A perspective on the pursuit of wealth and the path to lasting happiness.
In our hyper-modern, always “on” culture, we’re often lulled into a belief that contentment lies in the pursuit of more — more gadgets, clicks, likes, experiences, sales, and ultimately financial success. It’s a mentality that views our life’s worth in terms of acquisition — a race with no finish line, where the only constant is our ceaseless chase for more.
I’ve recently binged “Succession,” the well-written and acted HBO series, which provides a profound exploration of the culture of wealth accumulation, power dynamics, and family relationships. I must confess when it first aired years ago, I watched the first episode and found the characters so revolting I couldn’t bear to watch. It’s a compliment to the writing and performances that the characters reminded me of more than a few people with whom I’ve crossed paths in my travels. I gave it a hard pass.
But I kept hearing from people I respect that it was worth my time if I could tolerate the characters for what they are: avatars for personal struggles, insecurities, and the complexities of family dynamics. “Succession” provides a deeper exploration of power, legacy, and the high-stakes world of corporate America.
The characters, part of a powerful family that controls a global empire, constantly vie for control and influence. Wealth is equated with power, self-worth, and status. Their wealth, which to almost everyone else on the planet would be the very definition of embarrassment of riches, serves not just as a tool for comfort and luxury, but as a means to manipulate and dominate their surroundings. Ethical lines are regularly blurred as the pursuit of obscene wealth and influence justifies ruthless strategies and tactics.
Patriarch Logan Roy’s obsession with ensuring his empire’s future instigates fierce competition among his heirs. Despite their wealth, the characters display a lack of empathy, arising from their disconnect from everyday realities, further perpetuating a cycle of ruthless competition and manipulation. Put simply? They’re just plain mean.
“Succession” is a study of individuals burdened with such low levels of self-regard, always primed to…