Is It Right To Make So Much Money?
Estimated Lesson Time: 4 minutes
There are millions of people in this world who go without food every day. In the United States, one of the most abundant countries in the world, entire families live in rooms no bigger than the average walk-in closet, children wear rags as clothing, people living on the streets call cardboard boxes “home.” Closer to home, your friends and neighbors work just as hard as you do and are barely getting by. They drive cars that are held together by bondo and duct tape. They have mortgages and bills that prevent them from spending the money they do make on leisure or material possessions that will bring them enjoyment. With so many people in this world less fortunate than you, is it right for you to make so much money?
Before we answer this question, let’s look at what money actually is. It is a symbol of wealth. Money is given to you in exchange for something else of equal value, or it is a measure of the value of the services you provide. There are two caveats here. One, your value is not always realized the moment you provide the service. Vincent Van Gogh spent his life with little money, although he created beautiful works of art worth fortunes today, which millions of people in future generations will continue to enjoy. Two, some value is “paid back” with other forms of compensation such as fame, appreciation, admiration, or just one’s own sense of goodness. Alan Turing was said to have saved about 14 million lives by his role in ending World War II, yet people would not even know about his contributions until many years after his death. Keep in mind that these caveats are the exceptions, and for the most part, money is a measure of the value of the services one provides. Avoiding money either on a conscious or subconscious level will ultimately lead you to failure to become all you are capable of becoming.
Is it right to have more knowledge than others? Is it right to be more motivated and enthusiastic than others? Is it right to have more persistence than others? Is it right to be more loving, caring, and sharing than others? If you answered, “Of course it is!” to these questions, then understand that money is simply a by-product or result of these feelings and beliefs.
Having more money does not mean that someone else, somewhere, has to have less. This is why it is called “creating wealth” and not “taking wealth.” In a capitalist society, it is true that competing businesses do have an effect on the wealth of other competitors, which is generally referred to as market share. However, even businesses have the right and opportunity to expand into new markets where they can create products or services that will benefit more people. Most certainly, you having more money does not have anything to do with your neighbor or friend, the guy living in a box on the street or the starving children in other countries.
One of the main reasons people never achieve financial success is because they associate guilt and feelings of resentment with having money. While none of us can control the negative feelings of resentment in others, we can realize that there are no reasons to feel guilty about our own financial success. It is our birthright to be the best we can be, and we all have an opportunity to make a difference in the world. Pursue financial success just like you would any other type of success in your life. It not only is right to strive for financial success, but it is OUR right. Go for it!
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Some discussion questions (some may not apply to this lesson):
- Have you implemented this idea in your life? How has it been working for you?
- Do you have any interesting stories related to this lesson? Do tell!
- What do you admire most about this person? (success biography days)