The Absurdity of Wealth | Power Yoga

The Absurdity of Wealth

In general, us humans have an unhealthy and misguided obsession with wealth. It’s obvious that our entertainment and news media support and facilitate our obsession but I’m wondering where it comes from? Not that it really matters, what matters is it exists and needs a light shined on it so we can decide whether we want to continue this obsession.

This is where I think it comes from: For 99.9% of human existence (and prior i.e. Neanderthals) we didn’t have enough. We didn’t have enough food, safety, warmth, shelter and certainly control of much of anything. Basically, scarcity was the modus operandi. Back then wealth could be defined as having some or all of that stuff in abundance. So, there is no argument that being wealthy back then was intricately linked to survival and propagation of our species. So, wanting wealth may be in our DNA. So even though a middle-class income will provide for us all the necessities mentioned above our DNA is driving us endlessly to have more, creating an obsession toward wealth and an envy of those who have achieved it. Anyways that’s what I could come up with. But as I said why it exists doesn’t really matter, dealing with it and it’s absurdity is what matters so let’s do that. After all extreme wealth doesn't make our problems go away it just distracts us from many of them while creating a whole host of new problems.

As mentioned above a modest income is all that’s needed for security. What is a modest income? Well, that’s subjective but it ain’t going to allow you two multimillion dollar homes or more, Rolls Royces, private planes and $5000 per day exclusive vacations multiple times per year, etc…. BUT what a modest income does allow is something the super wealthy cannot buy but so desperately want and is under appreciated in our culture. What a modest income forces us to have is the things that without them leave a great emptiness and disconnection. Let’s have a good look and appreciate the special gift of not having too much so we can end this obsession with wealth.

A modest income allows us to put the focus on family and friends instead of on materialism and accumulating more. It allows us or forces us to live in neighborhoods where kids run up and down the streets, lovers stroll hand in hand, neighbors not only know each other but look out for each other. It supports community. As opposed to walled off mansions with security gates. It allows us the time to talk to the mailman or neighbor, to trust that the people in our life want nothing more from us than our friendship. A modest income allows us to appreciate the little things like a new television or a new coating of paint on our house or a rare visit to a fancy restaurant or family ski vacation. A modest income forces us to do our own gardening and get our hands dirty and connect with the earth. A modest income allows us to be less busy, less employees, less obligations, less stuff to maintain, less drama and less stress! It forces us to deal with who we are and what we have done and to care for what we have, as it doesn’t allow us to buy our way out of situations. It promotes humility instead of arrogance, as our self worth is not measured on how much we have it’s measured on how well we are liked. Is it so crazy to see that after our basic needs are met, money and materialism becomes a distraction from what’s really important and valuable? This is a concept lost in our culture. This doesn’t mean middle-class people don’t have problems. It means they can deal with their problems and overcome them instead of distracting themselves with a busier more materialistic life or paying for those problems to be gone.

Absurd wealth is like stress on steroids not only because the more you have the more you have to take care of, and the more you have the more people want and expect from you, and the more you have the less honest the people in your life will be. But also, the more you have the greater the illusion that you are in control, the more attached you become to being in control. This means the more you suffer when you are confronted with situations you can’t control. These are issues that are either non-existent or minimal to someone of modest income.

Lastly, I'd like to add here how when I was a young boy I used to idolize and desire the big muscles of a bodybuilder. I learned through my culture this type of man was respected. I used to feel like the more muscles the better and bodybuilders were the epitome of masculinity. Now that I am less influence by my cultural perspective I can see more clearly and I understand what real strength is as well as what real health and wellness are. Now I look at those type of bodies as grotesque almost like a deformation of the human body completely unnatural. That's kind of the way I feel about wealth. Up to a certain point wealth is important but beyond that it becomes grotesque! I just read a story of a super rich person who spent $500 million on a new yacht and it's so big it requires a $75 million second yacht as a support ship to travel with it wherever it goes. For me this is beyond absurd it’s grotesque!

This all may seem like an essay attacking the rich but that’s inaccurate. This is an essay attacking materialism. Materialism is not a disease of the rich it's a disease of our culture. It's just that if you're rich the disease has a greater chance of metastasizing. The goal of this essay was to help people realize what they have is most likely enough and having more is not necessarily more fulfilling and most likely more detrimental. I actually heard a study a long time back that says after we have enough money to lift us from poverty that money contributes to happiness nothing.

sincerely, bryan