My dad asked me what I thought about things, and then he listened to my answers. My grandma made it a habit to do research. We were always looking in the dictionary or the encyclopedia. Even if I thought it was boring, we’d still look it up because it was important to know about the world. Gene, bastard that he was, taught me how to speak with authority, and my mom never lied to me. She lied to herself, but as far as she was able, she told me the truth about things, which was an invaluable gift.
So many parents buy their children stuff, or spend time at work to prove how much they love them by making “enough money.” What the fuck is enough money anyway? I don’t think anybody’s ever had that. They tell their children what they should think, instead of teaching them how to think for themselves. They tell them to be quiet and they don’t challenge them, or make them work for anything. They say that everything is fine, or that nothing is happening when things are clearly not fine, and something is obviously happening.
It’s easy to look at parents, especially mine and say what went wrong. What they failed to do. But it’s also important to acknowledge the ways in which they gave me an advantage. One of which was to be really clear about their own failings. I had them for parents, but I also had and still have so many other amazing people in my life that I can turn to for parent stuff, because two people is far too few people for one child or one childhood. Or one person.
True wealth has nothing to do with money. People, experiences, and knowledge are the real value. Money is a part of that. You do need enough money to operate on a basic human level. Money for living indoors, eating good food, and having healthcare are really important. Also money for going outside and being with people. But everything above that is just window dressing.