The Man Who Had Everything was one of the hit movies during 1920, a hundred years ago. The title of the movie grabbed my attention, because I never met or heard of anybody who said they have everything they wanted.
In those early years movies were black and white and silent with subheadings to show the dialogue. The plot is something I don’t think modern day scriptwriters would have imagined for their next movie.
Mark Bullway is a very wealthy business owner whose son Harry is a careless young man whose only goal in life is the pursuit of a good time. Then one day while father and son were out driving, Harry nearly runs over Matt Sills, a blind beggar, yet shows no remorse. In response to the youngster’s heartless remark flung at him, Sills bestows upon him the ‘beggar’s curse’,
May you always have everything that you want.
In the mean while Bullway senior’s secretary, Prue Winn, is in love with the young good for nothing, but he fails to return her affections. Impressed by Sills’ strange words, Bullway senior seeks the blind man’s advice. Sills advised Bullway senior that the best way to reform Harry is to give him everything he wants.
Bullway then follows Sills’ advice. Bullway senior arranges that all his son’s wishes be given him. He also approached adventuress Leonore Pennell, whom his son had a crush on (but not she on him), to make his son happy, offering her the benefits of a cleverly devised payment plan.
But after four days, Leonore drops Harry, forcing the youth to realize that he has been wasting his time. Harry then reforms, accepting both a job in his father’s factory and Prue’s love. (Review adapted from an online review by Pamela Short.)
To see which things a man would have desired 100 years ago if he wanted to have everything, you can watch the movie online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTiSDJd4ecU (Duration – 66 minutes)
# Economic perspective
Stumbling blocks to having everything is first of all an economic principle which states that
one’s needs / desires will always be more than your means.
When you have no means of transport, a bicycle looks like a wonderful thing to have. Should you have a bicycle, a motorbike seems better because it is faster and less exhausting.
But your desire and need can develop to a motor vehicle, a family car or very luxury SUV and perhaps even an aeroplane. There is just no limit, except for your budget which is the biggest limiting factor.
Keeping up is impossible
Secondly there will always be new and better products and services on the market. Just when you think that you now have the latest laptop or cell phone available, you’ll see an advertisement that an updated version will soon be launched.
Continually striving for more and better, will also keep you miserable.
Fear of missing out (FOMO) will always haunt you.
What if I just waited another two weeks? I could have had the latest model cell phone or the newest version of a computer program.
To spare yourself much grief and unhappiness, contentment is the best cure. Make peace with it that nobody will ever have everything and that all the stuff in the world cannot make you happy.
If money and possessions could really make you happy, why would a multi-millionaire commit suicide?
The apostle Paul gives sound advice when in Philippians 4:11 he says; “… I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.” A good perspective is also to remember that “… godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” (1Ti 6:6-7)
Therefore “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have.” (Heb 13:5)
If you feel like that square peg in a round hole in your current job or business and you don’t know why, contact me for a Career Direct Assessment (available online) which will help you understand. It will not only show who you are, but will also point you in the right direction.