Wednesday, August 18, 2010

On Becoming (or Not Becoming) Rich

There are more important things than money.

No, there are lots more important things than money. And a lot of those things don’t require money. But a lot more things that make life more enjoyable do require money. I don’t want to make seven figures or live in a penthouse by the time I’m thirty. I’m cool with making the average (or less than) 50,000 a year, if I can I’d strive for more but I wont sacrifice an enjoyable job for it.

I don’t think I could stand working some thankless job in a cubicle, or worse still working in food service (some people like it, I hate it).

“What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?"

I believe that to a certain extent it doesn’t mater what you make but that you enjoy doing it. But here’s the thing; where as I could teach high school, I wouldn’t want to do it in an inner city. Not because I’m racist or greedy or conceited, but because I’m not cut out for it. I had a teacher once who taught at a juvenile detention center. He told me how he had kids throw desks at him, attempted knifings and such, but he loved it. Sure teaching in the inner city is a lot different than in juvy, but some of the stories I’ve hears from friends tell me I still wouldn’t like it. I want to work with kids who want to learn (which means college, or high school if I’m a great teacher.)

But even then I don’t think I’m destined to teach. I’m probably more cut out for advertising or marketing. I like copywriting/editing and design and putting things together. I’ve always been prone to making things. The only problem with making things is, unless you get lucky you don’t make a lot of money making things unless the thing you make is money. This is part of the reason art is dying; it just doesn’t pay to create.

I was brought up under the influence that knowledge is power. And that influence isn’t just some trick my parents played on me to get me to read. It is, in a sense, true. If I know that my home lies in a 10 year flood plain, I know that insuring my home against a flood is a great idea. Thusly in this day and age that revolves around money we can expand that phrase to “knowledge is money.”

The knowledge I gained from my English major is invaluable to what I want to do. I like reading books, but I don’t just read for fun. I don’t have the power of dropping the “H-Bomb” when I mention my school, but I know that CSU is a decent school. I can be asked what I’m currently reading and respond something like, “H.P. Lovecraft, he’s one of the best short story writers in the history of America, and this is what I like about him, but this is why he’s undervalued in the literary canon.” I can also be asked where I think the future of advertising is and say, “In a mix between the current trend and viral marketing.” And I can further explain what I mean giving examples and showing that I have more than just a passing knowledge with the subject. I learned how to do that with my English major.

However I’m not sure people outside of the fields I’m interested in value this knowledge, so my knowledge is only power (and money) to those who value that knowledge. And that’s frustrating.

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