Thanks to theenchantedlabyrinth’s comments I’ve started to think about how we’re seeing material things as signs of how important someone is in society. Apparently, the more money and possessions someone has, the more important that person is. I believe we got this all wrong.
It is true that most successful and important people have lots of money and lots of possessions and that’s what we see about them, but we’re missing something and that something is value. These people are successful because they brought value to other people. The money is just a consequence. Picture it this way: every fire has a smoke. The fire is the value that person brings into society and the smoke is the money. The money is nothing else than a reward for the value those people bring. And we all do this. Whenever we go to a restaurant and we love how the waiter serves us, we leave a big tip. No one is asking us for this, but we do it as a form of appreciation for the service we received.
That’s what successful people do. They find ways to serve us and the better we’re served, the more tips we want to leave. The bigger the fire is, the more smoke it creates. Whenever we want to get warm, our goal is to create a fire, not the smoke. Sometimes the smoke is quite annoying (ok, I don’t think they find money annoying, but still… you get my point).
The problem with people is that they only see the tips, the smoke. They don’t see the actual work and the value those people bring so the chase is for the smoke, not for the fire. We usually categorize someone as successful by the amount of money that person has, not by the value that person brings and it’s not quite right.
What value would you like to bring in other people’s lives?
35 thoughts on “The Material Status Quo”
I think it’s a little idealistic to look at fat cats as on people servants. I know it’s a useful point of view for a person but it’s not true.
It’s like it’s probably there is some profit for god-believers in their belief but I am not sure there is some connection with real state of things.
We live in some kind of zoo. Wolf could be a nice creature but nor for a hare. I know there is Musk, Jobs bur all the way.
About the Musks and Jobs I’m talking about here, not about the fat cats.
Yes, they are cool. But I think about some film-makers or musicians. They do very cool stuff and it goes a flop but at the same time some very weak tune gets 10 grade 9 views on youtube. You know, there are Disney, Marvel and so on. There is always a choice between art and success.
Yes! Well, they are servants too. They are providing awesome content for us to improve ourselves (moods through awesone movies or skills tutorials or podcasts).
I would like to reach those people standing on the edge of the cliff (real or metaphorical), and make them feel that they’re not alone. My way of doing that is to work on creating fictional characters that people can relate to when they’re walking a dark road.
When it comes to material possessions and money, what really matters is how they got them. I respect those people who had to fight their way out of bad situations to get their money and success…but am not impressed by people who were handed everything to them on a plate (silver spooners) or lottery winners.
I love the fact that you try to help people through your writing. That’s why I try to do with this blog. As for the people that got things through luck or things like that, good for them.
Never thought about this question…it sounds so global* to me
Not necessarily. You can think about the people around you.
I don’t think about them much 😉 but I’m glad they r around…
I’m sure they’re glad too.
this is a great insight in a world of materialism
Thank you! 😀
I think it depends greatly on how an individual defines success. Our environment has a fairly strict definition, but we are all capable of breaking that down and inserting our own. Success for me is understanding. If I can understand some of the basic mysteries of life and my part in it, I’d feel successful. How much I create and how much I give away doesn’t come into it for me. Great post.
Yes, of course success is different from a person to another and success has nothing to do with material stuff, but this might apply when the material stuff come and that person is identified as “successful” by other people.
I’m part of the clean-up crew, also the gate keeper, chef, book keeper, and teacher.
Don’t follow someone else’s reality, follow your heart and dreams… 🙂
“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Yeah, but if we get blinded by the smoke, it can be harder to see what we really want.
Only the mind gets blinded by the smoke, the heart knows no obstacles… 🙂
Do you mean as smoke producer or as somebody who is standing next to that successful person and gets blinded? Hopefully money will never change my longing for being friendly and helping others. Actually I learned that it’s often easier to help others if you have a kind of influence. It’s a pity that our society works like this but money opens a lot of doors. And I like the thought that poor people thinking is poor and rich people thoughts are rich. Successful people never focus on a certain problem. They find solutions for problems of people.
Not necessarily standing next to them, but looking at them only through the smoke those successful people produce.
What kills me is when rich people waste their money on stupid stuff. Like we spent a million on strippers and beer or those who buy one pair of shoes after another. I’m like you only have two feet. You don’t need to brag about wasting money on 800 pairs of shoes. You can turn on the TV or get on YouTube right now and you will one dumbass after another bragging that they are stupid. It’s stupid because they say they will only wear it once. So for the shoes they buy and the one time use that is like throwing down five or six grand each and every day just for a pair of shoes. If you work hard and make your money you should be able to spend it but they are NOT bringing themselves happiness. If they were happy they wouldn’t have to do it each and every day. Schindler’s List changed the way I viewed money. That scene at the end where he was like I could have helped and saved more people if he had sold his car and his rings. That scene was to me the saddest in the entire movie and it really impacted the way I view money. Now I didn’t think he needed to sell his car and I don’t think those who have 800 pairs of shoes need to clear out their closets. My thought is if those people want to stop feeling empty inside then take a LITTLE, just a little of what they have be it time or money and help someone else. When you help someone else that is how you get full. I heard a preacher say long ago you are unhappy because you are selfish and believe the world has become super selfish and that is a huge reason everyone is unhappy. I don’t see myself trying to shout this to the rooftops because even if my words got through to anyone I would still come across as someone who is trying to tell others what to do. I used to believe telling is how you make a difference and now I know you teach others by showing. My lips are sealed but my actions speak loud and clear.
Awesome insights! Thank you for sharing this! 🙂
Lets our actions speak! Yes totally agree. But believe me I know there are a lot of successful people who support others without speaking about it. Why does it bother you if other people buy expensive stuff? Because the show off with that stuff? My boat, my plane, my Porsche my wife 😆. There are a lot of people out there who spend a lot of money have big cars always do good stuff and help other beside their special lifestyle for example Christiano Ronaldo or Mesüt Özil.
The people I’m talking about help no one.
Ok. I am glad that I don’t have contact with those kind of people
I was listening to a podcast recently (maybe NPR but I really don’t remember) that talked about how material things used to represent wealth, success, power, social status- having the best car or best dress. But rather now free time, health/wellness and more “invisible” things we buy represent wealth. Like buying organic foods, private pilates classes, having a babysitter so you can go out, having a house cleaner so you don’t have to do it etc. Interesting idea! Thanks for the post 🙂
Thank you for reading and for taking your time to share your thoughts!
I’m going to say that it’s often disrespectful to me, to see the way the super rich spend their money – and how they earn it. (Thinking of a certain “leader” here) – By using loopholes in laws, screwing over contractors and employees, being flashy… “Well, if those people just worked harder, they too could have the 8 bedroom home, the collection of cars, the jewels.” Bull. It depends so much on education, luck, being in the right place at the right time – there’s a lot that doesn’t get factored in by the smugly wealthy.
I’m not opposed to capitalism at all. What I’m opposed to is the rich not paying their fair share of taxes because it’s “their” money, I’m completely lost as to why anyone would feel so fragile in their ego, that they would need to have a diamond encrusted phone case. Yes, the Carnegies were flashy, they also provided libraries across the US. Warren Buffet donated almost all his wealth to charity. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – those are people whose fires I respect. They weren’t in it for the smoke but to make things better.
I don’t have those resources – and I’m not sure I’d know where to put them if I did. I’m still going with kindness is important. Being able to support the people you love – and sometimes even stepping back to let them find their own way.
Yeah, well there are those people who would do and did anything and everything to have money but to bring value to other people and they are not included here. I’m talking about people who use their money to help the society.
I feel that it’s becoming less of a trend. Call it morality or fear or whatever you want…
If I had the choice of what my “smoke” would bring to other people, regardless of the size of my “fire” – acceptance; kindness, love – a trend towards being good neighbors would be my goal.
That’s a trend that should be common sense.
Common sense would be a delightful contagion!
Yes, it would.