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  • Writer's pictureD. Randall Faro

Financial Fantasy

One of the recordings that helped rocket the Beatles to fame in 1963 was “Money.”

The best things in life are free / But you can keep 'em for the birds and bees

Now, give me money / That's what I want

That's what I want, yeah / That's what I want

Your lovin' gives me a thrill / but your lovin' don't pay my bills

(then . . . on and on and on) Money, that’s what I want

But time and time and time again experience has proven that money – lots and lots of it – does not produce happiness. In fact, far from it. Everyone, of course, needs enough to pay the bills . . . for the essentials of life like food, shelter, clothing, etc. And a bit of disposable income for fun and toys can also enhance life. The problem seems to be when there is great accumulation of money. To repeat: it does not appear to produce a joyful life.

Elvis Presley was a millionaire when he died 100 lbs. overweight and addicted to prescription drugs at age 42.

Howard Hughs, the richest person in America in the 60s-80s, lived a miserable life of phobic isolation and died of neurosyphilis.

Singer/songwriter Kurt Cobain was worth $50 million when he committed suicide at age 27.

David Edwards won $27 million on a lottery ticket in 2001. After lavish spending, he became a heavy drug user and died penniless at age 58.

In the 1930s, Mickey Rooney was the biggest movie star in the world, acquiring millions of dollars. In April of 2014, when he died at the age of 93, his estate was valued at $18,000. Happy in love? . . . none of his eight marriages lasted.

The examples could go on ad infinitum.

Au contraire the Beatles, “The Best Things in Life Are Free" is a duet between American singers

Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson recorded in 1992. It includes these lyrics:

The best things in life are free / Now that I've discovered what you mean to me

The best things in life are free / Now that we've got each other

Relationships . . . the core of life. Not money. Not toys. Not even the power that accompanies great wealth. True joy is to love and be loved. To respect and be respected.

That’s what I want.

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