Hustle Culture or Mammon Worship

I think that I’m a pretty average guy all the way across the board. I’m not exceptionally tall, rich, funny or handsome. But I’m not short, broke, lame, or ugly either. I’m in pretty good shape, but my body is athletic as I do work out pretty consistently and I do look a lot younger than my age would suggest. I don’t aspire to rule the world or measure up to some “black excellence” standard. I just want to live, love, learn, be healthy, active, and financially be able to provide for myself and those closest to me. If I live to be very old, I don’t want to be a burden to anyone.

I don’t care for being in a ‘power couple.’ I don’t care for luxurious living. I don’t care for instagram photo ops. I don’t strive for fame or power or leaving a ‘legacy’ behind. I’m pretty simple. One could say content. In the current culture, many might say complacent….especially In our current materialistic / hustle/ get the bag culture it could be arguable and I wouldn’t necessarily disagree. Sometimes I do find myself wondering if there is something wrong with me. Don’t get me wrong, if opportunity does present itself, I won’t shy away from it. I don’t mind working hard and doing my best whenever the the job calls for it. I am a team player.

That said, I think all that is to say that by many measures, you could consider me a ‘beta’ male. I’m not afraid of conflict though I do try to understand things from outside my own personal perspective. My goal usually isn’t to win…per say…but to gain understanding in order to create win / win scenarios if possible. I find myself saying to people a lot “It’s not about me being right or you being wrong….it’s about trying to understand why you think that way.” I just irks me when people argue with soundbites, talking points, and clever, yet out of context quotables. When asked to defend it, it’s usually some appeal to ‘authority’ or some sort of deflection. I wonder if I just don’t get it sometimes and maybe it is a lack of ‘understanding’ on my behalf….. But often times, i’m just irritated because I once thought that way as well, so I do understand the surface level arguments.

I’m pretty agreeable, but in this day and age, I can say that this may be a liability. Jordan Peterson would probably say that I am the problem (or product) of this modern age.

I really have to step outside of my comfort zone to be a selfish asshole and abandon my sensibilites about fairness. I believe that people do deserve what they work for….but I also realize that this is life and shit happens. I also believe that our circumstances aren’t always in our control…. I know many people who are just as intelligent and capable than me but yet aren’t on my level of ‘financial success.’ due to bad decisions or worse circumstances. But I also know others who aren’t but are making way more money. That said, I’m usually not impressed by (though I am usually happy for) people with great financial abundance.

It really seems all across the board a lot of ‘success’ comes down to people stumbling across it due to their individual life circumstances leading them. This isn’t necessarily due to a person’s capabilities though that does play a role in it. For example, some people gain success from starting a youtube video just so happened to be living in a time and era where this is possible. If youtube weren’t a thing, would they have their wealth? It’s not like they invented youtube, or cameras, or whatever. Yet, they are so cocksure that they’d have figured a way out. As another example, STBXW seems to believe that if she hadn’t chosen the path of being a nurse, she’d have been just as financially successful. Not to take away from the work that she put in to become one, but from my viewpoint, her work ethic and intelligence is average at best. Nurses just so happen to make a ton of money right now. I know school teachers who make way less money and are way more dedicated to their jobs. A friend once told me that even though she made a shit ton of money, she feels blessed and that she knows that it could be taken from her. So while money is important, it’s not a determining factor when it comes to who she likes. She also told me that she went to school with people making 200k + a year and she had no idea how they even graduated from university. Let alone how they landed such great paying positions. One of the most competent and intelligent person I know was the head custodian at my previous job. Although she made decent money, I know people who make way more money, yet she could mentally run circles around them as far as her work ethic, ability to figure things out, and plain old common sense.

Still though, despite that, many of us Americans seem to have been infected with this notion that we should always be striving to ‘get the bag.’ We beleive that we should always be trying to get more. And once we get ‘more’ we should be trying to how to figure out how to get ‘more.’ Back when I used to take clever hip hop rap lyrics as gospel…..I heard lil wayne say, “I’m not hungry, I’m greedy.” as a metaphor about his hustle mentality. I thought it was the way we should all be.

A quick google search of Mammon shows that: “Mammon is a powerful fallen angel, now demon, that personifies the sin of Greed and is the demon lord of avarice, richness, abundance, prosperity, wealth and injustice, most often personified as a deity.”

According to scripture: Matthew 6:24: “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

Ironically, even though I don’t consider myself a christian anymore….(at least not by most commonly used contexts)….the vast majority of people I know do. Yet it would seem that their insatiable reverence for luxury, material, and money would align directly with worship of mammon. They might not call it that directly, but in mind, deed, and action it appears that they do. Instead of mammon worship, they just call it ‘get the bag.’ I’ve also heard many people say “I just love money”. I’ve heard it said that “money isn’t the root of all evil, but the love of it is.” I’m sure that I’m not the only person who’s heard this common statement, yet it shows the cognitive dissonance prevalent here in America. Most people would agree with this statement, yet depending on the conversation, they would also agree that they indeed….Do love money.

On one hand greed and the desire for ‘more’ does drive capitalism. Fear of missing out, keeping up with Jones’, and feeling entitled to the “good life” also keeps people motivated from just sitting around and being bums all day I guess. So maybe it does have a place in the world.

On the other hand, the argument that people wouldn’t be as innovative nor desire to be great if not motivated by money doesn’t seem to be a great argument to me. This is often used by people who fear socialism or other forms of a more utilitarian distribution of the earth’s resources. I don’t know, it seems to me though that the thing that drive the most successful people isn’t the money that they can make, but some sort of passion/skill/talent or desire to want to do something. I guarantee that the NBA wouldn’t have a lack of talent if the top players only made 400k annually.

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