"It is good, to check up once in a while and make sure you haven't lost the things money can't buy" – LORIMER. Have you ever asked yourself to know really the things money can't buy? I have, but couldn't readily find any – maybe I didn't ponder deeply enough or I was being overwhelmed by the power of money – I'm sorry!
I’ve heard that true love, peace of mind, sound sleep, sincerity, loyalty, etc, are some of the virtues that do not bow to the command of cash. But the problem is that these virtues compete fiercely with their counterfeits, confusing ordinary mortals in allocating their true identity – whether virtues, vices or in between.
I graced a gorgeous wedding ceremony in 1999. The bride was a banker whereas the groom had been jobless during their five years of courtship. The good girl never cared; she took him to the altar, shouldering all expenses. “What a true love,” every society would say.
Four years after that memorable wedding occasion, the husband’s joblessness wasn’t giving way. He was still being fed and clothed by his for-better-for-worse wife. Even his cigarette, coke and Mother’s Day gift for his own mother, crept out of his wife’s purse. Their union had since produced two kids, doubling the household burden – all on the poor woman’s shoulders.
Last December, I ran across the young man in town. He looked shabby and emaciated. “How’re you, how’s your wife and kids?” I asked impulsively. He dropped his head, swallowed and said, “She kicked me out. She said she had resisted long enough, and since my situation wasn’t ameliorating we needed to separate for a while so she could concentrate more on her kids and career.”
Wow! So true love expires? I didn’t know that. What if the guy had got a worthy job immediately after their marriage, would she have succumbed to the pressures of catering for the whole family?
Even if money didn’t give birth to her “true love”, a continuous flow of cash in the home –especially from the man’s wallet – would have nourished and sustained that love. So, money can buy (oh sorry) maintain true love?
Peace of mind
Now, peace of mind, or true peace of mind! They always add “true” to differentiate the virtue from its fake – true love, true peace, true sincerity, true loyalty, true something, etc. How would you know it’s a true one at the onset, when it is yet to be tested by “lack of money”?
Peace of mind is the absence of worries on the mind or in the soul; tell me if my definition is wrong. Will your soul be at peace if you’re hungry; if your kids are sick and you’ve got no money for drugs; if your mum asks for financial assistance and you’re just incapable; if your girl is about to go to jail unless she pays up her debt, of which you can’t help?
Now, you want to remind me of sincerity and loyalty – oh sorry, true sincerity and true loyalty. Money just can’t buy them – really?
My lawyer friend once recounted a case he handled in 2005. His client was a storekeeper with a rich Lebanese businessman. He had been truly faithful, truly loyal, truly sincere, to his boss for almost a decade. He never pocketed money he wasn’t entitled to, even if his boss wouldn’t know about it.
Now his little pregnant sister was labouring in the hospital, he was called to deposit a large sum of money for a Caesarean section. He implored his boss, who refuted that it was none of his business. The guy had no other choice than stealing from the week’s takings. His sister and baby were safely discharged but he was charged and sentenced for stealing.
His true and long-time faithfulness, sincerity and loyalty cracked in the face of a problem only money could have solved. Money ousted these virtues from him and installed some form of necessary vice. If he had had enough money, his true and true virtues wouldn’t have been bought by the other power of money – the problem-solving power.
Now, I’m confused, totally, and I need help. If there is still a thing money can’t buy, tell me, ple-a-s-e!
PEOPLE is a new satirical column written by Kingsley Kobo every Thursday. Next week, I’ll be sharing something about success and failure. See you!