Being Rich is Overrated

Mihir - Bartlett, Illinois
Entered on November 17, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe that being tired is just as fulfilling as being rich, that sometimes toiling away at work to the point of absolute fatigue can give a person the same amount of satisfaction as sailing on a yacht in the Caribbean. Sometimes a day of honest work is worth more than the effortless results gained from sitting in an armchair. I believe that a day of hard manual labor not only brings you closer to the masses, but closer to yourself.

I haven’t held a multitude of jobs at my young age, but I have held a few jobs of varying styles. My first job was at my uncle’s factory typing up data sheets for things I did not understand completely; there I didn’t sweat, fatigue, or labor in the slightest and I felt incomplete. Sure the job was easy and the pay was good for a seventeen year old with time to spare in the summer, but something was missing and what I felt was missing is probably the same thing that drives men to midlife crises now. A few months later I got a job as a Certified Nursing Assistant, a job that required a whole lot more manual labor and required breaking a sweat a few times during a shift. While toiling away doing a job that was not only physically demanding but also awkward at times, I realized why I enjoyed my CNA work more than the office busy work I had been doing before. The office work gave me no satisfaction because of the social isolation I, and every other white collar worker there seemed to face. The physical job, I felt, brought me closer to the general population, a job of hard labor doesn’t destroy your self-confidence, but it brings your ego down a few pegs, you begin to realize you’re not better than anyone else, you just are. Many a nights I would see my father, who had a job requiring no labor of any sort, come home from work stressed out about issues at work and seemingly unsatisfied, deteriorating not only physically but something inside giving way. I realized from watching him that coming home from a job and being tired, knowing that you’ve done all that you could is more fulfilling than sitting in front of a computer all day and having nothing to show for it. A hard day’s work of leaving everything you have on the table and coming home tired, knowing that you’ve done everything you were capable of. Whether it’s a physically demanding job or studying for a test, you know regardless of the outcome you’ve accomplished your goals, and in the end, in the grand scale of things isn’t that all that matters? I’m by no means saying that the solutions to all of our problems lie in working at a steel mill, rather, sometimes you need more to show for your hard work than a briefcase full of papers and a mind full of worries.