Crazy Rich

So my wife picked up "China Rich Girlfriend" and brought it with us on our vacation. It's the sequel to "Crazy Rich Asians," and I wanted to support the latter as it will be what seems to be a fun movie later this summer. I'm kind of spoiling the ending for myself of course, but still.

My god, everything about these peoples' lives seems so empty.

When I first started reading it, it seemed intoxicating and exciting. I've never liked shopping, but the travel? The homes? The restaurants?

But the more I read, the more I realized how little any of that would do for our happiness. Author Kevin Kwan is clear that much of what the people in the books care about is impressing and outdoing each other, and I know that feeling, certainly having been overjoyed the first time I brought people to nice things I enjoy.

I've been thinking a lot about my dreams in life, and despite what the President will tell you, being a tacky and ostentatious fool doesn't actually seem... fun. Fun for a minute, or for the length of a trip. But for life?

Money buys relief, sure. I want my theoretical children not to want for much if I can help it. But beyond the level of relative privilege I have now (I'm not complaining), all evidence shows that just lusting after MORE doesn't actually bring you anything but agony.

Let's be clear: our country is turning into a corrupt developing nation because it's being run by absolutely miserable old men who only derive joy from crushing their enemies.

It was never likely I would be a Captain of Industry, despite what... others have wanted for me. But I think even if I won a powerball or something I'd do whatever I could to give most of it away and only keep enough to pay for schooling and retirement of the closest people to me.

(Okay, probably a nice home and season tickets to the Yankees).

It's a privilege to be able to be somewhat exposed to these things - I know people like that - and know it's not a dream of mine. And to have the support of the people around me, especially my wife, as I realize that the dream has to be meaningful achievement much more than capitalistic enemy-crushing.

I don't need my name on anything. I'm happy just helping adult learners achieve their goals.

 

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Justin Gerald

Age: 28 Hometown: NYC Location: NYC Career: Education Undergrad: Princeton Grad: New School Likes: Cooking, Baseball, Socializing, Parks, Pop Culture, Feminism Loves: Traveling, Running, Lifting, Trivia, Teaching, Equality