Senseless. Shallow. – March 1, 2023 (73/365)

So we talked about the four eternal markets: wealth, health, happiness, and relationships. People appeal to how success is found in one or a combination of these four items.

We also talked about how Christ became the exact opposite of these things, at the cross: He lost everything in terms of physical and material riches. He did not just suffer the ultimate lack of bodily health (that is, the end of His physical body), but he experienced excruciating pain beyond all sorts of sickness and disease in the torture of tortures, torment of torments. He was indeed, as the prophet Isaiah proclaimed: A man without joy, or a man of sorrows, to be precise (Isaiah 53:3). Finally, He was rejected by God and man, the separation of the former so painful that of all the things He could cry out to complain about, He chose to cry out, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?!’

We talked about how the presence of sin in our lives is so detrimental that it is laced into any wealth we may earn for ourselves. Though we may be in the top of our physical and mental game, the presence of sin means that it’ll all fade into death and nothingness. We may be happy now, but the shadow of sin would loom over us, striking in the dark, or leaving us in the dark. We may have friends and family now, but they would never be with us perpetually, and sin always brings us to the realization that we are ultimately alone.

Finally, we talked about how Christ became our sin and took on the ultimate death, that we who would believe in Him would not perish, but have everlasting Life – Life in our wealth, health, happiness, and relationships, or lack thereof. Life that is superior to all of these things that this reality insists we should have.

Sorry, I thought I’d talk about these as a recap to what I wrote about yesterday… not necessarily for you, but for me to clarify within myself.

I wrote the following tirade as a response to the strong feelings I had after a certain gathering… and it was supposed to be an elaboration to support whatever I said about the four eternal markets. To be honest I wanted to write a whole lot more about it, but I guess I could more or less summarize what I had in mind in what was written above.

Since birth it’s forced upon us to want to be wealthy: ‘He who dies with the most toys wins!’, or so they say. These toys come in the form of flashy cars and huge, posh mansions. To make a sale or to have greater chances of success in any transaction, it’s implied that you’re supposed to leave a resolute (meaning wealthy) first impression with sharp, customized power suits.

Speaking of first impressions I came from this one ‘seminar’ where I was told that we were going to have a fellowship of sorts between co-investors; it turned out to be a lecture on how to be more ‘sellable’: That is, you’re to appeal to the five senses if you’re to appear convincing. You appeal to one’s sense of taste by way of offering hot food to seem warm and welcoming in colder environments, or cold food to seem calm and refreshing in hotter climates. You appeal to one’s sense of touch by way of – well, touching, but touching appropriately (none of that intimate stuff, you want to ‘connect’ without connecting too much), and touching properly (if you’re connecting to one person, then connect to others so it doesn’t seem like you’re singling one person out – unless that’s your goal).

You appeal to one’s sense of hearing by sounding confident, and to acknowledge that they say, affirming them and validating them for something you sincerely appreciate in them – their style, their handshake, previous pleasantries, and the like. You appeal to one’s sense of smell, well, by making sure you don’t reek, and also by making sure you smell good – ‘good’ being rich, recognizable scents among rich folks, and really, just overall smelling clean. And as far as I know, you try to smell less citrusy for colder climates, and more robust for warmer gatherings.

Finally, going back to power suits, you appeal to one’s sense of sight; And I have nothing against power suits, or just suits in general. I’d like to have my own set of them. I work out so I could wear them. I also agree that fit, fabric, and function are of the utmost importance, no matter what setting you’re in, even down to the clothes you wear to bed. Huge thanks to all the style channels on YouTube. Apparently the dude who was speaking at this fellowship turned seminar was aware of these same principles of style, but he went further by adding the emphasis of accessorizing.

To my surprise he didn’t say much about investing in a Rolex, though I find that… slightly reasonable, I suppose. He did talk about the necklace he had, which, combined with the appropriate pendant, costs a cool half million Philippine Pesos. He talked about his bracelet, which costs around thirty thousand pesos. He was saying that those in the know would notice these sorts of things, and it’s supposed to convince them in a non-verbal way that they can trust this person.

I mean, sure, some people could be convinced by this, but I’m reminded of the style of the fictional Bobby Axelrod (portrayed by the legendary Damian Lewis) in Billions. Sure, there were times he wore suits (which fit his tall figure), but most of the time you would see him wear hoodies, henleys, jeans and sneakers. I actually made some adjustments to my own wardrobe based on his fashion sense, and there have been times I’d look at my outfit in the mirror and just say, ‘Axelrod!’.

There’s also a tweet that really got to me, and it was no accident that I saw it a little after this fun seminar – I’m not sure of the exact words, but the point was that wealthy people spend money to appear invisible, and poor people spend money to appear wealthy.

The dude wrapped all he said with one line – “I’m not judging you, but people are judging you.”; And sure, that’s very possible. But my take on all of this is that it’s not for us to appear wealthy to impress people, but it’s more for us to appeal to the five senses according to the people you’re to interact with. You adjust to them. I’m not saying I’m vehemently against everything that was discussed, but I question the intentions behind them – are you communicating for yourself, or are you genuinely looking out for the people you’re talking to?

The point here is, if you’re already lying to yourself by thinking that looking wealthy will get you somewhere, how much more pressure are you potentially imposing upon yourself by focusing all of your energy on actually being wealthy?

To just tie off this loose end, I just want to say this – people aren’t necessarily judging you. That’s a little more harsh than I’m used to. But I will say this – Your security or insecurity will find its way out for all to see, no matter how you hide it or no matter how you try to appear as something else.

There are better ways to appreciate the senses.

Until the next post, God bless you.

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