The One Thing Money Can’t Cure – Melissa Matthews – Medium

emptiness is the great equalizer…

We’ve all been watching with bated breath this week as this college admissions scandal has unfolded in the U.S.

Has Lifetime cast their movie yet?

At least forty celebrities and high-powered CEOs were charged with fraud amongst other acts. All for paying ungodly sums to get their mediocre children admitted to prestigious institutions. It makes for a great screenplay for a Lifetime movie.

But who was really surprised?

I, for one, was not. It is a commonly held belief and tacitly accepted norm that these things happen amongst the wealthy — the world over. We lowly schlubs just work excruciatingly hard to scramble for their scraps. Hunger Games is an exaggerated depiction of this centuries-old practice. Ironic that Hollywood and media is always rubbing it in our noses.

Having very little proximity to this type of privilege myself — as my existence borders on the intersection of first-generation American avenue and regla-degla black girl way — what surprised me most was the sheer volume of monies paid for the services rendered.

I suppose in my mind, these mongo-rich people [as Theo Huxtable once called them] could just pick up the phone from their yacht and get an old buddy to backdoor their kid in. Wrong!… I guess.

What happened to old-fashioned cronyism like back when 45 and George Dub’s parents did it?

The unmitigated absurdity of the schemes today’s high rollers have employed just for degrees for their kids — in a world that has become less and less dependent on such accolades for social and professional capital — is mind-blowing to me.

Lori Loughlin and her husband allegedly paid 500k to get their daughters into USC. One of whom is already a successful Instagram “influencer” and on record saying she’s “just not that into school.”

Why not just send her to apprentice with Kris Jenner?

This is one of many questions that crossed my mind whilst watching the youtube video of said child whining about school interfering with her “work obligations.”

“[Work] ain’t that what you go to school for? So you can get a job?”

I remember an interview with Oprah quoting a professor of hers that said that to her when she was avoiding a local TV job during her undergraduate studies.

So if it isn’t about that — a job — for these mongo-rich parents and their mongo-rich-mediocre children, what could it possibly be about?

I’m glad you asked, I have a theory.

We’re all chasing something

As human beings, struggle is an innate part of what fuels us. Our journeys are inherently different but we are all ultimately searching for the same thing by different names.

Some of us are chasing it through spirituality, others through work and wealth, some through charity, and then there are these mongo-rich folk chasing it through clout.

What is “it”?


Life is lonely and empty by design

You’re born alone [well most…not me, actually] and you die alone. The void in between is what most of us are trying to fill up with whatever makes us feel whole/complete/accomplished.

“That’s my baby” and other reasons you’d buy a VIP Pass to Club Fed too

As a parent, I can tell you that once you fill a piece of your void with a child [no matter how mediocre the world may think they are], a big part of your accomplishment comes through their “accomplishments.”

The ability to puff out your chest and brag about your kid’s successes, real or imagined provides an explicable feeling of satiation.

Trust me, I just wrote this piece, I Made My Kid’s Wings doing just that.

I cannot imagine the pride and/or clout that might come from setting your child up for life both financially and through proximity to power.

I actually feel [a lil] sorry for those charged and their kids

Can you imagine your parents paying your way into school behind your back and finding out when they’ve been charged with a federal crime? OR your parents doing the same in front of your face?

Let me list the shame…

  1. violating your trust.
  2. basically letting you know that they have no faith in your abilities.
  3. the entire world now being privy to the fact that your parents do not think highly enough of you to even let you try to get into school on your own merits or pursue whatever you could do naturally.
  4. your name being dragged through the press.
  5. the humiliation of being the dummies to get caught on wire-taps committing fraud in the name of being able to puff your chest out.

Hmmm…I’m not a thousandnaire, millionaire, nor billionaire, so you tell me, is money a good enough balm to soothe those wounds?

Emptiness is the great equalizer

Whether you are born dirt poor or with a platinum spoon in your mouth, you want more. More than what you have. More than what you need…

Wantingness is the cornerstone of capitalism. I don’t know about you but capitalism has been king for as long as I’ve been alive.

So I get it…

Not only wanting to be the best, have the best, live the best life, but to extend those courtesies to your children. We all want to have that ability.

Some of our morality codes — poor schlubs — wouldn’t let us use such unscrupulous means to achieve it. However, we don’t yet have idgaf money, do we?

We can never say never, but…

three key things in closing:

  1. If you really think about it, there is at least one thing you might be willing to bend the rules to achieve. Isn’t there?

2. Whatever it might be, don’t do it over the phone or leave a paper trail, k?!

3. If we’ve learned nothing else from this, consider examining the unhealthy ways you might be trying to fill your own void.

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