I’ve worked since I was 10. My first job was a paper route of 100+ senior citizens in a trailer park. There were those whose wrinkles went down and those whose wrinkles went up. Some had followed their passions; others had followed what was expected of them.
Some said they wished they could go back and do it again and follow their heart; they were sad and regretful. Others seemed content and bright eyed. They lived side by side; inches between them but miles apart.
I’ve since vowed to heed my dreams so as not to end up with my wrinkles pointing down. Regret is a tragic state of mind. I abandoned architecture for a career in artistic pursuits.
I only preface with this personal history so it is clear that I too have believed there to be empty hope in the pursuit of material possessions, and I maintain that perspective without the benefit of personal experience beyond a paycheck-to-paycheck life.
I’ve followed my passions, listened to my heart, created more art, lyrics and music than I have time or resources to publish. There have been a few brushes with the ‘big money’ payoff but I am still working two jobs to eat and survive.
My daughter was raised to be a dreamer too. With over 100k in college debt, she rarely has time to paint, dance or play her harp. She says she is afraid to think about ever having children with such endless debt looming above her.
I’m not sure how our story will end, although at least I know I’ve inspired a few others along the way by peddling dreams, love, change, charity, purpose, peace; the sum of which is hope.
Never having my ‘needs met’ by anything other than my own sweat, I cannot refute nor validate much of what you’ve postulated.
I would be hard pressed to hold onto a million dollars. I know too many who need real help. I see rising despair and destitution everywhere I look.
I do not know you, nor your pursuits or possible philanthropic or charitable endeavors — I have no interest in judging you. These are just my thoughts when I ingest things like this from those on the other side of the fence.
You’ve written a thoughtful piece about empty riches, but I wonder if you are still too full to be without bias?
Money may not bring happiness; but the food, water and medicine it buys begets hope. Hope is the pinnacle of the ‘basics’ you allude to.
Hope most certainly begets happiness. May I suggest you buy some hope for others with that stash, if you haven’t already done so?
Peace to you sir.