While eating lunch recently, I couldn’t help but overhear this statement coming from the next table, “My husband has never made enough money for me to be happy, I wish he’d change jobs or do something else.” The words were spoken in a disappointing, almost angry tone.
This touches on the vast majority of recent surveys and psychological reports pointing to the fact that people are much happier, at least temporarily, when their mates or companions make more money. While listening, I also thought about the image she might see her husband in. Maybe she no longer perceived him as sexy, powerful, aggressive, that night-in-shining-armor that most desire when picking a mate for life, all of which are understandable because of what our materialistic society has taught us to believe is the ideal, worshiped model chiseled in granite. Perhaps his lack of money and earning power had caused her to become bitter and resentful. But here’s the thing: Are we loosing sight of placing value and giving credit to people which are good, decent, moral, hard-working individuals that would do anything for you but just happen to have lower wage jobs? Has our society become all about money rather than sharing respect, love, affection, and a dedication to our relationships? All of the things which most say they want more than anything, right? Yet, money has increasingly become the gold standard of a person’s value thanks to what we see on TV, the internet, and lifestyles of the rich and fantasy reality stars. And I’ve heard it said more than once from many married people, both men and women: “I wonder how long my marriage would last if I were to loose my job?”
In our current economy if you have a job, a good job, a job you’ve held for years you’re increasingly considered lucky. However, millions have become unemployed, underemployed, and forced to take positions which don’t exactly reflect their real worth when you look at the skills and knowledge on their resumes. It’s become a simple fact of life and the days of folks going to work for a company, staying there for thirty or forty years, then retiring with a golden nest egg stuffed underneath their arms are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Companies care about companies, their survival, bottom lines, and not people. Unfortunately, for so many like the individuals mentioned above, perceived financial inadequacy is causing lots of stress in many relationships.
During my career I’ve been laid off more than once. Not because of anything I did, but rather due to a loss of business, severe mismanagement, and an overall downturn in the economy. In years past it caused me financial pain, but didn’t detract from who I was as a person. Which brings me to the point of this article: money shouldn’t be allowed to mirror who we are as human beings. It shouldn’t ever define our very existence, morals, self-worth, and image in the face of others. Enhance our lives? Yes it does. But the true value of an individual should never be a reflection of what’s inside their wallets; a statement in direct opposition to what we see being portrayed on reality TV, in the movies, and among the magazine pages of creative advertising.
Money is very important, don’t get me wrong here. I like nice things as much as anyone and have always striven to fatten my checkbook whenever given the chance. But behind the grand foyers of mega-mansions, overpriced menus at trendy restaurants, custom made clothing, and sleek cars what’s going on between a person’s eyes is really what should be important. And to take it a step further, we’re all born equally in the image of God no matter our color, upbringing, or financial abilities.
As our economy continually endures its current recession the images of many will certainly be at stake, deteriorating among the eyes of many. It should never be this way, because for me, I’d much rather spend time with those who voluntarily share love, give emotionally without expecting a return, and always be there when really needed; some very important items which money can never buy.
Thanks for listening!
To connect with Randy Mitchell, visit his website @ www.theinspirationalwriter.com
Read his inspirational romance novel, Sons In The Clouds on Amazon