“To know you have enough is to be rich.”
– Lao-Tzu, Tao Te Ching
February was an interesting one for sure. Feeling the need for a change of scenery, I escaped Toronto’s frosty winter to be more productive amidst Vancouver’s dreamy mountain setting. I had arranged to sublet a place I’ve never seen before. I had also arranged with my friend Derek, whom I hadn’t seen in a while, to pick me up at the airport. To my surprise, he arrived in a Porsche – one of two he drives.
Derek had recently come into a lot of money. Two years ago, he was working as a security guard at a condominium. Now things were different. He whisked me to his palatial 10 million dollar mansion in Vancouver’s most expensive neighborhood to show me the amazing view of the bay and mountains, the fully stocked vintage wine cellar, and the $100,000 state-of-the-art karaoke system. “Neat”, I thought.
After grabbing a quick bite, Derek took me downtown to show me his empty 2-story penthouse condo that occupied the entire floor. The view was spectacular, and I never knew that a condo could have more space than a large house. The condo was rarely occupied since he and his girlfriend spent most of their time at the mansion.
After relaxing at the condo for a bit, he took me to my sublet – the one I hadn’t seen yet.
The difference was staggering.
The place I had rented was a dark, basement apartment with little heating. The carpet was heavily soiled from the several tenants who had came and went over the past few decades. The faded, flickering fluorescent tubes in the bathroom meant I had to shower in near darkness. My bed was an old mattress on the ground. My desk chair was an uncomfortable lawn chair with