The video below has been circulating around the Internet for some time now. I saw it a few months ago, but saw it again just recently when a friend saw it and thought of me – something which I have to say flattered me deeply.
And this is because I believe in this message wholeheartedly. I have blogged about it often, I live each day by the mantra that money is not the answer to happiness, and that we should resolve to live a life that makes us happy, as a opposed to a life that can afford us the things that we think will eventually bring us happiness.
For the record, I know what the fear of “other” is. I know poverty very well. I also know wealth and lived at both ends of the spectrum in various stages of my life. The difference, as I recall it, is that poverty spared us so much more than money ever could. The simplicity in things provided us with a sense of freedom I never saw in my father, or in our life, when money dominated our existence. It’s a strange phenomenon, but it’s true.
Of course, I work. My husband works. Our children go to school, as we once did, with the hope that one day they will find a place, a way to sustain themselves with whatever tools education has provided them. But we have eventually learned, and I hope with enough years left before us, that so many of the things we held as a means to our overall self-fulfillment, never really brought us any closer to it. It turns out, that when we decided to let things go – like a “traditional” job, or the need to own so much – a house, a nice car – we stepped further away from what society dictated was the American Dream, but closer to what we saw as Our Dream. So we set out to live a life where we would need money less to have the freedom to do more.
We live in a world where what you do, who you know, where you live, what you drive, what you wear, defines so much of who you are. By not following the standards, we leave a lot of people wondering, guessing, judging. Our children will most likely feel the pressure to fit it, to not be so difficult to define, to belong.
Our hope is that in the end, they will find their courage and their path, the one we work so hard to show them, and pursue their joy in a way that not only doesn’t fit the mold, but breaks it. The way I see it, travel gives them the courage and insight they need to be different, be free, and be happy.
As I tell me children often, “Be careful with your ambitions. If they are too small, or too big, you risk living a life unfulfilled. Be kind, be strong, be brave, but most of all always aim to find the middle ground so that you can also be happy.” Of all my dreams, that they live a life of joy, as I am living mine, is my greatest desire.
What do you desire?
Tragedy and Hope – What if money did not matter? – Narrated by Alan Watts