So. You wanna be rich, eh? Been thinking of
all the cool things you could do with, say, seven million dollars in your multiple
bank accounts, all the things you could buy on a whim, things you've
always wanted to do or have. You think you're ahead of the game when you say,
"Money can't buy me love." You think your Karma is due for a booster
shot when you envision that fat donation to the charity or religious organization
of your choice. You smile impishly at the thought of denying the
government its tax money with your battery and arsenal of lawyers, accountants
and financial planners that you can hire. You dream loftily of that trip to
Bermuda you've always wanted to take or that vacation in France that has
been haunting your dreams for a decade.
You will be so glad to be rid of the days when you don't know
where your next meal will come from. Insurance will be paid (but pointless
once you're rich). Bills will be a fogotten memory. People will flock to your
feet just so that you can step on 'em a little and, perchance, leave a few
rolled up bills in your wake. The new car. That new house. That
new wardrobe. That new life.
But I'm here to tell you: It's a trap.
You won't be any happier with a ton of money in your bank account than you
were when you didn't have it. As a matter of fact, things will get damn boring
sooner than you'd expect. Why? Because you'll be able to afford anything
that comes across your path (except, maybe, Temptation Island).
One of the biggest draws of not having money is so utterly simple
that many people miss it altogether until they're no longer faced with it. When
you're rich, risk goes out the window. When you're broke, and suddenly find
yourself with an extra $100 in your pocket, you decide to splurge on yourself-
get some books you've been meaning to read, perhaps a new VCR or DVD player.
The accounting system in your head tells you that you should put
the money away and save it for something bigger and better, but the temptation
to spend it immediately gnaws at you until you actually do go
out to Opry Mills for a 15-minute shopping spree. It's the risk of teetering
on the edge of being broke again that makes poverty so entertaining.
Now, I'm not saying that having TB and no money to visit the doctor is fun,
but if you're sitting on that edge with "money to burn", well you're
almost compelled by the powers that be to burn and burn fast.
When you're rich, that goes away. No more risk, no more element of danger.
This, I think, is why so many rich people gamble and play the Stock Market. It's that certain, incomprehensible desire to
be dangerous, to risk losing it all, that makes gambling so much fun for those
who can afford it. That's the key: Risk is for those who can afford it. Certainly,
there are people who get addicted to gambling, addicted
to the rush of it, but there are many more who just like the uncertainty
that comes with it, which is beyond them in normal, day-to-day life for the
Once that feeling of danger is gone, once there is no more element of challenge
and adventure, you begin to miss it rather quickly. It turns some souls rotten
and cruel, hateful of themselves and others all because life is worth living
to anyone but the rich.
Money doesn't create happiness. Money doesn't buy you love. Money doesn't
solve your problems. The more money you have, the more headaches you inherit.
So enjoy it while you don't have it. Live a little. Get a life
by spending that extra dollar.