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Why I am deeply suspicious of riches: Random Thoughts : Nigerialog.com - Nigeria's Premier Online Forum

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Why I am deeply suspicious of riches

By: dayan (M) |Time : February 03, 2019, 09:49:40 PM
The dominant opinion in the world today is that wealth brings about “better” in all areas of life.

For years, I was convinced of that, until I started to really dig into it. By the end of my digging, I found out that the evidence points more to the opposite. All my conclusions are based on evidence and real life facts and, in this “research”, I decided to use myself and my immediate surroundings to do the research and make the necessary findings. I invite the reader to do the same -essentially use your own circumstance, experience, and environment to study the same thing. My guess is that you would arrive at the same conclusions.

So, here we go!

A few years back, I lived in a relatively low income area (I won’t mention the country so as not to bias the study or skew it in any way). All my friends were people of low income, and we used to have the time of our lives! We visited one another frequently; organized barbeques during holidays; exchanged gifts during festive seasons; studied for exams together; went to see movies or games regularly together; traveled together; called one another on phone fairly regularly, basically were very much available for one another and involved in each others lives -always.

Then, gradually but steadily, our economies started to improve as our careers improved. Some of us got good paying jobs and started earning more money. Some of us got married to wives who earned more money and things started to change on that part.

Without any of us noticing, our relationships started to change. Some bought houses in “better neighborhoods”, and that added to the separation both physically and socially from the rest. One by one, others felt that since the first group could move, so could they. Before anyone noticed, all the friends had dispersed to far flung places!

Those who moved started to look down on those who didn’t, never mind that those still behind may have decided to stay longer in a neighborhood that had many years of fond memories. Worse still, those who moved started to play “class” with those who didn’t, forcing the latter group to start nurturing resentment.
It must be said at this point that when we were still in the “poor neighborhood”, and every one was happy, there was no way of knowing how each person would behave  if his or her economy changed. Each person is unique: some are dismissive of wealth naturally, while others place wealth above everything -even God. The only way to really know someone’s life philosophy with regards to wealth is to give them money. Suffice to say now that enmity started to brew in places of prior close friendships.

The resentment was so obvious that when a former friend passed his “board exam”, another former friend totally stopped talking to him! As a matter of fact their new enmity began when the other friend passed his board exam. I never could have foreseen this level of bitter enmity in our group of friends in a million years! I took it upon myself to reconcile my two friends, but to no avail. All my efforts went to waste because the resentment had grown so deep. At this point I took note that the only thing fueling the quarrel was that with the one friend passing his exam, his job would change and he would make more money.

To be fair to the friend who wasn’t happy, the friend that passed the exam predictably started to misbehave in no time. It was the point at which I decided to stop trying to reconcile them. The culprit is money -it divides friends!

Today, all of us former friends are now in “richer” neighborhoods. Rich neighborhoods come with what I term “aloof delusion”(out of touch and deluded) and “insular poverty”(socially poor because you are lonely). In these neighborhoods, kids don’t step into the streets to play soccer like before in prior neighborhoods. Everyone stayed indoors. People don’t ever visit one another or knock on each other’s doors for any reason. Basically everything opposite of what I described in the second paragraph obtains.

Another case study is a relatively poor extended family in the years past where there was happiness and peace from the head of the family to the last child in that extended family. The extended family in question had seven separate families: The first family had one father and three mothers (polygynous family of course), while the rest are six nuclear monogamous families. The head of the polygynous family was the head of the whole extended family. He was a tough and good man (fearless, just and fair) . He had depth and was emotionally intelligent. He taught virtues of selflessness, unity, love, cohesion, sharing and empathy.

Every child in that extended family was deemed his. This extended family enjoyed the best of unity, peace, happiness, security and fondness, while the head was alive and was fit. However, all that was shattered when the son of one of the monogamous family members “became rich”. From that moment, his mother did everything in her power to create a sense of fear and suspicion in her son just o separate him from the rest of the extended family members lest they ask him for financial help.

To make matters worse, the head of the family (the polygynous sage) died of old age, leaving his wives and the rest of the extended monogamous families to “do their own thing”. With the help of his mother, the “rich” guy appointed himself “The god” of the extended family. He would fight every decision taken in the extended family, unless he signed off on it first. Nothing was done without his personal prior approval. He lacked depth and introspection because he was delusional due to his toxic perception of wealth. His family’s monogamous influence lacked sharing, unity, empathy, or emotional intelligence.

With his mother’s counsel, he schemed to subdue all other family members. Of course he did not succeed. Today, the extended family is like a cold war zone!  With clear hindsight, one could confidently say that it would have been far better had that extended family stayed poor as before.
Personally I would have preferred that, if anyone would become rich in that extended family, it should not be from the monogamous families there, for clearly obvious reasons, but let me not digress too here...

For whatever it is worth, I should add one little caveat: wealth-induced misbehavior is strictly individual. Some people are never swayed by wealth and would stay the course of normal behavior regardless of wealth status. However there are a lot (likely a majority) of people whose behaviors change once their wealth statuses change. The rest of society is usually forced to respond to, or defend against such misbehaviors.

What I would conclude with though is that people with depth and emotional intelligence are not swayed by wealth; at all. In fact they are as suspicious of wealth as I’ve been for some time.
Wealth brings about division and separation of peoples! It creates walls and motes! In fact, I personally believe that some of the richest people in this world know this truth, that is why they give away their wealth as much as possible. Think of the Bill Gates, the Mark Zuckerbergs, and others of similar wealth, you would find that they give away 99.9% of their wealth either while alive, or in their wills.

When you attain a certain level of spiritual consciousness, you get restless anytime wealth starts to accumulate uncontrollably around you. Somehow you want to give it away, to retain your “true self”. Wealth projects things that may not represent your core essence. Those are the things that others see, and they stay away from you, even if you never meant to keep them away. It is the money! LOL.   :))
I know some would say please give me the money and forget about everything, but until you get it, you never really know how you would behave, unless you are the type with natural depth.

Riches, if not properly “quarantined” in your mind, separates you from the kingdom of God which is inside of you! Jesus said (paraphrasing) “see how difficult it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God!” (Luke 18:24).

This is not a message to advocate poverty. It is rather a call for a pause on the mad rush for wealth.

-Nigerialog

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