Some of the most miserable people I know are not unhappy because they are living a life of drudgery and deprivation or are struggling to stay afloat in trying and testing times like right now. They are pathetic but not because life hasn’t been fair to them and haven’t bore fruits to their labor. They are neither worried about their uncertain future nor they are weary from the efforts and exertion done in their unkind past.
The ones I am talking about here are those, who life dealt a good hand to. They were born with the proverbial spoons in their mouths and are fortunate to have almost everything, rather too much of everything. They neither lack any comforts nor they are aware of the daily discomforts and struggles of common people as they hardly know any commoners personally and yet they crib and complain.
When these affluent, “A” leaguers lament that life has been uncharitable to them, the reasons quoted by them are often unfathomable to common minds. A normal person would be worried because he is not earning well, hasn’t created enough buffer to take care of his loved ones in case of an exigency, hasn’t built a house, is not able to fulfill some mediocre dreams like a trip abroad, hasn’t yet found a compatible life partner, fears a job loss in recession, is struggling with ill health, has lost a loved one and a similar comprehensible list.
But these lords and ladies of ultra lavishness and luxuries do not have these common concerns. Their troubles are uncommon and extraordinary as they themselves are. Problems and concerns if they say they have, then they definitely have but to a commoner they would seem more like self inflicted pains owing to their privileges and over indulgences. Just like a young boy causes himself stomachache by over-consuming rich foods, the filthy rich of the world mostly invite inconveniences by engaging in extravaganza.
They make a huge house and then there is a full time job to maintain it. There is a platoon of maids and staff which needs 24X7 management. There are a million instructions to be given and accountabilities to be taken. The fleet of cars need regular upkeep, updating and upgrading. Same goes with the gazillion gadgets. The clothing, accessories and other finery needs to be the finest. And why not?
How will the world know that you have made it big in life? Your lifestyle speaks of your abilities and accomplishments. The mansion, the motors, the bags and watches, the labels are bought for a reason and so need to be showcased. These “frills” are aspired and amassed because they are admired by all.
These “frills” are the well deserved and earned trophies and evidence that you have made it to the top echelons of the society that worships the worthy and the wealthy. And most importantly if you can afford the frills then you must own them, but if you do own them then you must, must and must enjoy owning them.
Exactly, you must enjoy them and not cause a stomachache because of them. It should be made an established universal law that “anything that is in moderation can be benefited from”.
Excesses of any means and materials are bound to cause pain. The pain that first goes into procuring and then preserving the wares. Then the daily pain and time that goes into managing, maintaining and measuring those excesses and the worthiness that they come tagged with. There is another pain that is caused by the fear of losing the collectibles and the constant pain of staying at the top of the game by acquiring the latest toy or ware put out by the high-end creators.
Then there is the excruciating pain (women know it best) when you are occasionally told that you have done nothing to own what you so proudly own and flaunt. And the most agonizing pain is when you do not find your successors befitting of carrying the legacy of neither works and nor wares created and collected over a lifetime enduring a lifetime of pain. And worst is realizing that the heirs were again made less capable and too much complacent by the expensive things you only pampered them with. Now the stomachache becomes chronic and incurable.
All the pain taken would be absolutely worth bearing if it brought peace, mental and emotional growth of the pains-takers. But ironically it mostly doesn’t. Because amassing and exhibiting excesses is now a never ending race thanks to the capitalistic world we live in. There is so much value that has been attached to the materials you own that your worth and validation in the world around you is dependent upon what own and not by what you become. The race doesn’t even leave much time and energy to seek light and live more purposefully.
So the focus is only on acquiring the right things and not becoming the right person. Money is lavishly spent on useless luxuries but will not be spent on useful learnings. An overpriced cup of coffee at a top notch lounge is fancied more than a cheaper life skill class. And that’s because you are not recognized for your skills but your ‘fancy frills’.
This is probably the worst that has happened to humankind. A man or woman’s worth is measured in the materials that he or she owns. And so a majority is miserable because they consider themselves worthless because they don’t own the frills and those who have managed to own them are pathetic because they are in reality owned by those fancy frills.
Shocking but it’s true that their time, attention and whole existence is owned by the things they were only supposed to own, if at all own, and then forget and occasionally remember and take a notice of. The things that are just trophies and are meant to be treated as trophies. Just the way champions treat their trophies. Showcased well and dusted occasionally. The champions don’t get owned by the laurels because they are owned by their passion for the game and playing well is always the biggest reward.
Similarly the materials are trophies and if you are fortunate enough to acquire a few, do not become obsessed with them. However valuable they may seem, yet living a happy, peaceful and productive life is the biggest human value and need. If despite owning the fanciest and flashiest of adornments, you are still unhappy, lack peace of mind, live a hollow, superficial and aimless existence, have a low self esteem and are clueless about the reasons, then be mindful of the fact that you don’t own the things, rather you are owned by them.
Check your daily schedule and routine. Are you doing much more than just living a fancy life in a fancy house in a fancy locality? Are your daily hours spent productively and engaged in learning and living the more significant values of life? Are you grateful for all the things that you have and are doing something to share your fortune with the lesser fortunate ones? Do you have friends who value you for who you are and not what you possess? Are you friends with some people who are not as materially wealthy as you are but are much richer in areas that you lack in? Are you investing some time daily in your emotional and mental growth?
Remember, you don’t eat excessively just because you can afford to buy a lot of food. Similarly you shouldn’t be consumed by excesses just because you have the means to buy them. It’s time we realize that things and materials should be used for their utility and not to boost the egos. It’s time you freed yourself from the fangs of filthy, fancy and flashy frills and focus on creating a more fulfilling and eventually living a fulfilled life.
For your own sake!!!