My attention was caught by this story in the SST of a family selling many of their possessions to ensure cash flow for their businesses.
It struck me as a fine example of how different others are from oneself, and yet how the world is somehow finely in balance because of it.
The chap described in the story, Regan Frost, is indeed most unlike me. (NB: I'm aware many of our dimmer readers consider the phrase "not like me" to be a pejorative term indicating contempt and hatred, but for most of us this is not the case.) He appears to be living testament to the truism that there's one thing money can't buy: good taste. The posessions on sale mentioned in the sidebar of the print edition were a veritable catalogue of grotesque vulgarity - so ludicrous in fact that it would hardly have seemed credible were it not also mentioned that Mr Frost had inflicted the names "Porsche" and "Jag" on his children.
(I couldn't help but ponder whether Porsche will grow up to be overly heavy at the back end and very unforgiving, Jag to be sexy but annoyingly unreliable, and both of them to be unreasonably high-maintenance.)
But I digress - back to the point of this thing. Mr Frost is selling all this unspeakable shit for the following reason:
"We can sell the piano, the spa pool, we don't need that stuff, it can all be replaced but the business can't."
Here we have a clear indication as to why Mr Frost is (or at least was) a successful businessman, while I, someone who couldn't sell water in a desert, remain a mere hireling: he recognises the relative worth of his posessions compared with his business, and acts accordingly. I couldn't do this - my posessions are in many cases very fine if not particularly expensive things that I care a great deal about and couldn't give up lightly, especially my house. This is one reason I'm prepared, unlike Mr Frost, to settle for job security on a modest salary, rather than setting out to make myself rich through enterprise.
(Further digression: I know many of our readers apply moral values to matters such as this and will consider Regan Frost to be indisputably my moral superior for pursuing an entrepreneurial career, rather than offering specialist skills to a large organisation in exchange for security and a regular paycheck. Such moral judgements are foolishness - it makes no more sense than for me to consider myself Regan Frost's moral superior because he lacks good taste.)
Back to the point - again. Consider how beautifully it balances: Regan Frost sensibly cares less for his posessions than for the much more important matter of actually making the money to be able to buy such things, which is very fortunate because his posessions are over-priced tat that no-one should ever care about; Psycho Milt on the other hand devotes taste and thought to his posessions and would never fling money at over-priced tat, which is also very fortunate because he will never be in a position of having large amounts of money to fling at anything. There is something very fitting about this, which left me satisfied with the story in a way I wouldn't have imagined in my initial eye-bulging horror at the sheer vulgarity it.