Erasmus Cromwell-Smith
4 min readOct 10, 2021


One way or another,

we all chase,

some of us relentlessly,

wealth, fame and love,

in this exact order of importance.

These life illusions

don’t always present themselves

in such a prescribed pecking order.

Fact is, we never know

who shows up first,

or if any of them

will ever make itself present,

at all.

But if they do,

we’ll face one of

life’s most puzzling conundrums,

that is, what are we keenly after,

is not only elusive,

but usually comes

at the expense of something else.

Correspondingly, more often than not,

when we are graced with riches and a good name,

it comes at the expense of love,

or if we become wealthy,

it is at the expense of the other two,

or a good reputation comes without love or riches,

or love blesses us without riches or even a good name.

What is not so apparent though,

is that this triad of grand illusions,

which we covet so much, comes at the expense of other,

even more important virtues,

some existential in nature, others, crucial life attitudes,

than our three grand illusory obsessions.

As we chase wealth,

we sacrifice frugality,

and run the risk of losing

our ability to appreciate

the true value of people or material things,

or perhaps even worse

we become unable

to value the simplest of things,

especially those that

are nominally scarce in quantifiable degrees.



Erasmus Cromwell-Smith