- Ryan Kretch
Why do people aim to get rich?
This post may come across as grim, but writing it helps me to process my motivations for wanting to have more money and the deeper reasons why people strive to have it. On all of The Fabryk's social media channels, the algorithm is tethered funnily towards people who have broken out of careers (or in the case of TikTok, never started theirs) and claim to make a living entirely off of passive assets. A few flicks of the finger upward and I’m sold on this lifestyle.
But it’s never as easy as watching a few TikTok’s is it? And after weeks and months of trying different things without success, I start to wonder deep down why people want this sum of money anyway. Is it really for the freedom? Is it really to just be able to buy loads of flashy things?
Maybe the reason goes much deeper into the darker topics that we don’t regularly touch upon, such as our evolutionary tendencies towards enemies and even darker, our fear of death — and how money plays a role as the ultimate protector in modern day society.
Money as a modern weapon (or shield) against our enemies
Since the early human days, we have done whatever we can to repel our enemies. We’d use fuck tons of weapons and wage wars (hey, actually that is still happening all over the world). But for those living a modern lifestyle, where we hopefully won’t be involved in a large scale war, it’s not like we are now completely void of enemies. Our enemies may not come in the form of soldiers or warfare, but they are instead usually our colleagues, bosses, and the work that comes along with it. As killing your boss isn’t so ethical, escaping your enemies isn’t exactly as straightforward. You could change jobs, but that does not guarantee you an enemy-less future down the line. Instead, money provides the ultimate escape from the evil boss that you have to face 40 hours a week. Enough of it and you can rid your office enemies forever. So while you may be craving freedom, you may subconsciously be trying to do what our ancestors have always done, escape our enemies for good. In reality, money is just a modern day weapon or shield against our enemies.
Money as a means to escape death or make it a more "comfortable" affair
Money gives us the illusion that death is further away and that however it happens, it will be much more comfortable than without money. Death in this case could just be another type of enemy, and we are using money to shield ourselves against it.
Let’s take someone with a huge house and a ton of other possessions versus someone struggling on the street and no possessions.
The rich person has far more security. Why might he or she want that? So they can be safe in case any harm is done to them. Why? Ultimately the answer is left unsaid, but it could lie in our fear of death. When one has a comfy house, it is a pretty decent protection against the worst possible scenario, death. And when you have a lot of possessions, you subconsciously feel like you’ve put a small part of you in it so that when you leave the world, you’ll still be there.
Take the other person who is homeless. They have a lot of predators that can make death happen faster. Whether it be terrible sleeping conditions, sickness, drugs, mental illness. They don’t have many possessions, which means when they leave the world, their worth is not tied to anything. They can make a pretty seamless exit from the planet, drama-free.
So who really has the most courage in this situation? The person who stares death right in the face on a daily basis or the person who avoids it like the plague, even the mere thought of it.
Then you have the person who saved a ton for retirement. That person may have said they wanted to do that, so they could live the life of leisure in their later days, but if you flip that, maybe they ultimately did that to try and push death further away and when it was no longer avoidable, make it more comfortable. Little did they know they would suffer and die from a sudden but painful heart attack days later, and having that extra money never really mattered.
So what is the point of this grim spin on money?
So maybe rather than focusing all of our attention on getting more money, thinking it will make a massive improvement in our lives and be a shield or weapon, we need to face the topics of enemies and death head-on. Since getting more money isn't always so straightforward and simple, and is really just a band-aid for the deeper issues, we should try to understand why we have the enemies that we do and solve it. Maybe we ask to switch teams at work, maybe we can ask to cut down on our hours to limit exposure to that enemy, maybe we face our scary bosses and voice our concerns. It comes down to problem-solving that we have likely been avoiding, thus letting the problem fester.
And for the topic of death, it is unfathomable to most...considering if you are reading this, you haven't died yet. However, it is important to get closer to this topic as well. Talk about it with family members. Read books about it. Start to understand that it isn't so far off for any of us, as a depressing as a notion as this may be.
Maybe with a greater understanding of our enemies, both in the human form and in the form of death, we will not place so much emphasis on money and start to find much more inner peace and joy and much less seriousness in the day to day and the great process of what we call life.