The Richness of Life

If you’re reading this, you’ve got it good.

I’m not going to go into all the ways you have it good, but let’s face it: the fact that you can read these words (or, if you’re listening, hear them) means that you’ve got it better than most humans in the world, just in terms of free time, health, available technology, etc.

Me, I definitely have it good in that I get to spend time writing it, borrowing a friend’s house here in L.A. Again, I’m not going to go into all the ways – I did that last week, and inadvertently caused some stress for friends (sorry, Amanda!).

Paradise Cove Cafe in Malibu, CA
“This were Paradise enow…”

But we usually put these into the context of “comparatively” – kind of like I did in the first paragraph, talking about “better than most humans.” Yesterday I spent most of the day with a man who is, by just about any stretch of the imagination, well-off. We drove in his expensive car to a beachfront restaurant in Malibu where we had obscenely good barbecue.

Afterwards, he showed me his house. He’s an architect, and so every room was a new treat – from trompe l’oeil paintings to an atrium library to a rooftop view to fine art. His garden was set up with a chandelier and leather armchairs from which he holds his weekly salons, where friends get together and talk about various interesting events from the past week. We sat and talked with another of his friends long into the evening, almost a century’s more life experience than mine between them.

At one point I had been talking about my children, the experience of raising them, and how it felt being around my grandsons. My friend looked at me with eyes suddenly sad, and spoke softly. “You know, Gray,” he said, “in a lot of ways, you’re far richer than I am.”

It was something that I did know, but which I rarely think about. I tend to think in terms of the things I don’t have, such as a beautiful house, fancy car, steady paycheck, etc. It took someone who had all the things I feel I lack to point out to me that my own life does have riches that many people long for.

As trite as it is, yes, this is a don’t take what you have for granted post. It’s more than just the gratitude exercise, because that’s tempered by your own filters. Instead, it’s a suggestion that you find someone who knows you who can point out to you the things that you have that they envy, just as a reminder.

Yeah. We’ve got it pretty good.

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