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Greed is a Good Thing

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Guest blogger Dani Klein Modisett: In a culture currently driven to self-destruction by ambition and greed, does it make me simple-minded to think that what I have is enough?

mother hugging son thinking about being wealthy

I have given this question a lot of thought over the years. I've always found it a delicate balance in life. To appreciate what I have, while simultaneously lusting after shiny new things.

So yes, I'm grateful my Toyota runs nicely, but driving a BMW 3 Series would sure make me feel special. A wool sweater keeps me warm, but a cashmere sweater makes getting dressed luxurious. Hand-crafted silver from the local flea market is fun, but there's something about wearing a trinket that came out of a blue Tiffany box that says "I'm expensive." On days when I don't feel worth much, I imagine that it would be helpful to have all these material buoys around to keep me from drowning in self-pity.

I say "imagine" because those comforts aren't the signposts of my lifestyle. I wasn't born rich, I've never worked on Wall St., and in fact, I've never been willing to make the sacrifices of my time or integrity to become rich.

When I was single, wealthy older men made me squirm. I've always been too much of a free spirit to keep a job for very long, and now that I'm a mother, I will drive that Toyota into the ground, darn every wool sweater I own, and eat Ramen noodles in a cup before I take a job that keeps me from being able to do homework with my son after school.

I'm greedy. I'm greedy for afternoons spent buying popsicles and uninterrupted sleep and the giggles of my one year old.

And donuts. I really can never eat enough donuts.

Dani Klein ModisettDani Klein Modisett is the mother of 1-year-old Gideon (pictured) and 5-year-old Gabriel. She is comedy writer/creator/producer of the show "Afterbirth...stories you won't read in Parents magazine." An anthology of stories from this show will be published by St. Martin's Press, in stores in May 2009.


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3 comments so far | Post a comment now
Charles October 6, 2008, 12:22 PM

If you aren’t happy with what you have, you won’t be happy with more. You’ll always be lusting for that “next big thing.” Find contentment in your life, your love, your family, not in things.

ashley October 7, 2008, 7:36 AM

I like this story. I feel the same way. Just the other day my husband put a CD player in my car because my radio fried. I was so excited I called my friend and she was like, “You need to tell him to buy you a new car!” You know what, I’m happy with my little bucket of a car. I just got offered to be a supervisor at my old job and it would make enough money to get a new car but I want to stay home with my 1 1/2 yo daughter and drop off and pick up my 6 yo son from school everyday. Even though my car is the crappiest one in the parking lot.

dani klein modisett October 8, 2008, 5:15 PM

Thanks Ashley, you made me smile:)


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