Even if we were as wealthy as Bill Gates, we still wouldn’t be happy. I guarantee it. We are human beings and, for most people, need heartache, uneasiness, and discontent in our lives. I know it sounds wrong at first but I believe it is mostly true (It is also one of Buddha’s Four Noble Truths, called “Dukkha“). Dukkha includes, but is not limited to, the English-language concepts of stress, pain, impermanence/change, and conditioning by others (dependence).
“Keeping up with the Jones'” is one natural byproduct of Dukkha. Once we get what we want, we start thinking about the next thing we want. Our cup is never full…. this is consumerism at its finest. Of course, the love of owning stuff is a modern past-time out here in Asia too and everyone is doing it. But what I’ve realized in recent years is that ALL of us, fundamentally, are human beings; even super stars like Madonna. We all eat, sleep, wake up, brush our teeth, cry, and lose loved ones. We all deal with the same trials and tribulations in life. Nobody escapes the realities bound to flesh.
So, what I propose is to simplify life, rather than complicate it with over-consumption. Money, when it comes, should help you reduce the loads in life, not cast you deeper into a black hole of owning stuff. Buy less, eat less, waste less, argue less… Because, and I’m sure we’ve all heard it before, less is truly “more”. More relaxation, more adventure, more love….more of whatever you enjoy. Because where we all go, someday, does not allow carry-ons.
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