they all exclaimed what a fortuitous thing it was. But the wise old Chinese farmer just responded “maybe.”
The next day, the farmer’s horse decided to run off and nobody could find it. When the villagers found out, they again said how awful it was. But all the Chinese farmer said was “maybe.”
Then the next day, the horse returned to the farm, bringing six more wild horses with it. The villagers said what a wonderful thing it was, but all the farmer said was “maybe.”
The moral of this story is that there are also positives and negatives in every situation. Things might seem bad. But there are always benefits. The same applies to virtually everything in life, including whether you live high or low.
As a mum, living high seems like a nightmare. You imagine trudging up and downstairs all day long – not ideal.
But it doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. In fact, it might actually improve your life overall.
Let’s say you get home from the grocery store and need to carry shopping up to your flat. It seems like an ordeal – something that would drain your energy. But once you do it for a couple of months, it becomes bearable. And after a year or so, you’ve transformed your fitness without even going to the gym. In other words, the inconvenience made you healthier.
Then there are the spiritual benefits – yes you read that right. Being on the top floor gives you more perspective – a better view of your surroundings. You can stare out for miles and feel like you’re on top of the world, instead of being stuck down in the trenches with everyone else.
What about safety? That’s better too. When you’re higher up, it becomes very hard for burglars to physically carry all your possessions downstairs, whether you live in a flat or apartment.
If you are somebody who enjoys their peace, you will also like being higher up in the building. When you’re on the bottom floor, you have to listen to people walking up and down the stairs outside all day and night. And every time they flush the toilet, you can hear all the water trickling down the pipes.
Being at the top of the flat, however, absolves you of all these problems. You no longer have to listen to annoying trickling sounds or air conditioning units whirring at the base of the building. It feels much more like living in a quiet suburban neighbourhood.
So how does living low compare, say, on the ground floor or in a bungalow?
Well, when it comes to general living expenses, it has clear advantages. When you are on the top floor, you often have to spend more money heating your home. But when you get closer to the ground, your electricity bill goes down. Less infrared light escapes your rooms.
There are obvious accessibility benefits as well. It is much easier to get into and out of a low-lying living space than it is one perched high up in a building.
If you decide to live in a standalone building, not an apartment, you can also save money on land rent. You don’t have to pay a certain amount of money every year for the upkeep of the building. Instead, you just pay for whatever repairs you need ad hoc, instead of being subject to the whims of the building owner.
So when it comes to living high or low, it’s swings and roundabouts. Prices are usually lower for living closer to the ground – which is a perk. But you also have to put up with more noise and disruption.
Living up high gives you great views. But if you are a mum, then it can make it more challenging to get kids off to school on time.