Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Why You Want That?


Money is an illusion.

Possessions are a burden.

So why do we want these things?

I read a book recently (Akata Witch… I like scifi… don’t judge me) that gave me moments of consideration. The book wasn’t about money or possessions but it did discuss how more important study and Knowledge is vs. material possessions. And that it is often the quest for material possessions which will turn a person from nice or even benign to evil.

I get that money (and possessions… I’m not going to keep saying possessions, but you know I’m including them) is necessary because it provides a consistent measure of bartering. But I also know that money is just paper. And without the imbued validation by folks it is worthless. Where it goes awry is that people use money to judge another’s value and success. A homeless person is deemed less valuable than a person living in a mansion. Just because ea person is homeless doesn’t mean they don’t have money. I have personally built with homeless people that have pockets filled with dough. A person catching the bus or without a car is deemed less valuable than a person with a hummer. Maybe they have some irrational fear of driving and catch mass transit to their Fortune 500 employment. People who live in NYC are notorious for not owning cars. And in NYC folks don’t judge like that. But they do here in Atlanta…. Even quality is judged… A person in a Gremlin is deem less smart/successful/everything than a person in a Lexus. And this judgment comes often on face value! You can never be certain what people have.

You see a person stepping in tall grass and you think they have it all together. Well they owe $100+ in student loans, and are paying a $5K mortgage with a $900 car note, their kids in private schools and charged up the yinyang. They owe more than they make. I remember Donald Trump saying in an interview, that when he went bankrupt he looked at a homeless man and thought this person has more cash money than he did because he owed millions and they owed nothing. Is that the success you want?

Or…. You can look at a person living in a modest house driving a modest car with their kids in public school. That second person’s car is paid off, they inherited the house form their grandmother and all their bills get paid. At the end of the month and they have some extra. Some people like living in tiny houses. Who is the most successful in these scenarios? There is no right answer… and that’s okay.

Possessions are a drudge. Again, I get that they are necessary… but there comes a point when you have to ask, “How much is enough?” when you move, you should be eager to collect and box your stuff not dread it because it’s a process. I bear witness that I was a happier person when I had less stuff. I wasn’t a poor child, but my parents weren’t about spoiling children. I have very little personal items as a child. And I never had a lot of clothes, shoes or accessories. It was easy to get dressed and easy to move. But when I moved to my previous home I had, for the 1st time a walk-in closet. My few clothes looked paltry in there. By the time I moved out it was ridiculous. I didn’t want to move because I didn’t want to pack. I sent half of the clothes to the Goodwill and still had more clothes than my current closet can handle. That isht is a burden. Yes I love my clothes but if I had to run out in a rush, I couldn’t take them all with me. I was watching “Tiny House” and this woman’s original home got burned up in a fire. She knew it was coming and had time to grab some items. The stuff she took revealed what she found important: her husbands jacket and slippers, some pictures and a stuffed animal.

My point with this build is to get you to consider if the life you have chosen to live is actually the right one for you. Our degrees say that we are "Poor, righteous teachers." That does not mean we are broke and in need of teaching jobs. It means that we know that the term poor is defined by those with money. Why would you let Other folks determine your values? We know (Or some of us know) that our value is not defined by what we have but by what we are doing. If you are happy, safe and fulfilled by living in a shack... then shack on! You do not have to show off for the masses unless that males you happy, safe and fulfilled. Some folks feel compelled to compete with others and feel some kind of way when they get bested. And guess what? When you choose to compete with others you ALWAYS lose. If you are good and can sleep at night because you are living precisely as you want… keep it pushing. But if your life stresses you out… recalculate. If you don’t have what you feel you deserve; either figure how to get what you need or reevaluate if this is the path you should be walking.

Collecting money is like collecting decorative plates and spoons. It’s only valuable because you made it that way.