Originally Posted by SField
I think that you should stop hiding your flaws behind this general shield of humanity and accept them as your own. As I said, I've been surrounded by privileged people my entire life, and only the ones from the most dysfunctional families and situations are anything but incredibly grateful and rather disinclined to worry about accumulating as much wealth as someone else. It's not that you want to be financially successful, it's the way you present it. I don't claim to be morally perfect or even to be better than you, I just think that if what you're saying is true, then it is highly atypical of people in your circumstance. I am very confident in saying that and with your description of your upbringing find it even more strange given how you talk about your attitudes towards money. It's just not something I've ever encountered.
I'm sorry you've never encountered someone like me. Like I said, people like me are out there. Quite a few of us. Dare to consider that your own surroundings, peer groups, and upbringing are not wholly representative of everyone else's.
Solipsism makes for very bad philosophy.
Originally Posted by SField
In any case, you think your way and I think mine. I hope that you find peace in money and that upon becoming more wealthy than your cousins, do not suddenly feel pangs of inadequacy at the realization that your work has yielded a fraction of the wealth of many people around the world. That's the problem with allying your identity and self worth with something as common and ruthlessly quantifiable as money.
See, here's the problem: we're having two entirely different conversations. I posted an offhand remark/observation that money doesn't necessarily = contentment, and used myself as an example. From that statement, you've drawn a series of increasingly intense, absurd, and out-of-proportion speculations about my character and upbringing:
- that I am "depressed" about my wealth or status
- that I "ally my self-worth" with money (and, by implication, with little else)
- that I was raised poorly by my parents
- that I am not "at peace" with my existence
I'm not sure where you're finding the evidence from which to leap to these wild conclusions, but they're as personally offensive as they are off-base (not that that seems to matter to you).
I stated that I am not wholly satisfied with the amount of money I have to my name. That's it. I am neither depressed about it, nor existentially ill at ease because of it. If I were to learn that I will die next week with the bank account I have now, I'd not be 100% satisfied, but I'd certainly not be tearing my hair out and rending my garments in despair. My entire point is that most people probably fall into the same category.
From a molehill, you've built a very ugly mountain. I'm sure, at this point, you're going to accuse me of backpeddling and of downplaying the extent to which I've claimed that money matters to me. Not at all. Money matters to me. It matters a great deal to me. But it is not the all-driving force in my life that your imagination (and projection?) has made it out to be.
One gets the impression that you've got plenty of your own issues to work out, so eager as you are to diagnose others'. Unlike you, however, I will have the restraint and grounding in reality not to take wild guesses at what they might be. My parents may have totally failed and spoiled me, per your esteemed estimation -- but at least they taught me basic courtesy.