Money: the root of all evil 2?


Happy belated Independence day! I hope you all had a great day on the 4th of July! The feeling of festivity must still be in the air for those who took a long weekend. Nevertheless, it was really great seeing so many people come out to show love and patriotism.

As a continuation from last week’s post, I’ll be sharing more insights or rather paragraphs from Ayn Rand’s book that relates to money.

“Money will not purchase happiness for a man who has no concept of what he wants; money will not give him a code of values if he’s evaded the knowledge of what to value, and it will not provide him with a purpose if he’s the choice of what to seek. Money will not buy intelligence for the fool, or admiration for the coward, or respect for the incompetent. The man who attempts to purchase the brains of his superiors to serve him, with his money replacing the judgment, ends up by becoming the victims of his inferiors. The men of intelligence desert him but the cheats and the frauds will come flocking to him, drawn by a law which he has not discovered.”

Here we have a beautiful rendition of another perspective of money. There is a popular saying that money cannot buy happiness, and the paragraph above expresses this clearly. Money can definitely get or buy you some good distraction that may seem like “happiness”, however, if the individual has no concept of what happiness truly means, he won’t find it with money either. Money to me is like a compass. The traveler has to know where the destination is, and with the aid of a compass, he can safely navigate his way. The compass doesn’t give the traveler a destination, similarly, money doesn’t give happiness. 

“Only the man who does not need it is fit to inherit wealth – the man who would make his own fortune no matter where it started. If an heir is equal to his money, it serves him; if not it destroys him. But you look on and you cry that money corrupted him. Did it? Or did he corrupt his money? Do not envy a worthless heir; his wealth is not yours and you would have done no better with it. Do not think that it should have been distributed among you; loading the world with fifty parasites instead of one, would not bring back the dead virtue which was the fortune. Money is a living power that dies without its root. Money will not serve the mind that cannot match it. Is this the reason why you call it evil?

I have heard quite a few successful businessmen and entrepreneurs say that if you chase money it runs away, however, if you chase greatness then money follows you. This statement sort of justifies the initial line that says only the man who does not need it is fit to inherit wealth.  The fact remains that if one needs to be handed a large sum of money in order to succeed then he may very well not deserve it. Also, we very easily get caught up with the thought process that some people may not deserve the wealth they have because we do not have it. One phrase that really fascinates me is ” money will not serve the mind that cannot match it”. This shows that the kind of money we desire has to match our mindset. If we desire money that is enormous then we have to have a mindset that is on the same frequency. Mediocre mindsets attract mediocre money. 

Every now and then I try to imagine the thought process of great minds like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Jack Ma, Mark Zuckerberg and all I can think of is; if  the external manifestation of their thought process is what we see, use and experience today in the form of their invention and businesses, imagine what the unseen part of their thinking process looks like. 

“Money is your means of survival. The verdict you pronounce upon the source of your livelihood is the verdict you pronounce upon your life. If the source is corrupt you have damned your own existence. Did you get your money by fraud? By pandering to men’s vices or men’s stupidity? By catering to fools in the hope of getting more than your ability deserves? By lowering your standards? By doing work you despise for purchasers you scorn? If so then your money will not give you a moment’s or a penny’s worth of joy. Then all the things you will buy will become not a tribute to you but a reproach, not an achievement but a reminder of shame. Then you will scream that money is evil. Evil because it will not pinch-hit for your self-respect? Evil, because it would not let you enjoy your depravity? Is this the root of your hatred for money?

This paragraph is packed with so much wisdom, that I feel trying to develop it further might dilute the essence. After a long discussion on the nature of money, it begs to also mention that the source of the money has to align with our conscience. If our wealth or money is gotten by means of fraud or deception then it may very well be the reason why we despise it, because it reminds us constantly of what we are doing wrong. Are we making money at the expense of people’s health, sanity, etc? Where is the satisfaction in amassing wealth that is not legit or doesn’t give you peace of mind? 

Another key point worthy of note is that we must remember not to subject ourselves to work that isn’t fulfilling or that doesn’t give us happiness just because we want to make money. If all we do is work for “bosses” we don’t like, dreading the beginning of every week, making up excuses to avoid work, then no matter the amount of money we amass from this, we won’t be satisfied. We all see this in our daily lives; people who make tons of money but dread their jobs and just stick with it because the pay is good. They live for the weekends, dipping themselves in bottles of alcohol every week to deal with the pain and emptiness, only to go back to it the very next week. 

The escape route for this emptiness becomes flashy cars and expensive gadgets. The verdict such people have pronounced on their source of income is that their happiness is tied to what they make. This is the same verdict they pronounce on their lives. 

I hope this second part helps us understand more about the intricacy of money, its source, making it and how making and spending money is a mental process just as it is physical. Till next week, please read, share and follow for more.


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