2014-06-12 – I first heard the expression “buyer’s remorse” when I was in law school. It refers to a person who buys a home and then immediately regrets it. You normally think of a person who makes a big purchase as happy. They have realized their dream. But signing a home-purchase contract doesn’t deliver your dream immediately. You first have to get the inspections, and get a lawyer, and get financing. Then you have to pack and get a mover. The first thing you focus on after signing the contract is all you have to give up to get into that house. No wonder people have buyer’s remorse.
But there’s more to it than the process of closing a big transaction. When you buy a house, you have decided to forgo every other house. When you choose one thing, you give up your other options. This is one place where you are on a pretty much level playing field with billionaires. The list of things in this word that I DO NOT HAVE is pretty much the same list that Bill Gates has. He doesn’t have 99+ percent of all that he could possibly want in the world and I don’t have 99+ percent of all I could possibly want.
If I make a choice, I give something up. That’s buyer’s remorse.
If you practice Zen, you don’t have buyer’s remorse because you don’t want anything. You don’t want the first house. And you don’t want any of the other houses you would have to give up to get the first house. That’s called non-buyer’s remorse. (Full disclose: no one calls it non-buyer’s remorse. I just made that up. Zen practitioners would be more likely to call it non-buyer’s bliss.)
Getting rich doesn’t cure buyer’s remorse. Getting Zen does.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry recently compared homosexuality with alcoholism. His point was that we have the ability to make choices, even if they run contrary to our genetic predispositions. “I may have the genetic coding that I’m inclined to be an alcoholic,” he said, “but I have the desire not to do that, and I look at the homosexual issue the same way.”
If you are a straight man and you take a wife, your buyer’s remorse is based on the loss of all the women in the world. If you are a gay man and you take a wife, it’s not much different: your buyer’s remorse is based on the loss of all the men in the world.
And I’m as rich as Bill Gates because we both lack the world.
Does any of this makes sense?
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