#130: The New Currency
In the modern world, quality of life is the new currency
I was tunnel-vision focused on America since I was 12. For us, an American is a privileged human of another breed. Coming to Vanderbilt at 18, I got further than most people in Uzbekistan can dream of in their lifetime. I am continuously rewarded with lavish American opportunities that are unthinkable to other immigrants. By moving to the US, I reached the pinnacle of decades of generational struggles. I made it.
After the initial euphoria, I started noticing how horribly some of these lucky Americans live, independent of their financial status. In an inherently individualistic and capitalist society, it takes a lot to arrange a fulfilling life that attends to all human needs. When coming back to Eurasia, I also noticed how well some of these people can live. Because I used the US as the ultimate metric for success, I felt bitter that these other people have such “fun” lives without fulfilling the metric.
Finally, I realized how illusioned I was all along. Any system will tell you that being in it is what will make your life good. However, the singular exclusively crucial metric is the quality of life. You can be a broken citizen of a 1st world country while some smart-ass from an unknown country is living like a king. Realizing this should hurt because there is no fairness on this global playground. Welcome the new currency: quality of life.