Sunday, January 27, 2008

RANT: Money

So I'm staring at my w2. It's the document that summarizes the last year of your life into five or six orderly line items. There's your social security number, your gross income, your net income, and how much you've paid in taxes. Sure, there's some other data about your employer and the like, but those four lines pretty much define your value as a barcode citizen.

After selling back two weeks of vacation, getting a decent bonus, and working my ass off for a whole year, I did pretty well for myself. I have a decent place with a cool roomie, my personal life is as shitty as can be expected, I work too much, I bought another car to replace the one I lost in an accident without really breaking a sweat, and I didn't have to fob off any bills when my income was reduced for legal reasons.

So, why is this a rant? Well, money isn't everything. I'm pretty certain that four line items can't summarize a whole year's worth of life. Matter of fact, I'm absolutely certain that they can't. I've grown, my friends have grown, I've survived things that would've killed me in those fanciful years of old, I changed the first digit of my age, I found my stride as a single white male, and I'm better for all of it. Money was helpful and harmful to my progress, but the acquisition of wealth can't be what it's all about. Surely our worth as human beings with real thoughts can't just be a matter of numbers.

If I'm going to spend the next year of my life relaxing while they ease it in, I at least want my form to have a comment section that reads "Thanks for being a cog in our great economic machine."

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