Monday, February 26, 2007
What would you choose?
I got this excellent question from my friend's daughter's blog. How would you answer?

If you could choose one lifestyle for the rest of your life would it be:

Rich with a maid, mansion, servants, and whatever objects you want. You don't have to work. Your only complaint is that it is kind of lonely.

Ok, you have to work. It is a crummy job and you hate it but you get enough money. You only get to have ONE friend and ONE family member. Your only complaint is that you want a new job.

Poor with a ton of supporting friends that help you get through life. You are very happy with your life because you get to live with your family and friends but you just barely get enough food. Your only complaint is that you wish you had more clothes.



posted by Mike Clawson at 9:57 PM | Permalink |


At 2/27/2007 09:46:00 AM, Blogger gerbmom

My choice? I know this sounds "virtuous" or whatever, but it really isn't. It's honestly the way I feel. And in many ways based on issues in my life.
I would love money to be able to do things. I would love a maid, so I had time to do things. But without a friend, what good would that do me? Part of the joy of life is sharing special times - good or bad with others. Having a relationship.
I wouldn't choose number 2 either - even tho I had a friend. Because that kind of job would make my life hell, and then what good would I be to my friend? To my family? I would want to be able to bring something to the table - and a bitter tired self would not be beneficial to anyone.
I would so hate to be poor, but if I had my friends I would be rich indeed. I really want to learn to simplify my life anyway, and get by with much less. Including Food. Things, while they do make life easier, are not what makes life life for me. Bearing one anothers burdens, sharing one anothers joys, telling stories, laughing, comforting, consoling, understanding - really, community is what it is all about. And in that I think I would be the closest I could come to being happy. So that is what I would choose. Relationships.
Who cares about clothes anyway? ;)


At 3/16/2007 01:52:00 AM, Blogger Richard Wade

In a way I have lived all three of these lifestyles, just not as extreme as described by the young woman's question.

As a child and a teen I had affluent parents with a big house and plenty of material things. However my father suffered from alcoholism so the rest of us did too. Love, closeness and friendship were seriously limited and perturbed.

As an adult I spent many years with pretty good paying jobs that I hated. I had little time or energy for friends, and had, as the question describes just one family member, my wife and one friend with whom I spent any time.

When our daughter reached high school my working wife and I decided that I should quit and be the stay at home parent, to give our daughter support and guidance. This cut our combined income in half, but we have never regretted it. Even now that our daughter is grown and living elsewhere, my wife and I don't want me to return to full time work. I can give my wife, our daughter, my mother, our friends and our neighbors enough time and energy to nurture rich, satisfying relationships. I do part time work which I enjoy very much.

So in this milder way I favor the third choice. Family, friends, love and time for enjoying simple things is worth more than bags of money.

There is however a limit to that scenario, and that is going beyond the line of having enough food and shelter. When those are not adequate for basic human needs, no person should think it wrong to adjust their values and make some sacrifices of other things to provide them.

Find your ever-shifting balance.


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