Friday, April 15, 2011

Of being rich!

Most of us figure out at a certain point in our lives that we are not going to be rich. The dreams of youth collapse and suffer a dusty death. Not for us the mansions and the super cars and trip to Gstaad or infiniti pools. Rich in health, rich in love, rich in good spirits, even luck but not rich in the bank. Rich is a label that will pass us by, like a wind blown paper, teasing yet truant in its flight.
 Some of us accept the fact and cruise with the fait accompli, others are envious of those who are loaded while the rest of us keep hoping that some magic will occur and we will wake up one day sloshing in the lolly.
Are the very rich different species from the merely well off? It would certainly play havoc with your balance if you could get everything you want. But wealth can be a driver, a jump-starter to wonderful things.
The greatest advantage of wealth is that it gives you leisure. Not the leisure as you and I see it today, of lounging on the sofa, eating popcorn and watching drivel on the television but the leisure Plato talked about, the time to think and be creative, to contemplate, that awesome, incredible gift that sets us apart.
Not just that, but freedom from the money problem is perhaps the single largest energy form for making the world a better place. Which is why those who are truly liberated in financial terms and do nothing constructive with it are perhaps the most criminal in the world.
The arts, the sciences, sport, medicine, the expression of any genius lies in it being able to find the money to sustain and nourish itself. Without which the greatest talent can simply wither away. And it does.
For most of us, this fiscal repose is a distant dream. We have to co-exist with the fact that the mundane call to pay bills and survive will inexorably detract from our ability to perform at maximum, whatever our endeavour. Sometimes, we will even have to deflect or thwart it and even destroy attractive options because we cannot afford the luxury of following a dream.
It does make us more resilient and flexible and definitely more practical than the very rich who often enough, only use their money to make more money while ignoring their capacity for making the world a better place.
For them, the fear is of losing the comforts and perks of affluence.
For the rest of us the fear is visceral...of being inconsequential and unseen, unheard of and unwanted. It is a continuingly sobering thought that if we got off the world nobody would notice. Which is why we scamper about in the rat race looking for some identity, why we join clubs and groups and seek shelter under labels and designations. This is our substitute for wealth and also why we are wafer thin sensitive about losing jobs and job titles. We call it security but what it actually boils down to is a lack of alternatives, we are in the rut, like it or not.
That’s what the rich have, all the options to exercise. And then, so many of them don’t do a thing with it but be indolent and indulgent towards themselves. And I wonder how our pursuit for excellence would suffer if we were to strike it rich and then harm exactly what we should be enhancing...our natural abilities.
Should we be grateful that we have to strive, to make that extra effort or should we resent the fact that the banal forces into so many sorry compromises.
Perhaps one of the contributory problems lies in there being too many diversions and, therefore, commitments. Our lives are cluttered with tacky aspirations, the desire to invest in symbols, to commit ourselves to soaring expenses and then expend our creative energy in maintaining the charade. Consequently, we are exhausted long before total potential ever gets a look in.
Imagine if we were to sit down and cut out some of the ground clutter from our personal radars, prune the branches, tighten up. We’d probably discover we are a whole lot richer in cash terms than we thought.

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