Was Midas a happy man?
A rich lifestyle
Scale to five to six figures with ease
I see them a lot here on LinkedIn. Statements like these. And they trip me up and make me think every time. I then wonder what visions and images of a rich life are involved.
Moreover, it is unclear to me what socio-economic reality the authors of such statements are working from. To get an idea, I googled (gross income distribution) and found a graph from Statista about the gross incomes in Germany in 2021. But, unfortunately, only 10,2 of the distribution is above 6600 a month! Still a long way from five figures.
This means that if one takes the financial endowment as a yardstick for the richness of life, only a vanishing fraction of the population would be granted a rich life.
Not me. I know my financial situation and am pretty content with it; I consider myself privileged.
Uncle Scrooge McDuck comes to mind, the American counterpart of King Midas, for whom everything he touched turned to gold.
Or the grain farmer, who, in ecstasy that his granaries were all full to the brim, forgot his mortality (Luke 12:16ff).
My neighbours, who have since died, come to mind as a counter-example. He was a bricklayer and a driver, and she worked as a cleaning lady. Both of them worked well beyond the age limit. Together they raised six children, and all went on to independent lives. Both were actively involved in the community’s club life. Since we moved in next door to you, they have been friendly, helpful neighbours for many years.
I have always admired them for their immense life achievements
and I think they lived rich lives even though they had no money!
Now, what constitutes a rich life if it is not material wealth? Midas eventually begged Dionysus to free him from the ability to make gold again.
So what is a rich lifestyle for me?
– For me, it means that I have been able to do what I am good at and enjoy.
– That I had people around me whom I was allowed to love and to whom I was allowed to show my love.
– That I met people with whom it was easy to exchange ideas and have fun together.
– And that I have met such people, mostly the same ones who have stood by me in difficult situations.
– That some of those I have met as clients have left me with lasting good memories