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Miami

June 23, 2011

I’ve always been interested in the pathology of the ultra-rich or super talented or extremely important.  Like, how does money or power or importance turn a normal person into a narcissist or a-hole or a guy that saves all his urine in jars?  I’m sure there was a point when Lebron James or Mitch McConnell or that guy at Exxon with the two giant chins acted sort of like you and me.

I guess what I’m wondering is, if I work my ass off and take huge chances and achieve everything I would like in terms of worldly success, do I have to become a jerk that despises himself and can’t relate to people?  I see it all the time.  Is there a middle ground where I get to be a scientist who invents or discovers some amazing thing, eventually becoming a grizzled, successful old man with lots of interesting experiences and a heart of gold?

Seems like people thrive on some level of toil, and something to look forward to.  Maybe that supreme greed and all-around disconnectedness is how people deal with not having goals and challenges.

One of my favorite books of the bible is Ecclesiastes.  It’s way different than most of the Bible.  It’s written by a wealthy, powerful man pondering the meaning of life.  His refrain is “Vanity, vanity!  Everything is vanity!”  The writer concludes, basically, that there’s nothing better in life than having a long life, a wife that he loves, and a fulfilling job, and to revere God, who gives a man life, and doesn’t withhold these good things.

It’s fair to say that’s what I want deep down.  Not really riches, just fulfillment.  Not comfort, just peace.  I just keep telling myself it’ll never happen till I reach a certain level of personal success.  Like it’s not worth the effort till I make 75k a year and I’m a bodybuilder.  I guess that’s the trap.  People start out with all these noble desires, and on the way they get blindsided by some poor imitation of what they really want.

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