The Cheerleader I Live With is reading Malcom Gladwell‘s new book Outliers, and he just read to me about the richest people in history. On the list of 75 people, do you know where Bill Gates falls? Number 37, at $58 billion. Who’s number one? John D. Rockefeller at (get ready) $318 billion. Rockefeller could buy Bill Gates like, five times, and STILL have money left over to buy himself another multi-millionaire.

Rockefeller was born in 1839, started Standard Oil in 1870, worked hard until he retired in 1897, then peacefully died in 1937. So… he worked from age 31 to age 58. That’s 27 years. Just for kicks (and I know it’s not exactly correct, but humour me), if Rockfeller worked for say, 24 hours a day for every day of those 27 years, (although he was a pious man, so working on Sundays was probably out, but whatever), by my calculations he would have been making a bazgillion* dollars a minute. …or something. Whatever. I don’t care. I hate math.

I simply don’t understand it when the numbers get that big. And even when people try to explain it in a way that supposedly makes sense, I just end up getting even more lost. That’s probably a pretty big reason why I’m not a rich woman. The biggest numbers in MY life have all been my debts. That doesn’t bode well for my making that fat list of Richy von Richensteins. Whatever. I didn’t want to be on it anyway. So there!

We get so caught up with money. Need more, have to have more, gotta’ make more… even though I don’t understand it when numbers get too big to count, it makes even less sense when people who have wealth like that think it isn’t enough. Dude, you can buy your own collection of islands and staff them with nymphomaniac supermodels, and still have enough money to have an Emelda Marcos-worthy collection of jet packs and hoverboards, but you still feel like you need more. There’s one ‘more’ I think we do need, though – The world needs more Warren Buffets. I like that guy. He may be stupid rich, but at least he makes sense. To me, anyway.

As for me, I don’t make a lot of money. I can admit that. I can also admit that I’m ok with that for now. My expenses are pretty low at the moment, so making enough to live on is a-ok. I can buy the necessities, I can travel, and I can splurge every once in a while. I’m content, I laugh every day, I have no debt, and I think I make fairly regular contributions to my charities of choice. That’s a good life to me! I don’t crave ‘more’… I’ve got a bit of savings stashed up, but not enough to buy even one island. Not even close. Maybe one day I’ll have more money than I can spend, but until then, I’m quite content with having more life than I can live.

I’ll leave the spending to the Rockefellers.

*Bazgillion may or may not be a real number

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