True Wealth needs depth

How many times do you have to hear a story containing depth or wisdom, hear a great piece of music or look at a great work of art before you decide that you have had enough. I guess I am an intense kind of person, my answer would be never. A conservative estimate would be many times. Imagine a parent who criticizes her child’s school, for taking children to an art exhibition for a fourth year in a row. Why she asks, can’t you do something different this year?

Here is a typical modern parent, confusing quantity and variety with depth. How many techno-junkies do you know who are upgrading their technology with all of the latest must haves, and yet when you ask them how many features of their existing technology they utilised, they will tell you that they did not yet have time to even read the manual in order to discovery the majority of the devises features. So what you might say, let people do what makes them happy.

I would suggest however, that this problem extends beyond entertainment and hobbies-it goes to the core of many peoples ways f being in the world in a consumerist society. We live in a world where we don’t need to think to hard, try to hard or work too hard in order to get what we want.  If we are unhappy, most problems can be solved simply with money or replacing the object of our discomfort..

Everything in our lives can be traded in, upgraded, disposed of or replaced. This applies to our stuff, it also applies to relationships. No sooner have you acquired the new model, you become tormented by the news that the upgrade of that model is soon going to be released. No matter how happy you were with the acquisition an element of disappointment creeps into the relationship, a reluctance to invest emotionally in what you have because you know that there is something better out their that you are soon going to aspiring to own. The same metaphor can be translated into the bigger and better country, job or spouse that is waiting for us as soon as we stop being sufficiently served or satisfied by what we have.

This starts with childhood, where parents often are making a fetish out of stuffing their children with stimulation, exposure and experience to serve the cause of enrichment. Ultimately true richness comes from depth. The outgrowth of getting to know someone so deeply that they become part of you, staying long enough in a job to acquire real mastery as well as a sense of reward for having been able to make a significant contribution and difference.

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