All our life we are advised to save and put away for a rainy day; our retirement and sunset years, and the fool and the wise man, make their own interpretation of how to go about it. There are those of us who take up this goal seriously; and make task lists, and set goals, and work hard at achieving milestones, which will make us more secure. We work diligently all our lives; and if lucky we achieve a level of prosperity, that allows us to enjoy life, when we are mature and in greater needs of the comforts that a geriatric population needs. There are others who fitter away fortunes; on the latest craze, and consume as if there is no tomorrow, and have no goals except for pandering to their latest whims. Easy come and easy go; seems to be their motto, as they live in an age of abundance and feel that there are inexhaustible resources available, and the more they consume, the more will be created, to ensure that they can continue to do so.
For the first time in the history of humans we have the technology and industry available to feed, house, educate, protect and socially connect billions. Malthus would be amazed that such a vast population can exist as all his theories pointed to the earth’s resources drying up, in the case of such an assault for our species. We have standardized the basics; and created the means to productively provide vast quantities of goods and services, to allow us to continue to prosper. From the landless pheasant with his cell phone checking the market price of his\her produce; to the engineer who is writing the latest program to support the technology, we can rest assured that things will only get better. This is the information age and data is now counted in trillions of bytes; and we produce more each year than all our ancestors did, for all our evolution. We continue to live a modern life with brains that haven’t significantly evolved; since the first humanoids walked upright, and started to use tools and fire. We have transferred these tasks to microprocessors and machines and our tools are getting more sophisticated each day; allowing us to use our limited brain capacity, for greater good.
This journey is just starting and as we are using up the earth and its resources; we are now looking outward and find that there is a whole universe out there, just waiting for us, to evolve and move into it. If we harness a fraction of our sun’s energy; we can have more than enough for our needs for millenniums, so what more can we possibly do with the billions of other suns out there? By just using the Sun’s gravity as a slingshot (as an example) we could travel to distant stars and their planets and continue on to infinity. But I digress as the passage is meant to be about personal choices and savings, and how to live a better balance in our life. The wise man husbands his sexual energy to be more creative and achieve more in life; while the fool squanders it away on the first available opportunity, to satisfy his carnal needs. The one I call truly wise is the one who knows both good and evil; and then evaluates them at each step, and picks the right path.
The sage of Omaha looks for companies who have built moats around them; and will continue to reward their investors even if a fool takes over the helm, as he knows in his wisdom, that surely the day will come when a fool will run them. The US corporations remain his first choice as he feels that they will continue to outperform gold, bonds and other investment choices out there. So to discipline ourselves and invest in low cost mutual funds or to build portfolios with dividend reinvestment plans; with a large fraction of our current income, seems to be the only way to go. He has made many millionaires among his faithful and imitators, and we can follow the same path. So we can deprive ourselves today by not taking that extravagant vacation or buying that must have luxury, and live a happier life tomorrow. Luxury resorts that cater to every single whim imaginable; will continue to prosper, but we will leave the money to our descendants to enjoy them, after we die.
The choices are not stark or bleak as life’s journey will continue either way. We just need to make the choice, based on our own individual disposition and character. Circumstances will make us successful or failures; but a clearly laid out plan, gives us more chances for success. So indulge a little; and do not let guilt or frustration overtake you, on the journey. Enjoy what life offers up at every corner; and then make a choice, and move to do what is best for the long run. Live a little and look around you and enjoy what you have, for this opportunity is here today only. Do not obsess over the future; as the present is far more important. It is not the wise answers that we spout out to all around us, but the questions we internalize that are far more important. Wisdom is not shown by what we acquire; but what we examine, and shed. The choices are not always clear; as modern life increasingly offers multiple paths to the same goal, but we still have to choose wisely. As there is no one path; pick one and then run on it; enjoying the milestones that you achieve along the way, as that is the only way that you will reach you goals. Let the buffoons make the noises and become the idiot who is not normal, as the wise fool is one who sees what others miss. I would rather let truth and wisdom; write my history, than be counted among the current wave, of so called wise men.