The value of money...
Maybe it's how we spend our life that makes the man or woman.
For those that earn, find, inherit, win or stumble on discretionary money--lots of it--maybe it's how they spend their money that makes the man or woman.
If there is any competition in life worth really believing in maybe it's the one that challenges all of us--each in our own way and as we are able--to simply make the world a better place.
That's a competition worth entering!
Money is nice....but it doesn't make the man or woman.
To be clear, this is not an indictment of money in and of itself--not even the having of lots of it...but rather what people become when they place any value other than its monetary worth on the money they acquire.
Just about everyone wishes for more...all for different reasons.
Money can help make life more comfortable and certainly enables many opportunities for entertainment, travel and life-experience that would never otherwise be possible.
But it doesn't make one human better than another just for the having.
It isn't necessary for lasting satisfaction: You can't buy a pound of satisfaction at Walmart.
It isn't a pre-requisite for happiness: You won't find a bottle of happiness at your corner store.
You can buy pleasure and instant gratification but it's strictly temporary and dangerously empty if that is all you seek...a bottomless pit that can never be satisfied.
Just google celebrities or lives of the uber-rich and see what measure of, or correlation--if any--there is to a truly happy and fulfilling life as associated to money.
Kind of like a title, rank or position...job titles, rank and professional positions infer responsibility associated with--not the value of--a human.
Money is no different.
Unless you believe the empty lie.
Some live in a world that screams constantly (through all forms of media and advertising) regarding the value of money, the having of "things," the consumption of "stuff" and the status (advertisers want you to perceive) that must be associated with money and what it can buy or what you become by it.
The man or woman who can and does buy a nice car--let's say an $85,000 (USD)
Mercedes--and simply because they like it and enjoy the brand is juxtaposed
to the man or woman who buys the same car because of what or who they
become or attain in their own mind and what or who they believe that
others will perceive they have become for the purchase.
It's the same $85,000 that bought the car for both people.
The money doesn't care and doesn't know the difference.
The former is a sustainable life posture that more than likely brings intrinsic satisfaction, accompanies some measure of organic humility along with a grateful attitude towards whatever circumstances enable them to live a blessed life.
The latter is unsustainable, and a reckless, emotionally draining race to attain that which is never attainable for the chasing--intrinsic happiness and some elusive, fictitious level of "status." Problem is, that "status" changes with every circumstance. You can never have or be enough. Always comparing self against others based on the size of a financial portfolio, the brand of clothing in a closet, or car in the driveway, etc... (the elevation of self at the expense of those around) is exhausting, self-centered, immature and with nearly 7 billion people on the planet a pretty silly game to play.
When the value of a $100 dollar bill exceeds just that -- ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS -- and encroaches on the man or woman's ego who has lots of them (hundred dollar bills) whispering "you're better" that's where the world starts to crumble apart.
People who have no constraints can very easily criticize and question those who do.
The blind, evil narcissism that inhabits a human being who can walk & run
while at the same time look disdainfully at the crippled man with no legs --
and berate, belittle or even criticize him for his constraint is sad, confusing
and diametrically opposed to what should be compassion, love and gratefulness.
I've heard it once years ago and very recently read about it...this sense that "I am wealthy, so everyone who is not as wealthy as me is a "self-selected" idiot." You really only have to watch the news or read the papers to see it in action....ironically, those men and women of narcissistic tendency have a lot of competition...they just refuse to admit or acknowledge it because that would mean admission of their humanity (imperfection) and they are incapable of empathizing or acknowledging the fact that there is any other world but one which centers around themselves as the whole universe; let alone a past or future in which they never even exist!
First time I heard it was during a "motivational" business presentation intended to convince those in the audience "join up." The speaker deliberately detailed his thoughts while driving home after a successful evening of meetings and poured out his vitriol and cynicism towards all his neighbors who "slave 9-5 for another master and menial wages."
Second time I read about it was a successful man sitting in a room of the very people who put substantial sums of money in his pocket that enabled his opulent life style. The Case Study quoted him as saying -- without personally knowing a single person in the room -- the following: "There are some really dysfunctional people in this organization. But they all self-selected for this and their lazy lack of any life aspiration will keep them here."
Both men are astoundingly callous and conceited.
Both living in extremely comfortable circumstances that far surpass most.
Both made me want to run as fast as I can in the opposite direction!
Both men drew a "value" line of human worth that centered on themselves such as to say: "If you are below me, you are a lazy, self-selected idiot." (What would they have said about themselves prior to coming into or earning their great wealth? I think that's an innocent, interesting question. The "value" line was probably there, just a different level of wealth or perceived success.)
The Arrogance (with a capital "A") is astounding, confusing and disgusting...and among so many other things fails to make some very basic connections such as:
Those "other people" put bread on your table and milk in your refrigerator.
They work hard, often much harder than most and seek only to make life better for themselves, their family and those around them.
They build houses, roads, buildings and bridges.
They teach school, coach sports and protect your children on the streets.
Those humans are your brothers and sisters.