Saturday, February 25, 2006

It's Not About the Money

How many times have we heard an athlete, who has just signed a huge new contract, say the following: "It's not about the money"? (We also hear celebrities and CEOs say the same kind of thing.) These people will tell you that the current position is the culmination of a "life long dream" and, heck, to get a chance to play for this team, they'd do it for free.

After waxing eloquently for minutes or hours, they go skipping gleefully all the way to the bank with $10, $20, $50 or $100 million or more filling their pockets.

Yeh right, it's not about THE MONEY.

Well, in looking at my life, I can honestly say, It's NOT about the money. I recently received my periodic social security statement. If I judged my life in terms of dollar signs, I should locate the nearest bridge and heave myself off of it.

Over the past 25 years, I've earned about $150,000. Mere pocket change by Bill Gates' standards.

I'm not looking for your pity. I've chosen this kind of lifestyle. For the past decade, I've worked for several progressive advocacy organizations and, what I haven't earned in money, I've earned in class consciousness. Before that, I worked in children's social services -- A needed occupation that doesn't make one monetarily rich.

To be certain, there are times I wish I made more money. I half-wish I could buy a new vehicle every few years or purchase a faster computer. But these are fleeting desires. I've made my bed and I'm happy to lie in it.

Money has a certain value, but it's not genuinely what makes the world go 'round OR brings happiness to anyone. In fact, money seems to bring more pressure to people's lives as they're always trying to make or get more. For many people, no matter how much monetary wealth they accumulate, it's never enough.

They long for some worth and security that they can never seem to find. They surround themselves with baubles and trinkets, yet their internal misery continues unabated.

I don't have these worries. Like Lao Tzu, I cherish the simple things and, by choosing to live a life of simplicity, my life is full. By having a little, I have a lot.

Really. It's NOT about the money.

1 comment:

  1. LOL "It's not about the money."

    It always cracks me up when a rock star or an athlete says that, like it's just tacky to even think about something as gauche as money.

    I agree that the most rewarding things in life (most of them anyway) are not money-related. Money is a means to an end; it's too bad so many people see it as anything more than that.

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