The Real Cost of Living

On a long, long drive I started letting my mind wander. I think i was deep in my thoughts when my ears must have heard someone say, ‘oh he’s so rich that these trivial things don’t affect him’. Now that’s an interesting debate for my idle mind! So i started wondering whether only lesser mortals who don’t have bags and pillows stuffed with money are paying a price for life. And by that i mean is life only bothering us who have limited resources and unlimited longings?

 A close friend of mine had once said that she would never want to be famous. Because according to her, it was too big of a sacrifice to make for the extra bucks and the page three appearances. I shrugged; who doesn’t want to be a celebrity i thought. But on this long long drive i realized that there’s so much more to this than meets the superfluous eye. And that my friend might not be as stupid as i dismissed her to be.
How does greed and ambition drive us? They push us to go that extra mile, get out of our comfort zones and chase that goal that we have set for ourselves. When we are determined to get something, what we are really saying is that we are ready to change any inherent quality of ours and alter our personalities to any extent to achieve something. But what we fail to recognize is that in the bargain, we shed off a layer of our true self and go further away from our real persona. Most times we do this for more money or more fame and recognition that might look as though they make us happy but are really making us more handicapped in the long term.
There’s a price to pay for each leap of success we make. Sometimes, it means that we have to move away from home and loved ones, other times it means that we have to cultivate false bonds and deceive our own friends and family. As we climb up on the ladder of prosperity, we forget our roots and move further away from what is real about us. The more we need, the more miserable we get. And the wicked irony is that the more miserable we are, the more we try to fill the void with material comforts. We try to compensate mental peace with excesses of luxury and wealth.
There have been so many small and big instances where i have noticed how people have changed for the sake of the ‘image’ that they pass off as their real personality . For instance,
– So many women around me try to hide the simple, beautiful girl inside them with fancy bags and flamboyant shoes. It’s as if that is the only aspect of theirs that they want to show the world.
– Interesting, intelligent men obsess about expensive cars when in reality they would rather cycle to work to get rid of the traffic
– Educated mothers pressurize their kids to over achieve in everything they do.

– Parents steer their children into marrying for money more than love.
– People are judged by their accessories more than their conversations.

Life has showed me again and again that if we were to peg our relationships on the scales of money and run after ‘perceived satisfaction’ rather than genuine happiness, we are sure to lose ourselves in the rat race that never seems to end. And not just that, we’re passing this illness on to our kids as well. we’re teaching them to seek solace in superficial things rather than seek the real joys of life.

Each one of us has made these sacrifices in life, some of which have turned into regrets. If we can shed that unrelenting need to own and command, we will be able to see the world in a whole new light.

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