Why I Don’t Want to Be Rich or Famous

Stephen F. Dennstedt

I don’t want to be rich or famous. In this era of the Millennial-mindset and social media psychology it seems like almost everyone wants to be rich, famous or preferably both. Not me. Invisible and flying under the radar is the best way to live.

It’s cliché but money and fame don’t guarantee happiness—often it’s quite the opposite. At the age of 71 it is highly unlikely that I will suddenly become rich or famous—and that’s fine with me and totally acceptable. I have enough.

I have enough money and I have enough good health. Happiness and unhappiness come and go like waves upon a beach—I gravitate to the Buddhist practice of clinging to neither. Appreciate the now and accept whatever is happening in the moment. We live the life we are meant to live. Acceptance of what is can be simple but it’s not easy—it never seems easy. At least not to me. If I had more money or fame it would only blind me to the simple life which has become my mantra: live simple, live cheap, live free. Life is about experiencing the world around us and making memories not making money and collecting stuff.

Amazon Sunset – Northern Amazon River Basin

NaÏve or evolved? Who’s to say. It works for me. The headlines shout about celebrities (those who seemingly have it all) self-destructing with suicide, emotional collapse and drug addiction. No thank you. I am perfectly happy to remain invisible, fly under the radar and shoulder my rucksack to travel to new and exotic places on this small blue marble we call planet Earth. If I had more money I would be tempted to travel first-class, if I had more fame I would be too damn high and mighty to talk to ordinary people. And if I had both what then? I would be prey.

Wild Orchid – Northern Amazon River Basin

I would be the target of every opportunistic human predator prowling the human jungle for its next kill. Just ask any lottery winner. Nope. My life is good just the way it is. Enough is enough if you can accept that it’s enough. If you can’t you become what the Buddhists call a hungry ghost—never getting enough to eat, never satisfied. In our world travels we’ve found that people who have the least (monetarily speaking) are the most generous and the most content. Seven years ago I lost my money and possessions and frankly I’ve never been more content with my life.


8 responses to “Why I Don’t Want to Be Rich or Famous

  1. You’ve hit on one of the greatest and most destructive maladies of our age: the hunger for more. Money. Popularity. Possessions. Fame. I see people around me every day chasing these things — and then wondering why they’re depressed, anxious, and even self-destructive. I’m glad that you’ve found your path to contentment through a simple life that is nonetheless full of rich experiences (like beautiful flowers and the occasional cold beer).

    • You seem pretty well grounded yourself Heide. Materialism is the bane of our modern existence it would appear … I’m afraid sudden fame or fortune would immediately put me back on the treadmill. It’s easy to be pious when you’re broke and forced to live simple. Given sufficient money most of us chose to live otherwise.

  2. As long as you have your travel legs and enough to get to your destination, you are a lucky soul. Love your philosophy of less is more. “The way of less is path trodden by some of the best minds throughout history.” May your travels continue to excite your inner child and bring you joy. 🙂

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