Enough is Enough! How to live a better life with LESS

Enough is Enough! How to live a better life with LESS

"So you think that money is the root of all evil? Have you ever asked what is the root of money?" - Ayn Rand

Let's face it, we live in a society of those who have money and those who ain't. Presidential nominees and obese senators can tell us that the time of class warfare is in the past, but I say nay-nay!

We are encouraged to spend, spend, spend and consume, consume, consume. Why have a regular fry when you can supersize it? Why be happy with the newest phone when the one that comes out a month later has an extra minute of battery life? Why be happy with your own life when your neighbor just bought a timeshare in Flint, Michigan for $20,000?

We have become a society that revels in excess. We aren't content with life as it is, as it can always be better if we have more. Listen to the presidential campaigns whine about money, about how they need that extra million to win this thing. Listen to companies like Walmart talk about how revenue is down when you're raking in billions of dollars from Joe Blow and Holly Housewife. We have become so concerned with the ends that we have forgotten about the means.

Where do money and possessions come from? They don't magically float to our doorsteps, as we have to work for them. If you really want something, and you rationally want it, you will work your ass off to get it, if possible. No one in this world needs a new cell phone every year or a car that costs eight times what you make in a year. We have become obsessed with the idea of being king of the hill that we are becoming a nation of morons.

Competition is a natural phenomenon in life. It's natural for us to want to be the best we can, but we shouldn't do it for the sole purpose of squashing our opponent. Competition is an innate need to achieve a goal that we want, not to trump (*shudder*) what our co-workers or friends have.

Therefore, if we want something, we should want it because we, as an individual, want to achieve or obtain the object in question. Our lives as humans aren't the same as hamsters, fighting for dominance of the cage. Life is about personal fulfillment and virtue for the sake of your own needs.

We've made ourselves poor, obese, and sick, all for the sake of besting our nemeses. Instead of being content with life, we are tearing our lives apart in the hopeless loop of oneupmanship.

I want all you to look at your own lives, your own actions, and your own body. Do you let life happen naturally or do you force it? Is your bank account empty but your driveway is full? Do you have the newest iPhone, but you can't afford to keep up the rent on your apartment?

Look at reality and realize that life is filled with things that won't tap you out mentally, physically, or fiscally. The sky, the air, the water, and music should sustain your life. Feel them enter your bones and fortify your soul.

Because eventually, after your fourth triple bypass, you'll realize that those big macs every day were a mistake. When you have more electronics than friends, you'll know you should have focused more on a healthy personal life. When you're thousands of dollars in debt at age sixty and stuck with that timeshare in Flint, Michigan you might realize that just because Fred Jones bought one, you shouldn't have.

Take stock of your life and add up your pleasures versus your possessions.

I think you'll be surprised, darlings.



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    Gee Steven, I see the light, eating Big Macs I don't need or enjoy when I'm too fat just to spend more money than someone else is not a good idea. That's really put Ayn Rand into the shadows. We need an intellectual like you in our playschool too.

  • I know someone who is the converse, but probably also an adult autistic child (but I'm not Bruno Bettleheim). She'll demand that the deli not put more than 68 cents worth of corned beef in the bag,and tells every cashier to look at the back of the dollar bill, but keeps getting into trouble making bad decisions landing her in the emergency room, and her first question to the nurse is "how much is this going to cost?" She certainly needs a guardian, but I suppose that if she wants to spend $3500 per visit,* vs. $5 for cab fare to get where she wants to go, that's her business, but her money is going to be dissipated nonetheless.

    *And she gave me a story about how submitting the bill to the Obamacare version of Medicaid is going to result in increasing her premium.

  • Dear Mr. Steven Krage:

    As someone who has extensively studied Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism, you make many points with which I find not to be dissonant with Rand's philosophy. However, you omit an important point.

    Ayn Rand phrased it like this: "You must act within the hierarchy of your values, and you must never sacrifice a higher value for the sake of a lower value."

    In "Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology," in the chapter titled "Cognition and Measurement," she espouses a concept that many are not aware that they use every day: "Teleological Measurement." We are all familiar with physical measurement (e.g. three (3) gallons of water, 2.5 kilo-watt hours, fifty-five miles/hour, etc.). These use cardinal numbers to express measurement. (By the way, a "number," says Rand, is a "mental symbol that integrates a larger number of units into a single unit." Give that to Bertrand Russell!) Teleological Measurement uses ordinal numbers to express its measurement. (e.g. first priority, second priority; first love, second love; first importance, second importance, etc. (To those who say that love is immeasurable, please note.) Teleological Measurement measures the psychological processes in the mind.

    Any decision made in life is a value judgment. "Life is a process of self-sustaining self-generated action." "Value is that which one acts to gain and or to keep." It is only Life that makes Values possible. When something is regarded as a value, it requires an answer to whom and what for. And this ultimately means the choice to remain in existence, or to stay alive.

    Now I must emphasize that I do NOT speak for Ayn Rand, or the Ayn Rand Institute. The comments I am posting here are entirely my own. To check what I am posting, I refer the reader to "The Ayn Rand Lexicon" at aynrand.org as well as her books, especially "Atlas Shrugged," "The Fountainhead," "Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology," "The Virtue of Selfishness."

    So, to those people who want to keep up with the Joneses (they want it because someone else has it,) they really might want to read "The Fountainhead." There's a character in there you might want to study (yes, Howard Roark), but in this connection, Peter Keating. Enjoy, oh wonderful reader!

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