Rich Art

I Wish I Was Rich

“What does being rich mean to you?” he asked, “Two different things at two different times in my life.” I replied.

In my youth, I would always utter the words “I wish I was rich.” Each time I would sigh in frustration, angered that I could be denied my wants and needs. Though, I was not alone. The words were declared through a chorus of voices around me. My friends, my family, and every stranger I encountered would profess this wish when we saw others with something we wanted. That wish, those few little words, bound the idea of wealth and consumption and that if we just had more, we would be much better off.

At least, that is what all the street billboards and TV ads told me.

Looking back, I can find that all were afflicted with this wish. No matter how many times they dropped a coin in the wishing well, blew out a birthday candle, or successfully snapped a wishing bone, their wishes remained prayers in the wind.

As the adults wished for more money in their wallet, I began to associate the wish of being rich, to the wish of being able to buy. With my first job in hand, I turned those wishes into reality. And if I wished for the right thing, others would admire me for it and wish for their own.

This was my introduction to consumerism.

As I devoured the newly purchased products, my tastes grew. Oh, how tired I grew of the number of things I had. It was now about the label. I had reached a new exclusive tier of rich that my friends would surely enjoy. An ever escalating game such as this would not show signs of relief. For every increase of pay I received, I needed more to fulfill my many, many wishes.

It was here that I learned the error of my ways and was forced to face myself and ask what I truly sought out of life. A simple question, but one that requires you to reflect and challenge everything you’ve learned. To undergo kenosis. A rebirth of self with new understanding. You have to be prepared to philosophically die. And I did.

Being rich is now no longer about money and the things I have. The coin has been replaced with happiness. The dollar has been replaced with health. And the _things, _the stuff, the products, and all that I’ve engorged myself on has been replaced with home.

It took many years but I have finally learned that it is not about what you don’t have but it is about what you do.