I am not like many people.
I am different. The older I get, I see just how different I am. I’m burdened by the world most of the time. I see things in a way that doesn’t make a lot of sense to those around me because I look at things differently. When I drive down a highway and see billboards littering the side of the road, it saddens me. I can barely listen to the radio anymore, because the music I want to hear is sprinkled in between commercials talking about how nonsense from how I can fix my erectile dysfunction to the “never again” sale that some car dealership is having. It drives me crazy.
Why? Why do I let such trivial things bother me?
Somewhere in my life of chaos, I have gotten to where all I want is peace. One area that I am tired of chasing is the illusion that wealth brings happiness. I’m exhausted from trying to “keep up with the Jones’s” as my Dad always says. “I’ve never seen a hearse with a luggage rack,” is another one of his famous quotes….strangely, I finally agree with most of the things that my Dad said as I was a kid.
Society has become accustomed to having more than what they need. Take cameras on a cell phone, for example. How many times have you seen people (or yourself) holding their phone up and taking a picture of whatever it is they are doing? Drinking a latte. Shopping for shoes. Working out at the gym (ok, I’m guilty). Hell, even what they are watching on Tv. We have Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. We want the world to know what we are doing every minute. We have an Iphone that works perfectly, but we will stand in line to get the new Iphone coming out, because it has a new camera and whatever other new gadget that will make us feel more complete.
It drives me insane.
We have become consumer driven by noise.
I know some individuals whose entire happiness relies on the belongings that they have. They rack up credit card debt in order to make sure that they can “fit in.” I’ve never understood it, but I let myself fall into that trap. I thought that I might be happier by having these things, too, so I tried. I bought the new shoes, even though I had plenty of good pair. I went to the expensive clothing stores and bought $150 jeans (ugh) because they made me fit into the mold that society expects. I would get the new iPhone because then I could envied by those who didn’t have it. I tried my best to fit in to the societal norm.
And I became even more disenchanted. So I decided to start selling it all. Let me tell you, it’s a wonderful feeling. I’ve decided that no longer will I conform to what is “expected” of me. I want more than that. None of the monetary possessions that I have ever owned have made me happy. They truly never have. I want more than that.
True wealth cannot be purchased. True wealth is being at peace with yourself.
Wealth is something that is an illusion. Take any rich celebrity that takes their own life. Two have been in the news lately. From the outside looking in; they looked like they had it all. Big cars, fancy houses, lots of gadgets. But inside, they were tormented. I’ve always wondered what they would teach us if they were able to speak to us now. What would they tell us?
True wealth comes from family. Being truly wealthy comes from love. A wealthy person is someone who doesn’t need the noise.
I’m reminded of the man in The Bible (Matthew 19:21-24) that asked Jesus about his possessions and wealth. Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” What did the man do?
He left because he loved his possessions.
I try my hardest to follow Christ’s teachings. It’s not everyone’s path and it certainly isnt easy, but what in life is? Now, do I still fall short of his teachings? Of course I do, but I’m ok with that. I’m learning more about myself now than I ever have.
I know these things to be true, however. That Christ, family and TRUE friends are what makes a person wealthy. Everything else is just a mask to cover the fact that you arent happy.