7 July 2009 – On Money

“It’s no longer financially viable” they say as the reason the Royal Show is having its last year this year.  I know we’re having a global recession and I don’t make any pretence of having a full understanding of global markets and financial conditions but it seems to me that everything is about money nowadays.  When did the world become such an avaricious place or has it always been like that and I’m only just waking up to it?

I remember when I was young, I wanted to grow up and live in a big house with lots of big rooms and expensive furniture.  As I got older, I realised that the reality of this was that a big house would take more looking after, more cleaning, more heating and decided that perhaps I didn’t want that after all.  My ambitions are a little more modest now.  I have a moderate house which doesn’t take too long to clean or too much money to heat (or keep cool) and is big enough for me.  Probably, in some ways, too big for me.  Strictly I don’t need three bedrooms but I have one as an office/study and one as a spare room for guests.  I know that I’m very lucky to have this and I do appreciate it.  I have no ambitions to get married or share my home in any way with anyone else, other than on a temporary, short-term guest, basis.  Although I would love lots of land with my house, the reality again is that I know I wouldn’t be able to look after lots of land and would need someone to look after it for me, again incurring more expense.

So what drives the ambition to move onto constantly bigger and better?  Why is it necessary to pay some people excessively salaries and huge bonuses?  Is it so that they can retire early?  Is it so that they can look at the piles of cash in their bank account and feel smug?  Is it to give them some false sense of security?  All I want from life is enough money to pay my bills every month and remain independent.  Yeah sure, I’m no saint.  I’d love to win on the lottery – but only enough to pay off my mortgage and give me a little nest egg so that perhaps I could take a job with a little more meaning (which usually pays really badly) and get some sense of achievement out of my working life.  I do get a sense of achievement from what I do, but don’t always feel that it’s particularly worthwhile on a spiritual basis.  I really don’t believe that a massive windfall or a vast salary would achieve that for me either, nor do I think it would make me any happier or more content than I am now.

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