The Riches of Life
Today was the day after a maintenance and so I found myself sleeping in a bit later than I usually do (about 3 hours later). After I woke up I walked downstairs and opened up some windows to get a nice air flow going through the house.
As the fresh air filled my lungs and I gathered energy both mentally and physically I heard the familiar laughter of kids a little bit down the way playing in a pool. It was at the time about 1:30PM or so on a Thursday, every week at this time I would be working normally but today I was at home listening to carefree laughter.
I was reminded of my own youth, which isn’t to say I am old but speaking more clearly of a special time in a person’s life. That time when even the very laws of your country are different for you, the fabric of society blankets you in caring and support. This is the time in our lives that I think people act the most real.
You bike around your neighborhood with friends for hours, all your differences mix together like water with water. In the end these tight bonds represent the best in us. I was in a deeply mixed neighborhood, people of different faiths, colors, backgrounds. Economically we had people living on government aid all the way up to families that owned cars more expensive than my student loans many times over.
Nobody cared about any of that, it was the individual that was our largest concern. Who you were was more important than what you were. It’s throughout our childhoods that people tell us about this ‘harder’ world on the outside. The sudden release when you hit 18 years of age when everyone in your nation decides that you are fundamentally different and should be fed to the wolves. This is the fake world, a world that we have forced upon ourselves.
You are told day in and day out to harden your heart, and for what? There is no benefit to it. So we hit our adulthood and we harden, we turn into something other than ourselves. We become cynical and nihilistic, well at least many of us do.
There is a group of people who do not. The wealthiest among us more often than not figure out the reality of wealth, wealth is a tool for continually living your youth. Your lives are measured on your own time and your goals are set by you and you alone. You don’t survive, you live.
I think this is really all that wealth is, this dream of extending our real lives and not merely falling prey to this dark fantasy that is often mistaken for reality. This world where differences matter, where race, faith, economic background, or country of origin suddenly matter. That shift when you hit 18 of the who being unimportant and the what defining you.
That is the plastic world, the Barbie doll manufactured world created for no better reason than to shield those who rise above it. If I ever find myself in the unlikely situation of being a wealthy person I would do what I did best as a child, I’d smile and bring smiles to those around me. I’d joke with friends, discuss dreams and futures. I’d never think about time itself but instead enjoy the moment.
I most certainly wouldn’t look at my bank account, a child never does that, because a child knows.
The real world lies on the other side of that dark fantasy and don’t ever let anyone trick you into believing anything else. This harshness, this backstabbing, its all hard to maintain and requires constant upkeep. If it weren’t for the tireless efforts of people who never truly lived, this whole mechanism would collapse like a rusty clock.
True maturity is found through humor, through realizing that real life lies in the hopefulness and curiosity of our youth. It’s not a matter of biologically being young, but intellectually never losing that youth. Never falling into the grave lie of truly knowing.
We never know, we can only better understand and desire to learn more.
Uncertainty is beautiful.