If you are among those people who say that money is not equal to happiness, please move on to my other posts because I am just about to seriously offend you.
I got myself into a hot discussion with my friend, Kamau, who I find it important to point out that has been married for 10 years, has three school going sons, has had a pretty fair share of life’s ups and downs and is an experienced business person. As you can already tell, he is waay older than I am so naturally if we were to talk about life, he’d have much more to say than I, a 20 year old.
On this particular morning, I notice that Edward seems very weary. I go over to his desk to inquire of the matter and he says he slept late reading a book. He continues to say that he felt like he was growing less and less each day, and that is why he found it necessary to push himself harder to make up for the time he feels he’s lost. I sit there and we continue to talk about money and how we needed to make a lot of it before we ran out of time and grew old. Kamau, who is barely minding his own business across the table listens for a while. I can see him from the corner of my eye. He seems to want in on the conversation but probably fears we’ll ask him to mind his own shit. Eventually, he could not bear listening to all the ‘unrealistic’ lies that we were feeding each other, so he speaks.
“You guys are wrong. Money is not everything. Your life is much more than..”
At this moment in my head, I had already had enough of his speech. How does one say that money is not the basis of life itself? Where does one even get the confidence to say that it is not money that brings about happiness?
Anyway, I was taught well to listen before I ignore.
“..You may have all the money in the world but you are sick in a comma with a terminal disease. You may have all the money in the world but your only child is gay! You may have all the money in the world but you are impotent…etc etc. All these things I have mentioned certainly cause great sadness in anyones life. Money cannot erase all sadness.”
He continued to say that “What you need is just enough money to help you live your daily life normally.”
I disagreed to some great extent. I found his argument a bit biased, because he doesn’t have any much money himself either. Maybe we were hurting his ego with our talk. Maybe.
According to me, we have three main pillars of life. Money (at the centre), Religion (on the right) and Health (on the far left). Not convinced? Watch out for my next post where I will explain to you in detail what I mean.
“Kamau, do you like travelling?” I asked.
“Yes, I love travelling. If I had the money, I would travel with my sons to different parts of the earth every year four times.” He responded.
“So you are not travelling because you do not have the money to travel. The only travel your boys know is upcountry (Nakuru – where the grandparents stay) and Limuru (where the other grandparents stay). Doesn’t it cause mild frustration that you cannot afford to take them to Malindi on a 5-day holiday, something that you would easily do if you had the money?”
By now, Kamau’s face expressed discomfort. This conversation was getting out of hand, and into his nerves.
“You are right, money does not erase all sadness, ” I continue, ” but let me ask; if you do not have money, how do you seek treatment at a good hospital that has well motivated professional doctors? How do you even go for check ups which will help identify illnesses before they become worse in your body? Without money, how do you meet your daily needs and secondary wants? How do you even live? How do you take your children to a good school without having to worry about school fees? How do you grow your businesses? How do you gain influence and power? How do you just do anything without chums? Mind you, even though they say that a girl is attracted by a man’s potential, money is the basic minimum requirement. You will not eat potential my friend!”
“Don’t base your life on money. Even the Bible says in Psalm 62:10 ..if riches increase, do not set your heart on them…”
“Exactly my point, if riches increase. You have to first have riches. The only thing you have to be cautious about is letting the money overpower you such that it prevails over your judgement. Who wakes up in the morning and says, “Oh, what a beautiful day! I am broke!” I interject.
“Oliver I rest my case. You are still young, life will teach you.” With that, Kamau stands from his table and walks away, frustration and annoyance painted all over his face.
I am not sure whether he is annoyed because there is some truth to my argument, or because he feels bad about himself, about the fact that he has had to be content with his situation because he has not made enough money to do most of the things he wanted to do.
I turn to Edward (who has been considerably quiet) and ask him what his opinion is on the argument. He says, “Jonathan Swift (an English poet) once said, “A wise person should have money in their head, but not in their heart.” Money is very good, all that matters is where it lies within us.”
Well… how does one even respond to such wisdom!
What’s your opinion? Comment below.