I am joking of course, and I was just referring to Jamie Kennedy’s movie, “Malibu’s Most Wanted”-a movie about rich kids acting like “gangstas”.
The other day in Beverly Hills, I was ‘almost messed with’ by some Beverly Hills High school ‘gangstas’. (I know this from their BH High-school shirts they were wearing.)
‘They walked right in front of my car blocking me for a few moments, then stared me down like we were old cell mates in Chino State Prison. Are you kidding me? Lucky my old street instincts didn’t kick in, and I didn’t jump out and get crazy on them. Instead, of course, I just chuckled it off..until I really thought about it later that night.
It was almost amusing to see these stereotypes of rich kids of many different races and ethnic backgrounds ‘playing ghetto’ and walking that proverbial walk. But then again it was kind of sad. Do these confused kids really need such a ‘wall’ up and or image to survive the mean streets of South Beverly Drive and beyond? Nope, but that’s the reality of today’s world. Image, Image, Image.
Teenagers today are just as confused as when I was one, if not even more. They are spoon fed images, ads, MTV reality shows, and other pop influences that all probably make them think they have to act a certain way or other kids will laugh at them and call them ‘soft’. Maybe now being rich isn’t that cool unless you are Paris Hilton or some other lost rich boy or girl. I think the rich are often self-important, bad drivers, and even worse when it comes to self image.
Learning balance and self worth for being one’s true self is hard, whether you are rich or poor, funny or serious, or even normal or weird.
I myself grew up being ‘weird’ and around money in the wealthy suburbs of Connecticut. In my late teens I left that comfort of money and suburbia to live in a real city. In the end I wound up hanging out in some of the toughest neighborhoods in Boston. But tough is all relative depending on whether you know those people in your ‘hood’. I won’t bore you with stories about the gangstas’ I used to know. That’s not today’s story. I will admit though, it does take time to learn to be yourself whether it’s in the mega malls of Beverly Hills or the Projects of Boston.
Money isn’t such a big deal. Money might just give you a little more freedom and a little more leeway to be more impulsive, but it can’t buy you self worth. I have had friends who were worth millions of dollars that weren’t half as happy as my broke yet happy homeless street friends.
Self worth is worth something that is necessary rich or not, whether you play a role or yourself. All we really have is self-worth: so make it count. We as human beings have short lives, so please don’t waste those lives trying to be something forced and not natural. What I’m saying is: just be.
To quote my favorite graveyard epitaph from the late great Charles Bukowski: “Don’t Try.”
It might take a while to find that self worth, as it did for me. But in the end it will be the thing that frees you more than the mighty dollar, or that even mightier than that silly-looking Gold chain.
But who really knows except you…yourself.