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  • Jose Arrieta

Not Caring About Millionaires

Updated: Jul 6

In 2014, the Costa Rican football team played in a way that was completely uncharacteristic of its past and future behavior. The team beat Italy, Uruguay, and tied with England, Greece, and the Netherlands at the world cup. It was only after the Dutch manager made a crazy last-minute change that the unexpected behavior came to an end.


Football scouts fast realized that Keylor Antonio Navas Gamboa was the culprit of the surprise performance that brought joy to our tiny nation. Promptly Keylor was given a contract to play at Real Madrid and in his first year, without touching the court during the tournament managed to win a UEFA Champion League medal. After this drama ensued. Oh, the drama!


As a national of a tiny nation being in the news is a crazy feat. It makes us subconsciously proud and brings us joy even when we did nothing about it. With Keylor I came to the realization that I was emotionally invested in his tragedy. This poor multimillionaire might be traded and could face the tragedy of getting a raise and playing at a lowly English team instead of where his heart wanted. It was tragic and so so sad.


Almost two millennia ago Juvenal told us how Rome gave "bread and circuses" to calm its populace. But in 2015, I still cared for Keylor's fate. I realized that my emotional well-being was linked with the well-being of a millionaire whose problems revolved around getting a raise. At the time, Europe faced tropes of refugees coming from the wars in Syria. That year my heart as many others was broken with the picture of Alan Kurdi a little boy that drowned as a side-effect of a coalition of governments deciding to invade Iraq in 2003. And, yet I was thinking of Keylor who could go to play at Manchester United.


I am grateful to Keylor and his tribulations. They led me to implement a rule in my life: Do not care about millionaires' feelings. Or at least try not to. It sounds mean and it probably is. But, it is actually a good thing. On all accounts, Keylor has a great life. Taylor Swift got over her breakups. Britney is better after her meltdown. But for many life is worse than years before. In the past 15 years, we have had two of the three biggest financial crises in recorded history. We face a pandemic and worry about Joe Exotic and what will happen with Melinda French-Gates and Jeff Bezos after their divorce. I do need bread to live but I'll try to avoid paying my time at the circus.

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