Does it Matter?
It’s Saturday. The early morning air is still, muggy, the kind of weather that in time will make my sweat cling to my body like PAM on a skillet.
I’ll let you in on a secret, but you’ll have to read this post to the very end to get to the truth of the matter. But the hint surrounds the not so mysterious matter of; perspective. Perspective; whether it is of our own accord, or of someone else who influences us; enriches our lives or disables it. You’ll understand.
Is this a true story or not?
If you look at me, I don’t think you would think that I am wealthy. I try not to look rich. I try hard to down play my good luck. I dress down mostly. I wear T-shirts with pukas in it. But sometimes, I wear a nice Aloha Shirt on special occassions. Most time I go shirtless because it’s cooler, and there’s less to wash.
You see, I am a product of inheritence. When I was young, I was a beneficiary of a corporate payout from my grand parents who owned several enterprises which through decades afforded a lifetime of hard cash for them as well as those they loved whom they generously shared their tiddings. These tiddings made life comfortable and less stresssful. Less distracting. But along with these tiddings, came lessons of perspective.
Which kind of life would you choose if you had been a beneficiary of exuberant wealth?
Obviously, if you’re like most people, I know what you’re thinking. Afterall, many people pursue the Golden Egg in many ways, mostly amounting to tokens of glamour and glitter. Opulence isn’t easy to come by. For some people, it is the result of bone crushing work with tons of sacrifice. For some people, it is elusive. Humbling.
For some other people, I think you would agree: opulence, comes easier than we would imagine. But this isn’t simplistic story about stereo-typed “haves” and “have nots”. This is a story about perspective.
Being in the company of friends who are wealthy is no different than being in the company of friends of humble lives. No, let me correct myself. Being in the company of the former is more expensive, but no less demanding or with less expectations. But either way, whether we are wealthy or not, we all have our share and variations of strength, courage, distractions, weaknesses, fears, vice, sin, desperation, identify, fantasy, urge and urgency, want, and wont.
We also have every opportunity to live clean and fruitful lives or decadent and impoverish lives.
“Everyone creates realities based on their own personal beliefs. These beliefs are so powerful that they can create [expansive or entrapping] realities over and over.~Kuan Yin”
― Hope Bradford,
I’ve read a few books about people’s perspective about life, frequently the topic is about being rich and poor. You may have read some of these yourself?
Here’s a small sampling of what people have to say:
“I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor, but let me say, life is better being rich.”
“Give dry bread to a rich kid and he will throw it into the dustbin, give it to the poor kid and he will remember your name for the rest of his days”
― Bangambiki Habyarimana,
“Differences about poor and rich people: Poor people ask me where’s my money from; Rich people invite me for a coffee and never ask it.”
― Robin Sacredfire
“People who advocate simplicity have money in the bank; the money came first, not the simplicity.”
― Douglas Coupland,
“Pain does not differentiate between rich and poor or Christian and Buddhist. It brings the same feelings to everyone.”
― Debasish Mridha
“It’s strange how money seems to silence a neighborhood,” I say quietly. “On my street, where no one has money, it’s so loud. Sirens blaring, people shouting, car doors slamming, stereos thumping. There’s always someone, somewhere, making noise.”
― Colleen Hoover,
“Everyone wants to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”
― Oprah Winfrey
“I’d like to live as a poor man with lots of money.”
― Pablo Picasso
“I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.”
― Emma Goldman
“The discontent and frustration that you feel is entirely your own creation.”
― Stephen Richards,
“Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.”
― Ayn Rand,
“Don’t set your goals by what other people deem important.”
― Jaachynma N.E. Agu,
Finally, a perspective to ponder:
“The Seven Social Sins are:
Wealth without work.
Pleasure without conscience.
Knowledge without character.
Commerce without morality.
Science without humanity.
Worship without sacrifice.
Politics without principle.
From a sermon given by Frederick Lewis Donaldson in Westminster Abbey, London, on March 20, 1925.”
― Frederick Lewis Donaldson