Once history runs its course and future generations will have the chance to read the stories that make up the books of our lives, it will be a sad day when they get to the chapter where the characters we’re all playing come to the realization that nearly all of the decisions we make are contingent upon manufactured rectangles of paper that have dead guys' faces painted on them.
For full effect, download “Sixteen Tons” by Merle Travis, and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.
At some point every one of us will have to face the semi-depressing reality that the choices we make are primarily driven and controlled by money. That sounds like the plotline to an accountant’s version of George Orwell’s “1984”, but it’s the honest truth. Money is what binds us. It’s what drives us. It’s the motivating factor behind 90% of the decisions we make. And sadly, we are all victims of a monetary-driven pandemic that’s been around since Jacob bought out Esau’s birthright.
Think about it. Where we live, where we eat, what we drive, what color pair of Crocs we’re going to buy, all of these decisions are based off the number one factor being how much bling bling we’re gonna bring bring. And yes, that last sentence is a white man’s version of trying to use inner-city slang for comedic effect, but don’t go judging me too harshly. Every single material thing that makes up your personality was at one point or another purchased by some form of currency. That last statement scares the Tom’s Deli Sandwich I had for lunch right out of me.
EVERYTHING revolves around money. And yes, I all-capped the first word of this paragraph just to get through your thick skull how petrified I am by this concept. The next 50 years of my book will be decided largely by either a vast collection, or on the opposite side a depressing lack, of money. Every last detail of my life will be written by this factor. Any job I take, any house I buy, any car I purchase, any girl I decide to settle down with, these are all decisions that have money playing a key variable as to whether or not the equation will make any sense.
I’ll even ask you, why are you doing the things that you are doing right now? Just think about it for a second and go ahead and stew over that for a few minutes. Why? Why are you going to school? Or why did you just sell your car? Why is she wanting to be a nurse? Why did he interview for that job? Why is that couple deciding not to have kids for a few years? Why the heck do I want to get a PhD?
For money. All of these decisions are made because of money.
Some of you out there will take the opposite side of this argument and say that your decisions aren’t entirely decided off money, and that you make choices based on your innermost personal wants and desires in life. But if you say that, you’re about as honest as O.J. Simpson. And if you’re not seeing my side of things by the end of this blog, well you’re just as foolish as him too.
You can make pathetic attempts of slanting your perspective all you want and try to swallow some placebo-like justification that money isn’t what runs and rules your daily actions. But don’t kid yourself. That small plastic rectangle with 16 engraved numbers sitting in your pocket is the real reason you get up every morning. It’s what controls your actions from Point A to Point B. It’s the vice-like grip on your subconscious pair of nuts that’s keeping you in check.
I’m baffled. And angry. And frustrated. And scared to death that my life, and your life, and every other cornbread-fed sucker’s life out there has been forged, molded, and now revolves around money. That we live, we breathe, we eat, and we die, all for money. That the choices I make, the career paths I walk down, the relationships I nurture or extinguish, that every single ounce of my existence is being held hostage by a subliminal briefcase keeping tally marks on whether I’m in the red or in the black.
Is this real life? Is this what you and I will be working towards for the next fifty years?
You tell me.
I don't know what else is.