Saturday, May 23, 2009

Why life is so great, and why being poor is the path to happiness.

Originally written for Lights Go Out zine in February 2008.

With all this doom and gloom about the financial arse up we’re currently suffering (thanks to greedy banking sorts) it’s easy to temporarily forget just how great life really is.

Speak to most financially successful folk and they’ll quote either their childhood or a time of near bankruptcy as the happiest time of their lives. There must be a reason for this. Why do people that strive so hard to submerge themselves in a huge pile of cash revel so much in memories of poverty? It can’t be that musing on past poverty highlights just how much cash they’ve made can it? I think it’s because money brings hassle.

Now I’m as lazy as the next oik and to a certain extent the thought of unimaginable wealth makes me unimaginably queasy. I’m sure the average Joe Public idolises the lottery because they thing that more money means less work. Whilst it might be true that after even a modest lottery win the chances are you’ll never have to sit in a factory for twelve hours straight ever again, but the stresses of cash management can bring far more harmful health effects than you may think. For one thing the most you have the materialistic you will become, and therefore the further from happiness you will have travelled. Why do you think the hate filled piously unfulfilled folk that support the BNP (they’re ultra hardcore Tories remember) get so riled up about immigration? It’s because they are worried that Johnny Foreigner wants to take their STUFF, their things, their material possessions.

I’ll end this itty bitty column by taking this logic to its extreme; if you owned nothing, if you had no money at all what would your priorities be? I very much doubt you’d be worried about the local smack heads breaking into your house to nick your plasma screen telly! This could very nearly bring me to another point about the illegality of drugs being the main cause of drug problems, but that’s for another time and this was supposed to be a positive column!


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