On Wealth

Dec 14, 2007 at 1:31 PM
I'm surrounded by wealthy people in a minor mecca of oppulence in America, Palm Springs.

This morning, I went to the Hotel restaurant to eat, and I'm all smiles, because Michael/Woody is treating me very well.

The woman sitting at the next table is dripping with the ephemora of wealth, the gold earrings, the bejeweled sandals, the wristwatch that costs enough to feed a small third world country. Her wry face and staid elegance reeked of "I'm too much better than you to communicate to". She was trying to be as unhappy as possible while eating her 40 dollar waffle and fruit plate.

I had been talking to the waiter, his name is Ignacio, and he's from Michoacan, which I know something about. He's called Iggy by his friends. His wife was the omelette chef, and had done a spectacular job making me a spinach omelette (almost as good as the ones at the B&B back home that cost about 15% as much). I liked Iggy, he's a bright shining star of kindness and deserves the good tip I left.

Meanwhile, the lady at the next table treats him like the Mexican low-level help she sees him as, complaining about the service.

I smile at everyone, and look around me cheerfully, so every waiter and waitress in the place is treating me like royalty, and I'm getting some of the best table service I've ever had. My cup of coffee is refilled before I think about it, my orange juice runneth over.

The lady at teh next table accidentally knocks her napkin off, and I get it from the floor and use the opportunity to strike up a conversation. She's here for a weekend of golf with her husband, and I start running tone scale drills on her. Eventually, she's laughing deep belly laughs and talking about how funny those working husbands are, taking you places and disappearing for hours to work.

We walked out together, still smiling.

She's going to have a better weekend now, I think.

Basically, it's just more proof to me that money has nothing to do with happiness.

Back home in Myrtle Pt, a guy named Tim is happily working for a probably tiny wage, lugging wood around the Hardware store, living his life in constant happiness, because he's a great person and his life is a generally happy one that he has created for himself.

I know about 20 people in Myrtle Pt, who collectively make less than that woman's husband does, but her mood was sour and dry. I really found her to be in need of help, company, someone to talk to.

The money means nothing. I pay attention to the emotional tone someone displays, the willingness to communicate, to help. How real are they? What does the social veneer cover?

Can they be of value to others?

That's the real sign of a successful life.

1 Responses to On Wealth

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Congratulations on ur nuptuals. I saw the comment on ur MySpace from Michael/Woody's team. When did u tie the knot? Was it in Palm Springs? Do you have any pictures to post? I bet ur girls were excited. I wish u all the happiness in the world. U have turned me into a true believer again.