I follow a Facebook page titled, “Awakening to Oneness.” The above quote from actor, Jim Carrey was posted on the page and some of us had an interesting conversation about it. I’d like to elaborate on that conversation as I think our thoughts on it are worthwhile.
While he could be admired and/or appreciated for this quote, I question whether or not it’s sincere, or possibly misguided. When the quote was posted on the Facebook page I made this comment: “But you don’t see him giving it all up.” Maybe I was being too hard on him, I don’t know. But it seems to me that it’s easy to criticize something when you have it and enjoy the benefits from having it. Obviously he’s enjoying the benefits of being wealthy and famous. It allows him to be quoted and have millions of people read his quotes. If he had said, “Wealth and fame are not the answer to happiness,” I would agree with him. But he didn’t say that, so I have to wonder what he meant.
We all see things from our own point of view. Obviously. Unfortunately that can be a handicap. Our lives and our situations are unique to us and when it comes to judging others, (please don’t say you don’t judge others. Judging others is the reason we don’t have heroin addicts or racists for best friends.) We can be blinded to many aspects of another’s life by our lack of experience.
I have never been rich and famous, nor do I ever intend to be. I have never desired to be well known. And yet I write this blog, with the hopes that you will read it. I have never desired to be wealthy and yet I never turned down a pay raise from an employer. What does that say? We all want more. Even if we realize, as Jim Carrey apparently has, that wealth and fame are not the answer, we still want more of what we have. When we judge others, we ignore ourselves.
Certainly everything can have an importance, or a usefulness. Even a really terrible situation in which we are hurt can be looked at as a teaching moment, something to learn from. Wealth and fame could be useful for many reasons. They could be the answer to many things, if we know what to do with them. I don’t think Mr Carrey can unequivocally say that wealth and fame are not the answer when there are so many things that could be accomplished by, #1, having a platform with which to be heard by millions, and #2, having the money to right many wrongs in the world. There are so many people in our world who lack the basic necessities of life, (Water, food, shelter) that having millions of dollars at your disposal could go a long way toward changing that. Wealth and fame could be the answer to a lot of things if the rich and famous would do what needs to be done.
And I’m familiar with the argument, “Why should I give up what I have?” Why indeed? One reason might be because you have many more millions of dollars than you reasonably need. Because while you sit on those millions, other people are starving. A rich person may indeed have discovered that wealth is not the answer to happiness, but it could be the answer to so many other things that to discount it is foolish. A person on a boat in the middle of the ocean would be a fool to say that the boat is not important. Rather than Mr Carrey making cliche quotes he could be helping to alleviate poverty. And maybe he is. And if he is, that is an important way for wealth and fame to be an answer.