Money and success don’t change people; they merely amplify what is already there. These are the words of a man that has made so much money and had a big bite of success – Will Smith and believe me, I can’t possibly disagree. Everything we do every day have either the credit or debit function attached to them. Money seems to be the focus of every human relation which in this context means more than just “that” paper issued by the banks.
Whenever the word money is pronounced, what readily pops to most human minds is price, although some would argue otherwise. The power and effect of money on the human civilization is best captured in the words of Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter in Rich Dad, Poor Dad: “Rat Race”. The desperation in all quarters to make money is rising in geometric proportions. The love of money has been described as the root of all evil and an answer to all things thereby underscoring its immortal power.
Too often, people are desperate to make money and the acts of desperation are cloaked in the rationale of “negotiating a better deal”. Through the years, so much value has been placed on shells, metals, image3s and gold as legal tender; and they have indeed contributed in building a lot of empires and nations but cannot deny bringing down a multitude. Have you ever read the Pardoners’ Tale by Geoffrey Chaucer? An interesting piece that effectively highlights the fate of those that desperately seek to be rich. Here it goes:
Three radicals were drinking, when they heard a funeral bell ring. One of the servants told the group that an old friend of theirs had been killed that very night by a mysterious character named “Death”. The radicals were aggrieved and, in their drunkenness, decided to find and kill Death to avenge their friend. Traveling down the road, they met an old man who appeared sad. He said his sorrow emanated from old age—he had been waiting for Death to come and take him for some time, and he has wandered all over the world. The youths, on hearing the name of Death, demanded to know where they could find him. The old man directed them into a grove, where he said he just left Death under an oak tree. The rioters rushed to the tree, underneath which they didn’t find Death but eight bushels of gold coins with no owner in sight.
At first, they were speechless, but, then, the canny of the three reminded them that if they carried the gold into town in daylight, they would be taken for thieves. He advised for the gold to be transported at night, and so one of them must run into town to get them food in the interim. They drew lots, and the youngest of the three lost. As soon as he left for town, the mischievous plotter turned to his buddy and published his plan: when their friend returned from town, they would kill him and therefore receive greater shares of the wealth. The second agreed, and they prepared their trap. Back in town, the youngest radical had similar thoughts. He could easily be the richest man in town, he realized, if he could have all the gold to himself. He went to the chemist and bought the strongest poison available, he then poisoned two bottles of wine, and left a third bottle pure for himself. He returned to the tree, but the other two leaped out and killed him.
They sat down to drink their friend’s wine and celebrate, but each happened to pick up a poisoned bottle. Within minutes, they died next to their friend.
This and many other ways is money being a curse to a lot of people. Unfortunately, most people desperately trying to make money might never command it except by the benevolence of mother luck. The rationale is simple, the values that are most important to guarantee it have been sent to the dustbin of history. There is almost no more pride in hard work, determination and integrity. Why? The reason is because the minorities successfully making money through desperate schemes are beginning to affect the psyche of the traditional hard worker, hence making them question the potency and reliability of these values. Energy, commitment and diligence pay any time anywhere as seen in the tradition of successful nations like China, India, America passed down through generations.
History is littered with proof that temporal relief never lasts. Sustainable wealth as evidenced by the legacies of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs is founded on hard work. All we do in life is in pursuit of happiness; and true happiness and fulfilment is only guaranteed to those who support others. What happens is that they end up running with their lifelong ambitions chasing them. Our collective future is only guaranteed when we follow our passions and enjoy doing them with utmost consideration of the effects of these money spilling passions on our neigbours. The lives of several people we celebrate are a testimony to this. The passion of Thomas A. Edison for several things that he believed would change the course of history and man such as the phonograph, the motion picture camera, electric light bulb have caused money to chase his descendants. We must therefore take seriously his advice that: “the three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are: Hard work, Stick-to-itiveness, and Common sense”.
It makes sense to have this mindset because truth be told; nobody outlives money except of course you blow it.