…the very rich. They are different from you and me.
F Scott Fitzgerald
Increasingly, as the 1%’s income gap widens ever greater, along with it is the closely followed 2, to 10%ers … we have a culture of people and families that have so much, materially – but are empty, unhappy, lost, dissatisfied – miserable even.
So why when you have it all, does it not necessarily mean you’re deliriously happy too!
Let’s chuck the obvious cliché out of the way so we can get on with this – ‘Money doesn’t buy Happiness’.. blah blah .. yes we know. “But what if I’m rich and I simply want to be happy”. It’s almost impossible to articulate this without judgment.
In the past this was predominately a male problem, but increasingly women. However it can be inherited to members of your family, so along with a few million in the bank comes a psyche full of disillusionment for the kids.
So what’s going on?
The expectations and pressures around you – the achieved, the successful, the rich – are that you need to have some sort of grin on your face 24/7. The expectation is you need to be grateful, you can’t complain. How can you! You’ve got it all.
Or it can be that you’ve spent your whole life working and now that you’ve got ‘there’, you are just not feeling it! Again how can you complain, after all isn’t this what you worked for?
Trapped in a situation of having it all, like some Cracked Mirror drama, except this is nothing new. The unhappy rich are all over history, the Bible, the Koran, and folk tales. Stories about the feckless aristocracy, the sugar barons, the traders, the colonisers, bankers, and the tech trillionaires – Having it all. So why do we still keep trying to get more when we know in our history, hell in our DNA that it’s not the answer.with
On the outside, people would be quick to say ‘pity about them, who cares, they’ve got it all’. How can the poor have compassion for the rich? Unthinkable on both sides! Yet we must. When the captains are not happy the crew suffer.
It’s often so hard for the privileged to say they’re unhappy, to say these things out loud as there are so many struggling to get what the rich have. But there is a dark side to privilege – it needs some light as we’re caught in the groove like lemmings, aiming for it all and getting everything – and here’s the rub – including something missing in the pit of our stomach.
Fiona Austin is an expert in Paradise Syndrome and runs tailored programmes which specifically deal with finding a life that feels right. Contact