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Where Our Value Is

From my naïve, 21 year old perspective here is something I have noticed. Young kids, youth, and many young adults have nothing to lose. They live like death doesn’t exist. They live like someone exists who is on their side. They take chances. They live the life that they want. Then there are those that are older, maybe sixty to eighty and many of them, if finances allow it are equally living the life. They move to Florida. Go on cruises. Buy each other diamonds. Go on vacations everywhere. Spoil their grandchildren.

There are two things that stick out to me in this observation.

1. How come when we are young, money has usually nothing to do with their lives. Sure t hey need it and they use it but their happiness far comes from it. They enjoy life because of its highs of being with friends, parties with friends, bungee-jumping, cliff jumping and doing whatever is fun. Why does it seem that so many older people depend on that which costs them a fortune to live their life? Money finds itself as used more, depended on more and valued more as people get older. Why?

2. Another thing I notice is that most people that find themselves in both age groups live an entirely completely different lifestyle. Young people live like they have nothing to lose. Older people live thinking they have nothing to lose anymore and spend so much of what they have before they pass on. Middle-aged people live trying to accumulate as much money as possible so that they can get to that old age and be stable or secure. It’s a vicious cycle if you ask me.

I don’t say any of that because I think I know it all. I’m obviously making broad strokes and harsh generalizations that many won’t fit into. With my experience though, this is what I find. I realize that money starts to be used a lot more to achieve things further and further up my list as I get older, and that scares me. I don’t want to live my life trying to gain security in money, or lifelong stability through a few dollars (not that old people now do). It becomes easy to depend on something that you have constant access to. I say this now, hopefully in ten years I will look back on a post like this and remember how I used to think and it will reprimand me for caring so much about something that the world created a value for and start focusing my attention on that which really has value.

9 Comments

  • I agree Kevin, I wasn’t trying to say that old people shouldn’t have fun or enjoy life.

    I’m saying that if money is what it takes to enjoy life or have fun then it doesn’t make sense.

    The point of the post was pointing out how young people have just as much fun without money as old people have with their money. Why does it seem like the older we get the more we depend on our money to enjoy ourselves or have fun?

    My grandparents live in Florida, go on cruises and do all kinds of other things that involve money, in fact i’m typing this from their beautiful house in Florida right now. I don’t think what they are doing is wrong at all. All i am doing is questioning the ideal of money seemingly having a more promenant place in our lives to allow pleasure the older we get.

  • I don’t think the older folk are putting too much value in money. I think they’re simply enjoying their hardwork that they’ve done their whole lives.
    For me when I see older people going on cruises and all that stuff, I think it’s cool. They finally get to enjoy the money they’ve worked their asses off for their entire lives. It shows discipline & there’s something to be learned there. While they have children they are looking after, they are smart with their money, they provide and they save for when they need money. Then their kid’s move out, and I’m sure they still hold the same values, but now they have no job, and they have a bank full of money, so why not do some fun shit for once?
    Sure there’s a balance, they don’t want to blow all their money to they have nothign to give to their kids, I’m not saying thats expected, but I just know most people leave their money to their children, or a spouse or something. With balance in mind, I think old people having fun is awesome.

  • You have to look at the big picture. Just because they are spending more money now that they’re older, doesn’t mean they’re ‘depending’ on their money more. It simply means they have some breathing room in their bank accounts now & they dont have a family that they have to support so they can have fun now, in ways that they couldn’t before, because they cost money. You can have fun like we do, like play poker, or eat junk food & watch movies, or if you have money, another thing to do would be to travel the world, take cruises and see what other places in the world are like, experience other cultures.
    One thing I definately disagree with is that we have just as much fun without the money. I think I’d enjoy myself a lot more if I was to take some sweet cruise, or go live in a hot place for awhile. That would be sweet, but at our age we’re trying to figure out our careers, and establish ourselves, so we don’t have the means necessary to have that kind of fun. Older people though, like your grandparents, are past that staged, have shown that they can be responsible and find other ways to have fun, while they have people to take of, then they move on, their kids get older and have their own families, and now your grandparents have money from their lifelong work, and are retired. So why not do some fun shit that they couldn’t before?

  • Well, i think your putting words in my mouth and taking me way to literally for the points i was trying to make. I was not making accusations or by any means generalizing all people into those catagories. I never said that because they are spending more money that means they are depending on it. I agree with your first paragraph completely in that there are many things that people can do with money that they can’t do without, and its a great, wonderful experience.
    I guess that’s where we disagree, i think that if your waiting for money to bring comfort (beyond the necessities) than its probably a lost search for comfort that won’t come. If it takes money, cruises, hot places to live to ‘enjoy yourself’ more then i think its a lost cause. I’m not saying that these things aren’t great, amazing and fun and comfort, but they can’t be the ultimate source for ‘enjoying oneself.’ I think its naive to think that an old man who spends most of his time in his garden and fishing is enjoying himself less than an old man going on cruises twice a year and lives in Florida.

  • See that’s where I think you’re looking TOO deep now. Just because people go on cruises and spend a lot of money, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are doing that because that’s the only way they’ll enjoy themselves. You’re talking about two groups of people now, at first it was just a generalized thought about people as a whole. But, now you’re taking people and placing them into two different categoes. One, for those who spend money on cruises and seeing the world, but don’t depend on these adventures for their ‘comfort’, and the second being those who seek comfort in their extravagant spending habits with special vacations and cruises and what not.
    Your last post was the first you made an obvious distinction between the two, sure if someone is seeking comfort through that, maybe it’s wrong. Or maybe not. Why would that be wrong? Some find comfort in travelling, or in another person, or in a beer. How can you make a generalized statement like that saying they’re searching for comfort that won’t come? Maybe spending the money on travelling and cruises does bring them comfort? Why can’t it?

  • & I know you stated that it does bring comfort but it can’t be their main source for ‘Enjoying oneself’. My question to that is, why can’t it be?

  • Of course i’m talking about two different types of people now. You read so deep into my post and was able to come up with the type of people that i wasn’t talk about at all, so i had to reassure you that they did exist.

    Here is the jist of what i was trying to say compressed.

    Generally, as people get older, money has a more prominent role in their lives to bring about the things they need. When people are younger they don’t (probably because they can’t) use money to achieve the things they want (happiness, comfort etc.). When people get older they have a lot more access to money so it is used to achieve these things.

    Is it wrong? Is it right? I never even stated. My original post was making observations, not judgements. Any judgements I did make was in my own life saying that I don’t want to live my life getting security and comfort from money.

    In response to your last question. If money is the main source for enjoying oneself, then what happens when money is gone?

  • Well, I know exactly what you’re saying. My main question was in regards to this statement:
    “I think that if your waiting for money to bring comfort (beyond the necessities) than its probably a lost search for comfort that won’t come. If it takes money, cruises, hot places to live to ‘enjoy yourself’ more then i think its a lost cause.”
    Yeah, when people get older, money takes a more prominant role in their lives, and it becomes used a lot more frequently in an attempt to enjoy themselves. What I’m saying is, when your our age, you don’t have as much money, so you live your life and do what you can, whether it costs a little money, or none at all. When you get older, you have money from your life’s work. Now you can enjoy other things that cost amounts of money that you didn’t have access to before. And maybe it does get to a point where the only way they enjoy themselves, and feel a deep comfort is when they are doing these crazy things, travelling the world, Etc.
    So what?
    “If money is the main source for enjoying oneself, then what happens when money is gone?”
    Everything is going to be gone at some point in time, enjoy it while it’s here. Some people find happyness in a variety of different things, whether it’s money, and buying a bunch of shit, or maybe it’s in God, or maybe it’s in a spouse, or a very close friend. To each his own, I don’t know where I find true happiness, I have yet to find it. Maybe I’ll get rich and I’ll be able to travel the world, and then I’ll finally get that feeling.

  • Hey Nathan, from your elder cousin to you. The unfortunate reality of this money hungry trivia is not what we question in our youth but what we answer as we go about our daily routines as each year of our lives pass. I like you view that money ruins people, makes them greedy, or cheap or frivaliss(if thats a word)I never understood why it was so important to save for security purposes. I should know, since my 18th birthday up to my 21st I overdrew my bank account and thought nothing of it. I’m young lets have fun who cares. The unfortunate truth of the matter does not hit until you have achieved or entered into I wouldn’t say and adult view but a more mature one. Many adults are imature and offen times don’t realize what the future really holds or why we Mature adults are such money eager people. When I got married money wasn’t really an issue. My husband and I would often just pack a bag and go some where out of the blue. What ever we made we would spend. There was no rhyme or reason to our madness. When our precious little angle entered into our world everything changed. Our priorites changed. It wasn’t that we wanted the money for security purposes for ourselves but more for our daughter. God forbid anything happens to one of us we would like to know that the other and our daughter would be ok as far a finacial point of view. Unfortunatley our society depends on money to pay for mortgages, education, cost of living,and even saving for vacations. Its all quit overwhelming. So its not neccesarily that people are money hungry its more that we want to make sure that our children will be taken care of and given everything they need in life comfortably. And as you get older and your children move on in their lives that extra money that you put away to care for your family can now be spent on the fun things you have put on hold. This is the reality of our money trivia and one day you to will come to understand it. Love you and would love to hear your opinion.

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