I know the literal-minded are going to think this is a fallacy. They’ll say I bought my house. It’s real. I bought my car. Seems real to me. Some people might even have bought their husband or wife. They’ll argue that companionship is real too.
The real thing I am writing about is more than that.
Oh you can buy a lot of things with money. Mostly material things. You can even buy love, or the illusion of it. They might seem real.
You can touch them, feel them, see them. But the thing that is truly real can’t be seen with the naked eye. Can’t be touched with your hands. It can be felt. But only felt from within.
For the record this is not an anti-wealth post. There is no denying the importance of money. We live in an economic world after all. If anything I encourage you to go out and amass as much wealth as your heart desires. Enjoy all the things associated with that.
Just don’t delude yourself into thinking that it will make you happy. It might temporarily. And it will certainly make some aspects of your life easier. There is no denying that. But one thing you can’t deny is that it will not satisfy your heart, your sense of being or purpose, your feeling of belonging, of who you are.
You might argue that money has helped pay for your education. That the qualifications you have because of that are real. Everyone recognises them as so. But that money only paid for the course you took that provided you with the information. It paid for the teachers, the examinations.
The learning, the growth. That came from within yourself. You can’t buy the information in your head, the skills you have learned. Money doesn’t put it there. You do.
Nothing of any real significance can be bought, with the exception of food and water. Not the really important things in life anyway. They have to be earned. Love, respect, a feeling of self-worthiness. These things don’t just come to you because you can throw money at them.
They have to be built. They take hard work, effort and time. There is no instant replacement for this. No amount of monetary wealth will help you get it. Or keep it.
You might be able to buy that illusion of love for an hour or two, maybe even a few years. You might have people around you that will fake that respect because of your wealth. Like the waiter at your table in a restaurant. Like an employee on your payroll.
Everything of real importance comes from within yourself. The love you have in your life? That has come from the love you have given out. The effort you put into helping it grow. The sacrifices you have made for others. Your family, friends and loved ones.
The respect you have? That’s from the respect you have shown to others. That has been cultivated by your attitude to people in the world. Respect can be commanded, not demanded. Respect that is demanded is only given through fear.
And all those nice things you have. Those things you’ve bought. Are they going to snuggle up to you on the sofa? Are they going to fill your heart with the warmth of love? Are they going to ask you for valued advise? Are they really going to give you true satisfaction?
The beauty of the ‘real’ things is that they are available to everyone. You, me, anyone who is alive. It doesn’t matter how much or how little you have in material worth. How big or small your house is. How much money you have in your bank account. You can’t buy them.
They don’t even cost money. The only price you might have to pay is some self-sacrifice. A little time. A little effort. A little consideration. Be selfless instead of selfish.
And the rewards those ‘real’ things give you are unmeasurable and potentially timeless. Their value is of the greatest worth. A worth that can’t be bought. A worth that is more ‘real’ than anything.