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Sunday, January 31, 2016

What Do Rich People Look Forward To?

What Do Rich People Look Forward To?
a cranky re-run from August 2011


Mrs. Cranky and I are buying a new dishwasher.  Soon.  We are looking forward to a dishwasher that is quiet, dries the dishes, and does not require washing the dishes before you load the dishes to be washed.  It is nice having something to look forward to.  You plan, you save, and you brag to everyone about what you are going to do.  Getting stuff never seems as great as looking forward to getting the stuff.


What if whenever you wanted something, you made a phone call and 20 minutes later you had it?  Sounds nice, but there is no anticipation glow; nothing to look forward to.  What do rich people look forward to?  I don’t mean just rich, I mean stupid rich.  The kind of rich where you never ask how much, you only ask when it will be delivered.


Do the uber-rich know the joy of looking forward to something?  I’m talking 6 year old Christmas Eve anticipation.


Howard Hughes was the richest man in the world in the nineteen sixties.  He had done everything and every woman. He had everything he could ever pay for and yet he spent his last years as a recluse.  He had nothing more to look forward to. 



He may have wished for a 52 inch TV mounted to the wall with access to 200 channels and every movie ever made on demand by merely pushing a button.  He may have wished for a telephone that he could carry anywhere in his pocket.  A phone that would take pictures and even video clips.  A phone that could then send those clips all over the world.  A phone that could access all the information known to man in seconds.


He may have wanted a thin tablet that could order any book and it would be available for reading in 30 seconds.  He may have wanted a box smaller than a deck of cards that would hold as many song recordings as you could possible listen to in a life time. 


He may have wanted a five pound machine that you could use to send messages instantly around the world, messages, videos, information all in seconds.  A machine that had access to the dictionary, an encyclopedia, film and music libraries, could calculate the most complicated problems in an instant; a machine that could store, sort, and organize information that would require a large building in the nineteen sixties. Howard Hughes may have wanted these things, but they did not exist.  They were things he could not even imagine. Things that he could not look forward to. 


I don’t have all these things, but they are within my reach. They are things I can look forward to.  I guess that makes me wealthier than Howard Hughes ever was.    

18 comments:

  1. I've often said that anticipation is 80% of any new purchase. The joy of watching the savings grow until finally you can shop for the item.

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  2. True. Stuff comes too easy for some people. They buy on a whim, then tire of it almost instantly, and it dies a quick death in the back of a closet. As you point out, if they had to save for it, and wait for it, they would probably appreciate it more.

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  3. You've shown that "rich" is a state of mind more than anything else. I feel extremely rich even though my bank account doesn't reflect it.

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  4. As Thoreau said, "A man is rich in proportion to what he can afford to let alone."

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  5. I imagine it depends. I don't think rich people spend money on anything they could possibly want. I would imagine they are smarter with their money, else how did they become rich in the first place?

    Maybe someone who inherited wealth and didn't have an appreciation for investment and growth would become materialistic and then bore of having things. I don't see that happening to someone who built their empire. I would imagine they have things to look forward to like grandchildren and other things they have no control over or that money cannot buy.

    It's not just material things that have meaning in life. If you get this much, then you are truly rich beyond measure.

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  6. I wouldn't mind being rich enough to have an inventory of things to look forward to.

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  7. It is so true, Joe. We have things, considered everyday items and no big deal, that kings and emperors of old would have considered miraculous. Many an old pharaoh with painful rotting teeth would have given me their kingdoms for my dental implants. Just in my house, right now, I have more to eat and drink than most lords had in the 1600's. I can flick a switch and make the dark disappear (of course, there are a few guys who can flick a few switches and make the whole world disappear, but why dwell on the negative?)

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  8. However, I'd still like to be so rich I could have a peeled grape dropped into my mouth by a supermodel any old time I wanted it.

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  9. A life of gratitude is the way to go. I like looking forward to something then saving for said something. It's the way we do things around here too and it's fun to wait until you can get whatever we want. It doesn't define us though. They are just things after all.

    Have a great day Cranky. ☺

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  10. He may have just wished for someone who cared to talk to him, not because he was rich, but because they truly wanted to talk to him. I'm lucky. My friends love me for me because I am happy but always about 3 months from living under a bridge. It must be the hardest and loneliest existence to be rich and wonder about if there is a hidden agenda to friendships.

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  11. I think that people with wealth can still appreciate the small but important things in life and look forward to them. I think it's about the person and not the state of their finances.

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  12. You are so right about a lot of rich folks. I once ran with the Palm Beach set and I couldn't believe how bored they were.They actually found trips to their homes in Europe more trouble than pleasure. Hey, after a while all there is left to do is run for president.

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  13. This is a million dollar post. You are definitely right about how we average people feel happy and delighted with things we buy with our hard earned money and how the rich can get any thing they want and yet are unable to feel what we feel.

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  14. We once bought a 3' tall robot that you could program to bring you a Coke, etc. It was available in two sizes. We asked the salesman which one he thought we should buy. His answer was, "Whichever one will fit best in your closet after a couple of months!!" I have NO idea where the robot is today.

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  15. I know how you feel about anticipating your new dishwasher...I did the same about two or three years ago. :-)

    By the way, we got a Bosch dishwasher (German engineering, you know) and it's so quiet that I have to hold my ear right up against it to be able to tell if it's running.

    ♪♫♪♫ Anticipation... ♪♫♪♫ *hears Carly Simon*

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  16. I am worried that once I retire, I won't have the days off to look forward to.

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  17. You are sooo right. It seems to me that after a person can have any material thing they want, they turn inward, reject the material and embrace the spiritual.

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