@loripalminteriTweets by @loripalminteri
To be very clear, money is not the root of all evil. Actually, money has greatly improved humans as a species, as we can settle on a currency of worth and therefore minimize primal strength as a means of power. Money allows power and as the Flaming Lips sang, “you cannot know yourself and what you’d really do with all your power,” just as the opposite is true too… if broke, or starving, or on the brink of survival, our true selves can be exposed, and we are selfish beings.
I do not begrudge or frown upon people who work hard and build bank accounts. I’m not sure I can emphasize how apathetic I am towards people in general. The divide of the haves and havenots feels strong in today’s climate, and to be honest, coming from a person who is in the tax bracket of “poor,” the lower class is as unfair to the upper class as the upper class can be callused to the lower class. I suppose it’s always been that way and always will be.
People are easily duped by money. For example, this woman was showing off a coach bag she got from her boyfriend or maybe her mom, to be honest, I quickly glazed over until she said it was a $400 bag and then my head nearly exploded. It is unfathomable to me that anyone would even want a $400 bag. She said something along the lines of “what if my boyfriend got me that bag,” and if that did ever happen, that boyfriend would be dumped because he clearly doesn’t know me at all. If I’m going to accept an expensive gift, it better be a retrofish surfboard (a surfboard is a vehicle of experience; note this, it’s foreshadowing). But even that is too generous a gift for me to accept. I’d accept $200 cash, and a donation for mosquito nets for kids in Africa who keep dying of malaria (I’m thoughtful but not really altruistic).
Here is my problem with her coach bag, a guys expensive watch, or any sort of high end material item to “show off.” What is it you’re really saying? “I have money and/or someone I know has money so now I’m showing off my power.” Okay, great, you have money, that’s a good thing (I mean that genuinely, I am a capitalist at heart and believe you should be compensated for hard work and whatever you do with that compensation is your decision). My issue is not with the product. It’s with YOU. Because by showing off your flashy item, you’re not showing off power at all. You’re showing off your lack of it. You’re showing off to make an impression that you think is impressive, and it may be received that way. But that’s not how I see it. The power belongs to the product. Not you. Coach, Rolex, whatever dumb thing you’re spending far too much money on, they’re the ones with the power. You’re not wearing power, power is wearing you: the bag is not the product being sold here. You are. And you’re basically saying, “not only am I a sheep, but I am proud to be a sheep.” And that to me is terrible quality in a human. That you’ve no fucking original concept of what you actually like, you just like something because it is expensive or “cool” and you want to flaunt that. You are flaunting your own lack of original ideas, and that you are owned. And if that’s the person you want to be, honestly, I’m okay with it, but I don’t want to be friends with you because your conversations are sure to be a bore. You’ve no interesting ideas at all.
You may think, “hold the typewriter, Lori, I thought you were a libertarian who gives zero fucks about what makes people happy.” Precisely. I don’t. If anything, I sort of pity the fool who believes happiness is a material item and not an experience, and if you think an expensive gift is evidence of love, you are completely missing the point of God (whether or not you believe in such an entity has no relevance on appreciation of grand conceptualization).
But I digress. Money is important and necessary. Money has given more good than evil, which is a fact we sometimes forget. While I would like more of it, it’s not like I couldn’t earn it if I shifted gears. This is not an option for me because I do not worship money. The things I value most are time and experience.
Often times to maximize both time and experience, you need money. All three are intertwined, make no mistake. It’s complicated. We do not know how much time we’re allotted in our lifetimes. We like to assume we’ll live to our 70s or so, but life does not give a shit about our assumptions. External threats aside, our own bodies are trying to kill us (cancer is, after-all, your cells mutating and killing you). So, some of us will have more time than others, of course, but we’re still on the same timeline. We are moving through time at the same speed.
So… think about that (if you’re a pot head, I’m sure you have already). We all experience time in the same way, albeit, at times, it feels like it moves fast, or other times, you can see every moment frame by frame in slow motion. We are, of course, born into conditions far beyond our control. We are brought into existence into a time, place, body, given to us, happenstance. But wherever you are, whoever your are, you will only ever know one experience: Yours. You will feel other experiences, empathize with them, contribute to others, read about them, watch them, laugh at or with them, cry, allow them to bring you up, bring you down, but the only thing you’ll ever really know is your experience: your floating thoughts behind your eyeballs, connecting to a meat vehicle that only has a certain amount of time.
How do you spend your time.
Time is the one and only true currency.
It’s a common saying that youth is waste on the young. The more someone says it, the more it’s true about them than anyone else. It’s a disquieting saying because it says, “I did not use my time to have a great experience” and/or, you’ve lost touch with who you once were.
Careful to not think of me as an old soul. There is foolishness in falling in love with experience because it is not tangible. It is not something you can own. You can’t bottle it. You can’t take it with you when times are rough. You can’t revisit it. Experience is to be enjoyed when it exists and then it’s a memory. But sometimes memories breed addiction. Just like that you know how you want to spend your time. Experience is not about the chase, it’s about knowing when to stop, and enjoy that however you have spent your time has led to this moment, whatever it is: telling jokes, surfing a wave, laughing with a friend, a quiet walk in the woods; and taking responsibility that the definition fate is nothing more than what you have done with time and where that has led you.
Time is the constant. The thing we can’t have back. Money is necessary, with a background of complexity and means for experience. And to have the time of your life is experience. A valuable experience is much debatable. Because it would vary from person to person. Though I doubt there’d be many who’d contest that time is best spent laughing.