Friday, April 12, 2013

Doing Well

This is a common refrain that is heard nowadays in the neo-rich world : "He has done well for himself". I am not sure why it rubs me the wrong way and invariably irks me. The obvious implication of that statement is that the person in question has been a professional success. Basically he has been able to accumulate quite a bit of wealth, one which the person would try to subtly underplay, yet simultaneously, mention certain snippets of his life to give out the impression of being wealthy.

I am unable to comprehend why making money should be counted as equivalent of "doing or done well". One reason could be that I have hardly made any ! But keeping my own predicament aside, whatever happened to having a complete life where it is important to take a look at one's life from the prism of collective rather than the individual? This obscene expressions of wealth, of projecting a perception of being not left behind, of belonging to riches and trying our best at not even remotely been in the near vicinity of the have-nots is perplexing.

Probably this indirect projection of snooty arrogance is the cause of why usually money is looked down upon. This is where middle-class societies with its value system used to play a pivotal role in balancing such impulses. Since the middle class does not exist anymore, at least no one wants to be part of it anymore willingly, our concept of what should constitute a life "done well" has become twisted and hopelessly unidimensional.

I wonder what we would have said of Mohandas or Narendranath or Subhash or Medha ? Did they do well ? Or for that matter, who by dint of being satisfied with life would be bracketed as being unambitious or not been driven - the conclusion for these poor souls are unflattering. The crime, nowadays for been satisfied and consequently happy is to be pushed in the periphery or the zone of insignificance.

I am a staunch capitalist but this unbearable focus on finance causes me to re-think and makes me think that with wealth, there should be a mandatory lesson in humility and perspective. Probably a slap once in a while on their nice rounded backsides could be another alternative!