“OF WEALTH, FAME AND LOVE”
Erasmus Cromwell-Smith

“OF WEALTH, FAME AND LOVE”

One way or another,

we all chase,

some of us relentlessly,

wealth, fame and love,

in this exact order of importance.

These life illusions

don’t always present themselves

in such a prescribed pecking order.

Fact is, we never know

who shows up first,

or if any of them

will ever make itself present,

at all.

But if they do,

we’ll face one of

life’s most puzzling conundrums,

that is, what are we keenly after,

is not only elusive,

but usually comes

at the expense of something else.

Correspondingly, more often than not,

when we are graced with riches and a good name,

it comes at the expense of love,

or if we become wealthy,

it is at the expense of the other two,

or a good reputation comes without love or riches,

or love blesses us without riches or even a good name.

What is not so apparent though,

is that this triad of grand illusions,

which we covet so much, comes at the expense of others,

even more important virtues,

some existential in nature, others, crucial life attitudes,

than our three grand illusory obsessions.

As we chase wealth,

we sacrifice frugality,

and run the risk of losing

our ability to appreciate

the true value of people or material things,

or perhaps even worse

we become unable

to value the simplest of things,

especially those that

are nominally scarce in quantifiable degrees.

As as we go after reputation,

we run the risk that,

nothing about us is nameless any longer,

and the fiction of what others think about us,

morphs into an obsession and becomes more important

than the reality of who we really are.

Falsely, anonymity then becomes

a synonym for failure or lack of accomplishment,

and everything we do or we work for,

becomes attached to our name and ego.

But the biggest risk we face with fame

is that everything we do in life,

for others or ourselves,

becomes somewhat and somehow,

driven and conditioned,

by what others think, how they react,

and how they behave.

Thus, we lose part or all of our sense of identity,

as the purest of all acts in life,

the acts of conscience,

where we are only accountable to ourselves,

totally escape us.

But the most difficult

of our life’s grand illusions to go after is love

as by doing so,

we run the risk of sacrificing freedom.

Love is a compromise between two souls,

where each one “gives” a part of themselves,

and a couple is born.

But a twosome is a separate unit

from the two individuals,

and the balance between

the individuality of each one versus the couple,

even though attainable,

is very difficult to achieve,

and even more so to maintain.

The problem lies in,

that self-determination and liberty

are not that compatible with love.

It takes a lot of maturity, tolerance and compromise

for both to coexist.

It is in true love

where the boundaries within a couple blend best.

This happens,

when freedom, instead of being an obstacle,

is actually the bond,

that unites authentic love.

Strings and ties,

are not driven by walls

of insecurity and possession,

but by the natural, spontaneous

and comfortable yearning,

for our other half,

and the certainties of immanent belonging

to someone else’s heart.

Are we then, just chasing,

these three grand illusions in life?

Is that all we are capable to do?

Are they only a mirage?

Do we sacrifice frugality and austerity

when we go after riches and wealth?

Do we lose anonymity and our own identity

when we are after reputation and a good name?

And, do we lose freedom and self-determination

when we join in love?

Before chasing wealth,

perhaps we should learn to be frugal and austere first

so we learn the true value of things,

and how precious is each fellow human being?

And we should learn first how to be

humbly anonymous and modestly nameless,

and do things for ourselves,

based on our conscience alone,

before chasing reputation and a good name,

which are always based

on what other’s think of us,

instead of on what we really think about ourselves.

And we could learn about freedom

and self-determination first,

hopefully before true love finds us,

hooking us up with someone else,

so we will be capable of balancing,

the emerging couple

with our individuality and sense of being.

Life is a mirage of three grand illusions,

wealth, fame and love,

that require a fine balance between them,

as not to hurt some,

at the expense of a triad of others,

namely frugality, anonymity, and freedom

as we require them as well,

for a wholesome, well balanced and happy life.

Erasmus Cromwell-Smith

July 2020.

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