Money is not everything

Last week was Waterloo’s annual career fair at RIM Park – a rather daunting production of a fourth-year’s worst nightmare, the real world.

After a lifetime of preparation and figuring out “what I want to be when I grow up,” I feel as though I have let my childhood ambitions of wealth and fame fall to the wayside.

As a student of film and communications, and a “failed business prodigy,” I am often scrutinized for the field of study I chose, since the purpose of studying an art form is not generally one heading toward a financially rewarding career.

And I am no stranger to the questions about my future because, in a competitive market where everyone and their dog has a degree, why on earth would anyone study the arts so vitally?

Well, the reason I was unsuccessful at business was because I was not motivated. I couldn’t understand the purpose of all the work I was doing. I didn’t know why I was learning how to strategize against unions, calculate ludicrous amounts of Canadian taxes or work obscene hours on a new venture project.

I was bothered by the overall obsession with money and numbers my mind had taken on.

Personally, I don’t care for lots of fancy, lavish things and don’t understand people who live solely for excess.

The accumulation of stuff – lifeless objects with meaning humans embed in them – is, for the most part, a privilege people from the middle and upper class unnecessarily focus their life around.

When we attach ourselves to stuff we begin to live for stuff; we lose sight of the things that matter, of the things that are actually affected by our self-indulgence such as other people and the environment.

In the field of business it is easy to get accustomed to this thought process, to think about your decisions in the frame of numbers, in positives and negatives.

To think in a way where you must maximize profits and swell your wallet so that your company does better then the next person’s.

I never want my mind to think in that way.

I don’t want to think about the world as if it is an impersonal sphere where I look out for myself only to accumulate things that have no purpose when I die and, arguably, when I’m alive.

Many of the oldest religions, such as Hinduism or Buddhism, operate on the belief of karma, that life must be lived on a personal level and that we must be connected to one another and humbly respect that all of our actions have a reaction, whether or not it is immediately
foreseeable.

This point of view has existed for centuries; it is definitely on to something.

After graduation, with my bachelor of arts, I may not be able to find an impressive job where I can wow strangers at cocktail parties with tales of trips to St. Lucia or shenanigans comparable to the cast of The Hills, nor will I ever head the table as a CEO of any major company, but I am okay with that.

Just because society deems those things as indicators of success does not mean I look to them as signifier’s of my own success, nor do I particularly want to.

What gets to me the most is that people will judge the value and quality of my life based on my income or position within a company, even though people are more than what they own and no number value should define us.

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