My response to “Anthony Bourdain Does Not Want to Owe Anybody Even a Single Dollar”

The following is my response to Anthony Bourdain’s article on the Wealthsimple Magazine. Feedback is welcome. Feel free to critique any of the views expressed here.

Bourdain, a culinary pundit famed for his outstanding literary work on Kitchen Confidential is known to have mastered the art of forthrightness.

His account of personal finance is honest and revealing. Exposing some very uncomfortable truths of class struggle in the liberal era. Something I think our generation needs to have more of an open discussion about.

I’d argue that money in the neoliberal reality we live in, is one of the core representations of our values. In a way, the secrecy so many of us maintain about our personal finances is an obscurity of our values.

Career and professional development are at the forefront of our generation’s individual identity question. I ponder whether the ruthless opportunism ever so present is merely a symptom of our regression to animal instincts. Hearing the articulate thinker, Bourdain, speak out so truthfully about the kind of person he strives to be is a refreshing and healthy contrast to the elitism, institutions such as TED spread like free condoms.

“The people who work with me on my TV show in particular: these motherfuckers could get paid a lot more money making a less good show for somebody else. So the pressure’s on me to be the sort of person people will want to stick with.”

Bourdain, it seems, has it figured out. Being lovable and loving are values to live by. I couldn’t agree more. I’d go further and say it can supersede the endless chase for more, in the pursuit of a more fulfilling life. Loyalty is another trait he wears on his sleeve. Something the growing number of precariats in society barely get a chance to experience nor express.

“My book imprint — it’s called Anthony Bourdain and it’s at Ecco Press — makes almost no money for me, but it’s deeply satisfying.”

Last year, I took a woodworking course. I by no means intend on turning carpentry into my main profession. I built a wooden hanging lamp. There’s something so satisfying about the self-sufficiency I feel learning skills as such. Bourdain treats work for the soul in a similar manner. Not as a means to monetary profit, but as a means to a creative connection.

It’s evident from the account, that living by values is a key factor in his success. If there’s a conclusion to be derived, is the importance of values in a rapidly changing world. We are faced with many questions and decisions on a daily basis. Values to me, act a moral guide. Decision making has never been easier since I made that observation in my life and I’m certain many others feel the same.