In Hot Pursuit of Money
It was very rare for my elder brother to call me in the morning hours. So, when I received his call on a frosty morning, I knew there must be something quite unusual. He had a sad news; a mutual friend had a massive heart attack, and died under the surgery. He and my brother had been friends for almost forty years. I also had come to know him very well – We had worked together on a few business deals.
He was and incredible character.
We rarely see such an insatiable thirst for money – His talk and thought were always about making more money. Money was his life – He slept money, and he breath money. He did permit neither friendship nor family to stand between him and “his” money. His family had practically abandoned him, and the only friends still in contact with him were just his business contacts. He was the most successful businessman in our group – owned a large mansion, a few millions in cash, and a couple of luxury automobiles. He suffered from a plethora of diseases, acute depression and, was a very bitter and sad person.
I felt sad, too. The poor guy never got the taste of happiness in his life. He never had the chance to sit down, relax and connect with himself. He never enjoyed the moments of peace and inner tranquility. He didn’t appreciate the devotion and love of his wife. Didn’t have the pleasure of hugging, loving and caring for his own children, and the joys of friendship eluded him.
What a pity. What a waste of life. It is so sad.
But, he was not the only one killing himself in the relentless pursuit of money. This is the case with most of us. Either we are too engrossed in hoarding the stacks of money, or running after it like a dog chasing its own tail. In the haste and frenzy of making money, there is no time to relax and enjoy the beauties of life.
Of course, unless one is a member of the “Non-Working Class”, one needs to work to make a living. Money provides the means to support whatever plans or purposes one may have in life. Naturally, the objective should have been to enjoy the life. But, the things end up upside down, and the life goes down the gutter when making the money becomes the objective, and the sole purpose for living.
This is the betrayal of life. And, it is amazing to see how many are fully devoted to butchering their own lives at the altar of money. Not realizing that the life is too short – It ends quite abruptly while one is still in the hot pursuit of money.
A long time ago, I had to endure a day long session of a motivational pep-talk. Right before letting us lose for the lunch break, the speaker decided to let us into the success story of the century so that we could munch on it along with the food. He said, “Let me tell you what the success really is. Success is Elvis Presley. Even in his death, Elvis is still making tens of millions of dollars annually.”
I couldn’t help myself shooting out a logical question, “Bravo. That is really great. But, would you please tell us how Mr. Presley is getting these tens of millions of dollars transferred to himself?”
The reaction of the speaker and audience aside, the point was the Life, and the Death, of Elvis Presley – A great singer- The King. Flooded with money indeed, but a miserable soul. He lived a sad life in a state of utter confusion and in drug addiction. He was found dead at age 42, fallen in his own vomit. His music provided millions to those he never cared for. But, what did he himself got from his life?
Life is fabulous. You need to connect with yourself to appreciate it. And, you need the time to enjoy it.
As a member of a professional organization, I receive periodic Magazines and “News” Letters. As usual, the pages are full with “motivational” and pep articles, fake smiles and fake stories – I really feel sorry for the trees that are wasted on such a crap. One issue of that magazine had highlighted a “typical” day of a Star Pro of that organization.
Here are the excerpts of the Star-Pro’s day-log taken from the Magazine:
The Star Pro in Action:
∘ 6:30 a.m. – Wake up time (pretty tired due to an extremely busy week). ∘ 7:00 a.m. – Hit the computer. ∘ 8:00 a.m. – Done with the shower and breakfast, dropped the kids to school – on the road to pick the supplies for the business presentation. ∘ 9:00 a.m. – Done shopping the supplies – Checked the Facebook and Twitter. Added multiple comments, and responded to queries. ∘ 9:45 a.m. – Meeting with the associates to set day’s goals. ∘ 10:45 a.m. – Arrived for a meeting with a client. ∘ 12:30 p.m. – Meeting took longer than expected. On the way back to office, stopped to grab a sandwich for the lunch. Eat while driving … ∘ 1:15 p.m. – Reached office in time to grab the file for my next meeting with another client. ∘ 2:00 p.m. – Arrived at the client’s place in time. The meeting was very successful. ∘ 3:00 p.m. – Back to my office to take care of the paper work. ∘ 4:30 p.m. – Finished in time for the next office meeting to present the techniques to motivate the buyers. ∘ 5:30 p.m. – Met with a client in the office. Very productive meeting. ∘ 7:00 p.m. – Hopped in the car for the last appointment of the day. ∘ 8:30 p.m. – Back to office. Very satisfied with the meeting. Called home to check if my husband was home and the children had eaten. I still have work to do. ∘ 9:00 p.m. – It is time to hit the computer to input my paper work . ∘ 10:30 p.m. – All of day’s work done. I am so happy. Finally, it is time to go home … ∘
And, of course, the smiling images of the “star professional in action” were all over the relevant pages of the magazine.
It was almost a 15 hours of non-stop action filled day! What a hardworking professional? What a piece of bull?
No denying that there are times in life when hard work and long hours are required. Those in the field of research oriented work put long hours, and enjoy every moment of it – When the call to rebuild the community or nation comes, we all have to tighten the belts and roll the sleeves up to log on the long hours. The higher purpose and the urgency of the moment keep us energized – But, at the end of the day, it is the assurance of return to a normal and natural state, that keeps us rolling.
We, as human, are a creative beings. Putting our creative skills, and the hard work in the production of goods and services for the benefit of society, is very rewarding and stimulating in itself. In our creative state, we remain connected with our inner-self, and with our own humanity. It is a natural human way of living – A life full of self-satisfaction and happiness.
A mad chase to grab more money, on the other hand, brings nothing but sorrow. The point to keep in perspective is that the money is just an instrument – a tool to achieve the objective.
Invoke your creative skills, and work hard to create the wealth through the production of goods and services needed by the humanity. The objective is to build a joyous world around you to enjoy the beauty of life.