Tons of money
Recently attended a birthday party for a longtime friend who was entering her senior years in Egyptian style. That is the party was a costume party with this theme due to her recent trip to that country. Unfortunately like the plagues the rains came down and I wondered if it was canceled or not. Communication was not clear but with neighbors we took a chance and the party was on.
About 50 people braved it and it was fun and costumed and musical and festive and fed. I missed the latter because I was talking too much with people I haven't seen in awhile. It was a good time out if one could manage the cold drips finding their way to your skin. My Pharaoh's outfit might put me in charge but did not protect from the rain. Some umbrellas did and we all skipped from one big umbrella to the next. Oh yes, this was an outdoor event.
Anyhow, a lot could be written but I'll I'll harp on one microscopic occurrence. After many conversations, serious and silly, I decided to run to the coat room to get my glasses before someone sat on them. I ran into a lady in her 40's whom I met a while ago at the hostess's house along with her 16 year old son. The lady, divorced, was raising him alone and was proud of the fact that he had saved someone with his knowledge of CPR which he was trained in. I roughly recall the boy was interested in paramedic work and was taking classes along those lines.
When speaking to the woman I asked her why her son hadn't come. She said he's in college now, having a good time, in a fraternity, and getting la..d a lot. Around her he couldn't get away with all he's doing, so he stays up there. I asked if he's still pursuing the paramedical field. She answered 'they' originally were planning a medical career but now he's into finance. At this point another man was listening.
I asked why the switch.
She answered that doctors don't make much money now, it's too managed so 'they' are going towards the money now. He wants to make tons of money. That was the plan. She than repeated 'money, money.'
I agreed doctors have expenses and its not what it was, but it's still pretty decent. She answered it would be better for him just to make tons of money.
The gentleman and I glanced at one another, somewhat knowingly but we said nothing after that. It was a semi arty crowd there that night and all the people had stories and paths and creative projects they pursued. And yes, at one point creativity collided with money, and the latter had to be dealt with. People also had to wrestle with health issues, and last but not least, spiritual issues and meaning.
And we all knew money wasn't everything and did not guarantee happiness.
However, the man and I said nothing because the way the lady blurted out 'tons of money' was from her gut, reached by process of elimination, honed down through time and wear and tare, and seemed almost a force of nature one could not oppose. It was a chord struck that one did not mess with. It was a meeting place between observation and truth, albeit an unpleasant truth.
So we remained quiet. We had to give that chord, her gut, its due. We knew from within where it was coming from. Our own experience in these times saw the accuracy of her take on life today. However, I know this is just one point in the universe, one stopping point on the train, one piece of furniture in the room. It could not define the all. It was too narrow, too limited, too disappointing. I think the man knew this. What about craft, careers, interests, passions, pursuits and service? Were all to be thrown under the bus for 'tons of money.' As for the lady, I feel she has pushed all other truths somewhere in the back of her mind and I hope someday is able to dust them off, clean them up and give them their freedom again for all our sake. Otherwise life continues to get a little scarier.