• Making sense of ostentatious wealth

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    orosaThe recent buzz around town of this girl in her 20s whose flamboyant lifestyle posted on social media has caused some vicious reactions from people from all walks of life. Even more, blogs have vilified her over-the-top way of life filled with a Hollywood-style birthday bash, limo rides to blockbuster movie premieres, sports cars galore, and even a complete display of her Hermes and Chanel bag collection. In fact, if one were to appraise how much she was wearing in one photo, she was a walking mannequin worth at least a million pesos.

    Then too, there’s also a very popular local actress whose lifestyle has become a living commentary of what it is to live the uber luxurious life. From her own selfies on her Instagram account, brandishing her remarkable diamond blings and her couture ensemble, even showing off her private jet rides, you are amazed at how closely she lives like European royalty.

    Truth be told though, we have all had a friend or an acquaintance whose own proclivity to showing off has annoyed us at one time. We all used to joke around saying “If you’ve got it, flaunt it.” I thought then this only had to do with well-endowed ladies who should playfully strut sexy clothes around. But these days, the adage goes for flaunting about your pricey blings, bags, and bottoms or even your private life.

    To some degree, it is the bane of social media that has made flamboyance and grandiosity so visible. Perhaps it wouldn’t be such taboo to show off one’s wealth this way if we were all actually living in one of the richest countries in the world. However, it is so ironic, and shocking to view how brazenly some can show off wealth in this manner. Pardon me, if that seemed a bit judgmental on my end.

    Sadly though, even in other parts of the world, such pompous expressions of fortune have hounded many prominent politicians and world figures as well—often leading to their disgraceful downfall. Perhaps the value of money is really relative. Maybe even if one were on the Forbes List of Richest Men, one would still feel inadequate if he were to compare himself with other equally rich people. Why is it so hard to live simply and frugally these days?

    It is true that everyone aspires for a comfortable life, but that even as one’s wealth increases, so does one’s wants and needs. I’ve often pondered about when does a person believe enough is enough or that one has too much of anything? Is the need to have the best in life a natural instinct or the craving for luxury a human flaw even? Is it envy or material greed that leads one to flashy displays of affluence? Or is it that we have equated happiness with having more or owning the best? When is one’s sense of contentment ever satiated?

    If the stories behind her parents’ ill-gotten wealth turn out to be true, It will not be startling to learn that our 20-something girl with a penchant for the good life, might just wake up to a totally different reality one morning. A true Greek tragedy! Even then, you hope she’ll realize the folly of her actions or that she might even still be able to redeem herself through acts of charity and kindness while she’s still young.

    I guess we all need to be reminded to live with modesty and self-effacement, and not to express self-pride as displays of flamboyance. True self-respect is something you gain because other people respect you for what you are and not for what you have. After all, true happiness comes best with the simple things in life.

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