December – The Official Month of Ungratefulness – Meditation #12

Today I got an email from my mother. She just wanted to check in to make sure that I’m not truly as irritable and grumpy as these meditations make me sound and that I’m just having a laugh. Fortunately, she gets me and had already assumed the latter, but it does concern me that other people may not quite be getting the gist of these meditations.

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So, for the sake of clarity and to make sure that I’m not encouraging further entitlement among my readers, I will make this a public service announcement. Before I do, I will whine for just a moment though. You know, it’s fucking difficult to commit to a daily meditation when you’re not getting paid. If I were greedy, I’d become some sort of self help guru, finding a way to make everyone feel bad about themselves and them tell them I have the secret to making them feel better. If I were even greedier, I’d pretend to be a Christian and rake in the money to give you guilt free entrance to heaven.

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Unfortunately for me, and for anyone named in my very meagre will, I’m not greedy. I’m not even slightly motivated by money. Don’t get me wrong. I’ll do what needs to be done to survive. I’ve shoveled animal shit and I’ve cleaned human shit out of toilets. I’ve sold fruit and vegetables, t-shirts and advertising space to make a living. Trust me, selling advertising space in the Institute of Packaging’s Desk Diary is no easy feat. But, if I have enough to live to my level of comfort, in the present, that’s all I want or need.

The problem is that there are times when I wish I were stupid rich.  Please don’t get that confused. I don’t mean rich and stupid. I use the term ‘stupid’ to indicate that someone would have so more money than they need that it’s fucking stupid. But I do also think that many stupid rich people are, in fact, rich and stupid.

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They could be having so much fucking fun doing shit for kids and animals – c’mon, who doesn’t get off on making needy kids and animals happy? They could become heroes by saving endangered species and buying up millions of acres of forest to preserve it for future generations. They could pump money into regions destroyed by war, because as we all know, those fucking wars are not about religion, they are about resources. Comfortable, secure, safe and happy people don’t have to fight. Fuck, they could change the world, permanently and make it a better place for generations to come.

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What to most of them do instead? They spend their lives chasing more money. They don’t tend to seem like they are truly enjoying life to the full and despite all the accoutrements of wealth and don’t actually have much freedom, constrained by the mores associated with their wealth and status. They are like those sad hoarders you see on TV specials, who collect as much shit as possible to surround themselves and fill an emotional gap.

So, today I pronounce that I am ungrateful that I have never been hugely motivated by money. Not even slightly, to be honest. I’ve had a roof over my head for most of my adult life (not all of it), been able to feed and care for myself and my pets. I’ve also traveled, had tons of adventures and have plans to make the next half of my life as fun as the last. I can take time off whenever I want and pretty much wear, say, do, explore, play with and create anything that takes my fancy. My wealth, I realise, is relative. Isn’t it interesting though, that the people with the least tend to be the ones that do the most to help others? You don’t see greedy fucking teachers, nurses, firefighters, animal welfare professionals or paramedics. You don’t see rich ones either.

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Oh yeah. That public service announcement I promised. There seems to be direct correlation between how self important people are and their inability to comprehend sarcasm and humour. So, for those who are taking this far too seriously, get over your fucking selves. Unless you’re a greedy fucking rich arsehole, who isn’t spending your time appreciating what you’ve got and making the world a better place not just for yourself and those who you think are ‘worthy’ but for everyone. Take this seriously. Go fuck yourself. Oh, wait a minute. You don’t have to. You can pay someone to do that. Fuck.

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