You’re Right…I “Can’t Take It With Me”…But I’m Going To Enjoy The Hell Out of It Before I “Go”

Jealousy is an ugly thing. One reason is because most people aren’t man or woman enough to admit when they are. Another reason is that most of the time, it isn’t the people you just met who show that kind of ugly jealousy…it’s often family members or friends you’ve known for a long time.

KRS One said it best in his song, “Love’s Gonna Get’cha” (You don’t need to know who KRS One is; just follow along) At the end, he said, “It’s all right to like or want a material item, but when you fall in love with it and you start scheming and carryin’ on for it, just remember…it’s gonna get’cha.”

I started off talking about jealousy because when it comes material things, as much as people try to pretend they don’t matter, those are the things people get the most jealous of, whether they admit it or not. The sad thing is, you don’t even have to brag or flaunt whatever it is; the simple fact that you have something this other person doesn’t is enough to cause them to be ugly about it or to attempt to make you feel as though you’re wrong just because you’re able to get it and they’re not.

Now you’ve heard the phrase “You can’t take it with you!” right? That’s probably one of the biggest and ugliest displays of jealousy there is. The main reason is this, and for those of you who like to say that…why exactly is it that you need to take a person to the grave in order to feel better about yourself? Seriously…so a person has or likes or wants a material item. Are you expecting that person to die sometime soon?

Everybody in the world knows you can’t take material possessions with you. That’s a given. As wild and crazy as some people act about material possessions, I’m pretty sure there isn’t a person out there who believes they can take something like that with them when they die. In my opinion, the only purpose in saying that is sheer jealousy and most of the time, it’s those who don’t have certain things who are the ones to say that.

Despite what those people say, again, there is nothing wrong with liking or wanting material possessions. These things are for entertainment purposes and if you’re able to get these things, then you have every right to enjoy yourself and get them. But if you’re one of those who unfortunately cannot get certain things, my question is this: Why are you worried about what other people have? If a person wants to like or want or even spend their time saving up for a material possession such as a nice car, a big house or anything else, what the hell business is it of yours? Seriously, I’m curious for an answer to that one, but I doubt I’d get it. At least a GOOD one.

You’ve seen posts on Facebook or elsewhere that “it doesn’t matter what kind of car you drive or how much money you have or how big your house is” blah blah blah. Only the people who don’t have those things and aren’t working toward them are the ones who post that, and it’s not just to be posting; it’s to take shots at people who are fortunate enough to be able to get those things as though those folks are supposed to apologize for it. As for me right now, I’m in Afghanistan and will be for the next eight months. I’m working right now to pay for a brand new Dodge Charger. An orange one. Beautiful. After the down payment is paid, then my wife and I are saving up for a house. A BIG one. As hard as my wife and I have worked in the past 15+ years, we aren’t about to apologize for being able to and wanting to buy those things. For those of you want to run your mouths about us and say that we “can’t take them with us,” I guarantee you haven’t put the time in that we have, so keep it shut. You’re not making us feel bad; you’re only showing how ugly jealousy can make you.

Besides, you’re not fooling anybody; when I do buy that orange Dodge Charger, let’s say I got tired of it later on. Let’s say I was feeling generous and decided to just give it away. Now I guarantee that the same ones peddling that “you can’t take it with you” garbage would be the same ones who would NOT hesitate to take it off my hands. Same for the nice, big house my wife and I plan on getting. If I invited any of you to come and live with us, you’d be moved in before I got the sentence out. So stop pretending that material possessions don’t matter to you. Again, you’re not fooling anybody and they do. That’s the only reason you insist on talking about them, especially when it’s not even your business.

Some people have this twisted notion that just because somebody wants or likes a material item, their priorities are all messed up. That would be the same as me saying that just because you like a particular television show or a certain kind of food that your “priorities are out of order.” Give me a break. I have orders to leave Afghanistan in November, but there is a strong belief that I and the rest of my comrades will leave here sooner than that. Now if I had the choice between leaving early and getting my new car from here, it’s not even a question; I’ll take leaving early and no car all day long so I can get back to my family. Not that I owe that explanation to anyone, because anyone who knows me knows better than that. I talk about getting certain things simply because I’m happy to get them. I never brag, boast or rub it in anyone’s face that they DON’T have them, because there was a time that I had next to nothing as well (not that that matters); if nothing else, I’m always trying to encourage my friends and family to do more for themselves and to go on and work to save up for that car or that house or for whatever they want. There is nothing wrong with that at all.

Material possessions are entertainment for most of us. Stop putting us down just because you don’t have and/or can’t get it. That’s not our fault. Maybe you should close your mouths and work on it rather than trying to berate us. Besides, granted I can’t take a nice, new car or a big house with me when I die, but two questions: One, do you know something I don’t know? I’m 34 right now. Unless God has a different plan for me, I don’t “expect” to die any time soon. Two, what are you proposing I do instead, walk everywhere for the rest of my life and to just be homeless? Let’s use our heads and THINK before jealousy rears its ugly head again.

Now there ARE those people out there who feel they are better than others because of their material possessions. They’re a different story. But you need to stop comparing yourself to everyone and basing it all on who has more material possessions. Again, material possessions, at least to me, are nothing more than entertainment. Damn right I’m going to be proud of them and hell no, I’m not going to apologize. Instead of worrying about what I have, worried about what YOU want. Because you DO want nice things. You don’t need to measure yourself up to anyone. At one point and time, none of us had anything. But being ugly about it doesn’t show anything but how jealous you are. If you really didn’t care about what someone else has, you’d have no reason to talk about it whatsoever. I don’t really care for pickup trucks (not saying they’re ugly or bad vehicles; they’re just not for me). So what sense would it make for me to make snide comments every time a friend of mine buys one? The only time it would make sense is if I wish I had one myself.

Life is short. The whole point is to ENJOY it. We all need transportation. There’s nothing wrong if you can’t afford the biggest, nicest car out there. But if you can and that’s what you want and you worked hard to get it, don’t feel like you have to explain yourself. GET IT. Same for a house. Again, nothing wrong with not being able to get the biggest or the nicest. But if you can, remember…you’re going to LIVE there for probably the rest of your life. Why not go for WHAT YOU WANT and enjoy it until you can’t anymore?

For those of you who are secretly (or publicly) jealous about what other people have, get over yourselves and work toward better if you have such a problem. But stop yapping about us “not being able to take something with us.” We know that. It’s not rocket science.

By the way, I saw something once about those same folks questioning what kind of “legacy” is being left by those who like and want material possessions. I thought that was a joke. You’re going to question what kind of legacy I’m leaving? A better question is what kind are YOU leaving? One where you spend all your time concerned with what everyone else is doing and spend all your time being jealous? Yeah, I’m sure that’s MUCH better. Let’s take me, for example. You want to question my legacy? Okay then. I’m in Afghanistan right now on my third deployment in total as I’m nearing 17 years of active duty service and I plan on dedicating at least three more. Now understand, this isn’t about comparing what I do to anyone else or saying it’s better. But if there’s a question about the legacy I’m leaving all because I want to get a nice car and a big house, well, I think time served in the Army, especially the amount of time I’ve put in, along with being a great father to our two children is a pretty good legacy to leave. What’s yours? What have you done besides sit on your ass and badmouth those who like and want material items (without them boasting or bragging about them)? Tell me what kind of legacy YOU’RE leaving by doing that.

That’s what I thought. Like I said, you’re right…I can’t “take it with me.” But I’m going to enjoy the hell out of it until I go. Considering where I’m sitting at this very moment, I’d say I’ve very damn well EARNED the right to be happy about whatever the hell I choose to be happy about. And being jealous isn’t my problem…it’s yours.

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