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This post is not about luxury cars or even about Mercedes-Benz. This is a story about a man who drove a Mercedes and everyone hated him. This is a story about money not being able to buy respect. I have changed some details here from the actual story, besides that stops me from driving the point.
There was a guy I used to work for. I hated him. It was only for a few months and was a decade back. He used to run an ad agency and probably still does. The agency was doing well, and I was an employee of the agency. Since the revenue was decent, they would hire English Speaking employees from respectable educational institutions. I had been laid off from my campus job a few months before that job, since the project had not worked out, and I got unlucky to lose the job. I was also unfortunate to work with that man but if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be writing this story.
Since I needed the job, I took this one at this particular ad agency and my profile included a mix of client servicing and business development. It was a small office, with a cabin for the founder (the guy we are talking about), and an open office floor for the rest of us, including a corner for the CEO.
The CEO is an employee of the company and he had been hired by the founder. He was overall, a nice chap. However, because of immense pressure from the founder who was a horrible person, he had also changed as a person and wasn’t as pleasant as he would usually be.
The man in question would always walk into the office in a terrible mood and a horrible face, and would just shout at people as a part of his normal functioning. This is what happens when horrible people get any success. They think they rule everyone but their character comes across in spite of their riches.
In one particular meeting where the entire staff was present, he shouted at and insulted the CEO miserably. I felt sorry for the man since he was in his 50’s himself. That evening, he drove me back to home, and I couldn’t stop myself from asking him how he felt about the entire episode. He said, ‘well, it does feel bad, but what to do, one needs to put food on the table.’
I felt really bad about the guy. That founder kept about his ways. He never smiled and in hindsight, I feel that considering the pain that he gave others, he never deserved to smile. One afternoon, over some matter when we were discussing in his cabin, he happened to shout at me and I made my mind in that fucking moment that I would not work there and within a month, I found another job.
I gave the notice for a month, which was a part of my contract and even then they did not release my month’s salary. I have always abused that man and wished the worst for him, every time I have thought about him, although it has been over 10 years since that incident has passed.
His Mercedes would be parked outside the office and I would wonder what kind of people end up making money and what kind of happiness it brings them. He was a hated man. Everyone hated him and loathed him. People needed jobs so they worked there and I am sure nobody ever respected that scum of a person who owned a luxurious car.
What do we learn from this story?
Well, there are a bunch of things we learn here.
1. Money doesn’t respect
This is the most important lesson from this story. This guy deserved to be hated, disrespected and despised. Frankly, even as I write this, I hope he rots inside for every moment of his despicable life. He is rich, but who cares?!
2. Money doesn’t buy happiness
As I mentioned, being happy wasn’t one of his qualities. He almost always looked sullen and disgusted. What use is money and a Mercedes if it doesn’t bring you happiness? You could conjecture safely that if he drove a Mercedes, he probably lived in a beautiful house as well, and he would behave similarly with his family. Money doesn’t buy happiness. It is a supplement to happiness.
3. You earn respect by respecting others
There is only one way to really earn respect, which is by respecting others. If you respect others, they would respect you and if you don’t respect them, there would resent you, not just in the moment but forever.
4. People don’t forget how they are treated
People don’t forget how they are treated. They remember if you treat them well and they remember if you treat them badly. So, care about how you behave with others. It will come back to haunt you. I wonder how someone can stay happy while being hated by so many people.
5. When you are in power, people look up to you
When you are in a position of power, like this man was, people look up to you to learn how to behave, how to learn, how to grow. If you behave like a jerk, it will distort their world view. Now, that he was an outward success, but there is absolutely nothing to learn from him. He only earned loathe in spite of being a rather successful businessman.
6. Success is not happiness
Success doesn’t buy happiness.
7. Be kind, no matter who you are
It helps to be kind. The world revolves around and if we are not kind, things come back to haunt us. People talk and they especially talk about what sucks like I am doing here. Thankfully, people also talk about people who are kind and benevolent to them. You will get talked about anyway. Be known for being kind, gentle and loving, if you can. It is not easy. It is a difficult world, but we must try.
8. There is nothing particularly wrong with Mercedes
Mercedes-Benz is a beautiful car and who would not want to have one. There is nothing wrong with the car. Everything was wrong with that man. This point has been made in jest. In fact, Mercedes should be a symbol of prosperity and grace, which the man didn’t exemplify. He was rich and disgraceful.
9. You can be happy and respected without a Mercedes
Now, the entire point we are trying to drive across this blog is that happiness is a journey and not a destination. You can be happy right now, with whatever car you own, while you work hard to earn a Mercedes. Life is about the quality of the journey, not what you do at the destination. All you can do at the destination is celebrate and start the next journey.
Thank you for reading.
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I appreciate the time you spent in reading the blog and wish you happiness.