I’m a nobody. At 71, a rather old nobody perhaps. When I was 17, I won a Los Angeles city parks tennis tournament. And that was it. I haven’t won anything since. But guess what? I couldn’t be happier with who I happen to be.
I don’t live in a big house or have a fancy car. Sometimes I have to borrow a little money when I lose sight of my credit card limit. My infrequent vacation trips aren’t very long in days or distance. Maybe I’m just rationalizing because I never had the drive to climb the corporate ladder.
But what about the people who have made it? The somebodies. Just think about the bizillonaire CEOs, famous actors and singers, and professional sports heroes. I’m hardly the only one who has ever said be careful what you wish for.
Have you ever watched the tv show American Greed? Apparently there’s no such thing as too much money or power for some. It seems there’s a fair number of extremely wealthy individuals who go too far in business and end up in prison.
Money may not be the root of all evil as some believe, but the pursuit of it can definitely get out of hand. Just ask Bernie Madoff.
Remember what Robin Williams once said? “A coke addiction is God’s way of telling you that you have too much money.” I wonder if Michael Jackson would still be alive if he hadn’t had enough money to buy whatever he wanted. And how about the many sad stories we’ve all heard about simple folks who’ve won the lottery.
Oh, I’m sure there are many wealthy individuals who are perfectly happy. Bill Gates is doing a lot of good with his fortune, and he seems just fine. Paul Allen, too, although he’s had to overcome cancer.
But from my perspective, I wouldn’t want to wonder if my friends were my friends only because I was in a position to support them. Or because they were hanging with me simply because they were groupies. I wouldn’t want to stress about keeping all I had, or about the tax consequences of my next big venture.
When I go to Safeway, no one rushes up and asks me for my autograph. People don’t write me to request large donations or beg me to make public appearances. I don’t need to wear a disguise, and the paparazzi leaves me alone.
It’s true, I really am a nobody. But a free nobody who can rest in peace both now and later.