Many decades ago, Amir landed his first job working in a gleaming Singapore high-rise. He was in the accounting department for a large multinational corporation that had just opened its first office in the island nation, and Amir had moved a few hundred miles from his home in Malaysia to take the job. He was making more money than before, but a long way from home and his family. He was thankful to be able to send a portion of his paycheck home every month to support them; so, every month, Amir would write a credit note, hand it off to a courier on a bus headed for his hometown, and hope for the best.
It was a nerve-racking experience. Amir didn’t know whether the money made it home safely until his mother called him, and he spent the intervening time worrying about whether his family would have enough money to buy groceries and see doctors. Amir would often stay by the phone for hours on the day he knew the bus would arrive home, sometimes falling asleep until the phone rang and jolted him awake.