The illusion of wealth

The illusion of wealth


Have you ever seen a landowner whose land has been dug up or drilled into for resource extraction? I mean have you unconsciously taken a second look at one? And see how he/she carries himself/herself? Then mumbled something that isn’t a gasp of jealousy or a sigh of admiration but something that reminds you of a truth and that puts you at ease?


Have you ever seen a landowner who goes on a drinking spree as if tomorrow’s purse will always be full? And hear them brag about their reckless adventures? Then wear a smile akin to that of a person who has just achieved a milestone?


Seriously, do you sometimes ask yourself what drives the so called landowners mad with intoxicating confidence buttered with recklessness?


These landowners have a valid reason to be cheerful. They seem to have what it takes to pump up their adrenalin levels and maintained them at a certain high level for long periods. And sometimes it appears as though it is their nature to be cheerful.


The reason for their cheerfulness is basically their potential for wealth accumulation due to the impending or ongoing extraction of natural resources under or on their traditional land. Actually it is the thought of pockets full of money and owning expensive toys that is the basis for their cheerfulness.


Money, savings, investments, homes or other forms of “financial capital” Is what we almost always associate with wealth.  By wealth accumulation we all will think of accumulation of these and in PNG include number of wives. But wait a minute; is wealth really what we automatically perceive?


Wealth takes on different definitions, context-dependent, and there is no universally agreed upon definition. The word wealth comes from the Old English words “weal” (well-being) and “th” (condition) which taken together means “the condition of well-being”? And it is this that concerns me.


I’d like to talk about wealth in terms of well-being –happiness, joy and contentment one finds in the relationship with fellow human beings; in watching the sun sets; in listening to the orchestra of nature; in reading the poetry of nature as it is being written anew each new day; and in deciphering the mysteries of life as one grows older. I mean the things that make life worthwhile!


Do you sometimes find yourself really enjoying the company of your children, or your siblings, or your parents or spouse? And sighed; ‘wow’ then proceed to scribble these moments in your memory so that you’d retrieve them at an appropriate time in the future?


The satisfaction and joy derived from such social interaction with less material wealth is real wealth. It is wealth that can’t be purchased nor stolen or diminished in value with time. This is the wealth that landowners of PNG need; the things that make life worthwhile. The little things found only when a fruitful relationship with neighbours, family members, children or nature is established.


Unfortunately, a lot of the so called landowners appear to have no real wealth. A majority seem to suffer from bad marital relationships; alienation from their own children; bad debts; addictive behaviours; and spending very little time appreciating the glory of nature as it is splashed across the skies and space within our reach.


The potential of wealth (properties and money) accumulation has deceived many landowners into believing in the illusion that material wealth will certainly make life more meaningful and satisfying. In the process of acquiring this wealth many have fallen into a trap of their own making. And it is hard for them to escape from it.


There are many landowners who reside in the squatter settlements in and around Port Moresby; and live in impoverished conditions. Yet they behave as if they have material wealth, let alone real wealth; and make no attempt whatsoever to improve their livelihoods. Their lifestyles are actually tragedies; tragic tales that reek of recklessness, and unrealistic expectations.


All these landowners need is a pause and re-evaluation of their lives. Then start all over again by reestablishing broken relationships, spending more time with their children, appreciate nature and all that is provided for free by their neighbours and nature. Then map out a new path in peace and calm and proceed with life.


The illusion of wealth that is created when one’s land is been explored for resources or when resources are been extracted from one’s land lead many to be less aware of the real wealth-the little things that make life worthwhile.


About febijefwhispers
I love reading and writing poetry!

3 Responses to The illusion of wealth

  1. Admin says:

    Very very true and most of the LOs have died without getting more of what they should have enjoyed.

  2. Martin Maden says:

    Hi Bro, Jeffrey,
    Great Blog. Congratulations..!
    I came across it the other day and tried to leave a comment but I had a protocol problem.
    But now it seems that it will work.
    Best Wishes,

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