Who are these Joneses and why are we trying to keep up with them?
Are they happy? Are they fulfilled? Are they an illusion in our own minds? What benefit to we gain from comparison?
I ask these questions to myself as well. Who am I seeking to emulate and, more importantly, why? What do I gain from comparing my life? What will be enough?
I sometimes contemplate what I would do if I won the lottery… may too often. I’d like to think the money wouldn’t change me, that I would give oodles away and be the same person, just with more free time. But I fear that wouldn’t be the case. I might become a greedy, hoarding, Scrooge McDuck diving through his riches.
It’s a good thing that I’m not the first one to deal with these fears. I found a kindred spirit in the writer of Proverbs who had similar thoughts recorded in Proverbs 30:8-10.
Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that is needful for me,
lest I be full and deny you
and say, “Who is the Lord?”
or lest I be poor and steal
and profane the name of my God.
May I never know the worries that accompany not having enough money and wondering how to live AND the anxieties that accompany having lots of money, worrying that it will be gone, and wondering how to live without it. “Give me neither poverty nor riches.” That is my continual prayer.