Greed vs. Perspective

Greed occasionally spoils my sacred weekend mornings with the newspaper. Reading about companies moving large sums of cash, executives collecting a cool billion, I daydream. I ask my lady what is it we have to do to get a slice of the pie? $250K. That’s it. A modest sum in a country with deep pockets. It can’t be that hard. How much more enjoyable, I wonder aloud, life would be with about three more zeros appended to my current checking account tally. Mortgage, paid. Just think of all we could do then, I tell her.

What is it in our silly lizard brains that prevents us from fully appreciating and enjoying what we’ve earned thus far? It’s some internal default setting, the switch set to “More”, and I hate it. You like to think you’re better than that, too learned, too grounded to fall for such American conditioning, but god-damn if you do. You are hard-wired to consume, friend. You and me both.

Yet, perspective pulls us back from the edge, so to speak, providing a brief glimpse of clarity or, as my father might say, a swift boot in the ass. It reveals itself in a simple walk around the village as night creeps in, a dinner with friends, the ballgame on in the background. Something whispers, “This is enough.”

And I’m fine again. Fine with the average, lukewarm coffee that, admittedly, wasn’t my best effort, the peeling paint on the deck, even the birds that have burrowed into our awnings, smearing their shit on our freshly painted siding. It’s okay. I’m content with my lot.

Night comes, the day’s frantic pace is reduced to a black stillness, the occasional swish of passing vehicles on the roadway and another ballgame broadcast on in the living room. Health, relationships, home, music, words. This is enough. More than enough, actually.

To borrow a line from Bukowski, sometimes life is just too sweet.

“The 2-2 pitch…”

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