This I Believe

Emily - Tucson, Arizona
Entered on May 18, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: gratitude
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This I Believe

“Life is still more than girls /Life is more than hundred dollar bills/And roto-tom fills/Life’s more than fame and rock and roll and thrills/All the riches of the kings”

-Switchfoot’s Gone

Have you ever addressed the reality that in this day and age, money is often mistaken for happiness? Love is slowly slipping out of the picture, and our parents, family and friends work constantly to provide with what demands society has created. Material items supposedly replace true joy. And what’s worse, there are times when it feels as if it is not just the kid’s point of view, parents are buying in also. Parents feel the stress of providing the fashionable clothes and in-demand electronics. Money is simply an aid, it is not everything, nor does it define our lives. I believe money is too often mistaken for happiness.

It’s a different world for most, that of wealth. At least it is for me. Money does not come easy to my family. On a rare occasion I have dinner with a family member who is wealthy. And from the outside, life looks like a trip. All around the world and back again, beautiful clothes, cars, jewelry, trip with the famous, anything and everything expensive. Everyday household items like soap from a box, Kleenex, and processed wheat bread are the unordinary for her. Truths being these things are flouted on by her. A millionaire and owner of her company, sounds great right? Maybe, it hard to say in-between the private jets and personal suites, there lies the death of a child in a drunk driving accident, a child with an eating disorder, a mother with cancer, and a “close” inner circle of mindless, selfish, affluent, paltry ladies, and life is nothing short of simple. Money however provides the doctors, counselors, trips to “get away”, the memorials, cars, clothes, everything; it provides the distraction. The money is mistaken to provide and fix. It fixes nothing, especially not a broken heart.

If we told our parents that we were unsatisfied with the things they purchase, the first reaction would probably be a response that we are ungrateful, and simply desire more. It is beyond that, it is not uncommon for a kid, teenager, whatever to desire love and time more than a material item.

It is still blurred, between the TV, the magazines, shows displaying wealth and easy living. It is easy to say “If only…” But life is not “if only…” It is what it is. Here, now, tomorrow. With or without money it is in our hands, to respect and appreciate what we have, what we don’t have, and that money is not life.