We all regularly buy into the old line, money can’t buy you happiness, but one woman refuses to follow the crowd…
From a very young age, my mother drilled in me the idea that I would have to marry rich, and that I would be plain stupid to choose someone for love over dough. She clearly told me that she will not help with taking care of my future children and that I would have to hire nannies. She did not teach me to cook or clean and wanted me to just hire help for those things, too.
I know what you are thinking, but no, it did not entirely turn out like this actually. I have my faults, but am not completely useless. My mother’s method was an extreme and somewhat weird way to show her love. Essentially, she just wanted me to remain a princess for life, but I do get her point. Money is important.
Let’s explore a few popular beliefs, or dare I say myths?
1) Money can’t buy love.
In the film, Titanic, the hero was poor and the villain was rich. Whenever there are two dudes competing for a woman, we are supposed to root for the poor guy. We are told that when it comes to love, money simply doesn’t matter. In The Pursuit of Happyness, things are a bit different and the wife of Will Smith’s character leaves him because he does not make enough. So, what’s it to be?
Looks, personality and charisma can only get one so far. When the honeymoon period is over, all that is left are bills, bills, and more bills. No one can pay these with mere love and sunshine and fresh air. Without hard cash, resentment, frustration and blame will creep in.
Sure, money cannot buy you the actual state of being in love. But, a lack of money can most certainly prevent it.
You can do it if you have a shitload of money. Screw everyone, take the whole family, go, and don’t look back. Simple.
2) Money can’t buy you peace of mind.
It depends on perspective. When the hustle and bustle of life gets to you and all you want to do is to fly away to a remote island, do you have the means to simply give everyone the finger, drop everything and go? You can do it if you have a shitload of money. Screw everyone, take the whole family, go, and don’t look back. Simple.
Take a hard-driven Wall Street investment banker and a poor fisherman. The banker is made to look like an idiot because he is highly stressed and worrying himself into an early grave, while the fisherman is smoking a cigarette, barbequing his catch and watching the waves roll in at the end of the day.
The difference is, when shit happens, the banker has options. He can choose to opt out of the rat-race and retire wherever he pleases. When his kids get sick, he can give them the best medical care possible.
For the fisherman, kicking back and watching the sun set will not be as enjoyable when his sick kids are screaming at home, assuming he has one that he is struggling to pay rent for.
3) Money can’t buy the best things in life.
In one of my all-time favorite sitcoms, Friends, Phoebe, the poorest of them all, was once homeless, but she had her guitar. She sang songs like Smelly Cat, Sticky Shoes and Su-su-suicide.
Sounds good? No, I didn’t think so.
What about sleep? That’s free right? Not exactly. Anyone with back problems will tell you that the difference between an expensive mattress and a cheap mattress is the difference between extreme pain and no pain.
And Friends, those come free too, right? Sure, if you host them and do not plan to feed them. And, if they all live within walking distance and you do not have to pay for gas to go see them.
So, yes, the best things in life are free, but it takes money to maintain and enjoy them.
4) Money can’t buy time.
Actually, it can.
The number one complaint of a stay-at-home mom is “I wish there were more hours in the day!” Said mom is single-handedly cooking, cleaning, feeding and bathing her children. She has no time for herself at all, resorting to five-minute showers and reading to her children while on the toilet.
Money can hire professional nannies to take care of your children so you can go out for date nights with your spouse, take a mini vacation or go learn a new skill.
5) Money can’t buy success.
Money can buy the best education available for your children. No, of course this does not guarantee success, but it gives them an edge over others.
Take a prestigious private school in Conneticut over a public school in the ghetto of Compton. In the latter, kids go to schools telling stories of how they heard shootings in the night, how Daddy came home drunk and beat up Mommy and how their heating got cut because they could not pay their bills.
Not that everyone in private school farts rainbows and sings Disney songs to gathering animals, but the constant stress is not there and everybody’s families are, for the most part, respectable and normal. At the very least, your children will not come back from school with the knowledge of how to construct pipe bombs.
So, money does matter. Instead of being embarrassed to admit it, we should be shouting it from the rooftops and printing it on fridge magnets. Suggesting otherwise does not make us spiritually enlightened or morally superior. It makes us clueless.