“Money is NOT Everything” A fact or sore grapes?

The statement “Money is not everything” and its sister “there are other more important things than money” are common. They are often used by two sets of people: the rich and the poor. They summarize results of an intensive pursuit of money.

The rich, having made lots of money, realize that there are other more important things in life. So, they start searching for happiness, recognition, power, respect and love. Some engage in charity and philanthropy. But having cultivated and entrenched a money control mindset over a long period, giving is not easy. John D. Rockefeller, a onetime world rated billionaire associated with Standard Oil, initially had to scrutinize every grant request. His biography, “The Titan” chronicles how he used to receive on average 2,500 grants applications a day and he would tooth comb each of them for merit. He actually started getting ill from the pressure associated with grants review. His attorney’s used to advise him to have his employees handle it but he would hear none of that. They told him that, at the rate money was flowing in, he needed to give it away otherwise he would be buried in it. The pressure of parting with money was just too much. He finally let go and that is why we have Rockefeller Foundation to date.

The poor on the other hand use the statement after their pursuit of elusive money leave them frustrated and without it. Here is a case of sour grapes. But even the poor, after giving up try to live the statement and some embark on charity at a lower level. Like the rich, they want to give and expect the beneficiaries to change in one way or the other. So, it is conditional charity. They end up in frustration.

In between the two extremes; rich and poor is another character. It is the ambitious middle. This represents a class of people who say they are better with riches as they look for other virtues later. They are aggressive go getters who stop at nothing. They desire riches with all their minds and know the lifestyle they want to enjoy. They look for deals; speculate in country stock and money markets and hover around government offices looking for contracts to construct dams, supply air, organize workshops, consultancy and all other deals that a never dry government money pot can support. They finally end up making a lot of money and become rich. But most never get wealthy. They get so busy pursuing money making adventures and hardly reflect on wealth building. They make money, consume it and even when they invest, it is in fancy investment vehicles whose sectors foundation they don’t understand. So, they entrust money to stock brokers to trade  for them, they  buy farms and engage in agriculture they don’t understand and many other money guzzling white elephants that money attracts.

Tell me now, in this set up, who looks after the poor? Who will teach the poor how to get rich? Who will wake them up from their resignation from making money? Let us for once give credit to a category of teachers who are trying their best to liberate the poor. Have you ever heard of prosperity gospel? And the saying “never muzzle a horse while grinding corn?” May the best set win, in money or that which money isn’t.



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