Friday, November 16, 2012

Counting Other People's Money

Life. Strange. Mysterious. Complicated. Surreal. Some people have all the "luck" in the world, while others suffer so terribly. I always think of that song, "Only the Good Die Young" by Billy Joel and I have to wonder, is it true? Even with fairness overall -- (to which I just had this conversation with Mark, a fellow blogger), why is it that there are people who work 12 hr shifts 8 days a week, while some wealthy guy sits back and collects inherited millions? Hard work. What is hard work? There are some people who have quit school and gone to work making more than the person who went to college for over 4 years with the desired career of choice. It's not about "fairness" -- it's all about our choices. We make our choice and yes, you can say, "Well I didn't choose to be poor, no one will hire me!" And of course, the wealthy man collecting inheritance money could say, "Well I didn't choose this either, but I'm sure as hell fine with it!" All of our paths are different. I don't think anyone's life is "easier", maybe a bit more financially stable, but that means nothing when you look at the bigger picture. That rich man may suffer with depression, suicidal thoughts, drug problems, self-esteem issues, mental disorders, physical disabilities, too many deaths in his family to count, and on top of that, loneliness. I'd rather have less money and less of those problems. We never know how truly lucky we are until we find ourselves in the shoes of others.

“Is Your Cross Too Heavy to Bear?"

"The young man was at the end of his rope. Seeing no way out, he dropped to his knees in prayer. 'Lord, I can't go on,' he said. 'I have too heavy of a cross to bear.' The Lord replied, 'My son, if you can't bear its weight, just place your cross inside this room. Then, open that other door and pick out any cross you wish.' The man was filled with relief. 'Thank you, Lord,' he sighed, and he did as he was told. Upon entering the other door, he saw many crosses, some so large the tops were not visible. Then, he spotted a tiny cross leaning against a far wall. 'I'd like that one, Lord,' he whispered. And the Lord replied, 'My son, that is the cross you just brought in.'"

This past year, I've noticed a few people making judgmental remarks for various reasons regarding other people's lifestyles. I've heard someone state that a particular 'someone' wasn't fit to be good dating material because he hadn't found a "real" career nor had any hobbies of his own (or the same one as hers I should say). He had a fairly good job, but nothing directed to anything of 'greatness'. I nodded and didn't say anything. I just wondered how much better it was on the path to 'greatness'. I solely believe that in order to have a healthy relationship with anyone, you have to be complete yourself - happy with who you are and what you do before you can intermingle with another person's life. Why is his or her career an issue? (Unless of course they're drug dealing or hooking, that's a whole other can-o-beans.) Materialism has hit the "it's complicated" box and has gotten in the way of many potential relationships that otherwise, would have worked out beautifully. Sadly, money is the reason for way too many divorces. The ones you'll see happy aren't the ones who have a whole lot usually. This is what I find anyway. They're content and grateful for what they have and don't feel as though they don't have enough.

Then there's the other side of the coin: people counting other people's money. For instance, a friend of mine was holding a fundraiser last year. He said, "Well he makes almost 100k a year, he could afford to give us $1,000.00 for this year's event." First of all, he doesn't know for sure how much money he makes, he assumes by the big house and nice car that he has to make at least that amount. He never thought about people who live beyond their means as well - those who are working only to make ends meet so they don't lose the nice house or the luxury car(s) sitting in their driveways. Some can't even put a full tank of gas into their vehicles. My friend never realized that he may have more money in his pocket than this "$100k" friend did. And that's the sad truth of many people. Never assume someone has money just because they have nice 'stuff' - and that's all it is. Live their life for ONE day. You'll be begging to come back in some cases. I'm not saying all 'well to do' people are unhappy or trying to make ends meet because they're living beyond their means --- I'm just trying to make a point of how wrong some people can be when they're trying to count someone else's money. Most of this stems out of jealousy or resentment. If you're happy with your life, then why judge another's? If you're unhappy with your life, then change it. Simple...or is it?

I've heard someone say to me once, "Happiness is a choice," and while that may be true, why are so many of use choosing sadness, anger, resentment, bitterness, jealousy? I truly believe that if we were to take a glimpse of hell itself, it wouldn't be all fire and brimstone - it would be people all suffering from sadness, anger, resentment, bitterness and jealousy - you name it. It would be a place of moaning & seething - a place of total anguish. Why make life that way?  And once we judge another person for "appearing" to live the perfect life, we automatically take one step into that arena. It's absolute hell to feel that way. If someone "undeserving" wins the lotto, be happy for them anyway. And for the love of God, stop counting their goddamn money! "Don't count my money, for I have none." --Some Rich Man

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