There’s a lot said about money. [The love of] Money is the root of all evil. Money can’t buy love. More money, more problems. Although all of those things may be true to some degree, money is still a major factor in our day to day lives. Without it, life can be a lot more difficult; with it, life can be more interesting. A wealthy person can never tell a homeless person that money isn’t important or rewarding to have. The homeless person only knows that their lack of money contributes to their homelessness. A middle class person won’t fully comprehend the isolated feeling that wealthier people have because they fear being taken advantage of because of their net worth. They only see the opulence that the money affords a wealthier person and believe that wealth brings happiness. Wealth is wealth. Happiness is not wealth. Happiness is a by-product of good relationships, love, self esteem and personal achievements.
For some people having money is equivalent to being successful. Although the word successful is synonymous with victorious or winning, not wealthy or rich, ask any teenager through early twenty-year-old to define success and they will include having money in their definition. This is the society in which we live. A society where we see money as the definition of success, and we view those who have lots of money, as also being very successful. This is sometimes true; for a moment. Eventually the reality comes to the surface. It’s not the money or how much of it you have that makes you successful; it’s the way you obtained the money and what you do with it that will really matters.
In a world where money is coveted by those who don’t have it, or want more of it, there are individuals who will often sacrifice their morals to obtain it. They set dangerous agendas for others they come in contact with. They will mistreat, manipulate and abuse others, for a few dollars. They behave dishonestly and even maliciously to “get money”. They take advantage of other people’s kindness, steal and even are willing to kill for money, all along never realizing that their actions will not allow that money to remain in their possession very long. All ill-gotten gains eventually burn down to nothing.
We need to redefine what constitutes a successful person. It’s not the money that makes a person successful. It’s the work and time that the person put forth to become a success to begin with that defines their success. The money is simply one of the rewards for the work. Who did you help on your way to becoming rich? Who did you step on or step over to gain your success and wealth? When you became rich, did you go back and do for others where your roots grew from? These are just a few questions that should be answered when a person is considering their wealth and success. Everyone has the ability to make a lot of money – either legally or illegally. It’s a choice based on morals, principles and standards and whether a person is willing to sacrifice theirs for linen paper.
When person dies, on their tombstone there are two dates; the day a person was born and the day the person died. The dash in the middle represents life and that’s the legacy that remains that people will remember most. People will remember if you were giving and unselfish and they will honor that memory of you more than if you were greedy, malicious and calculating. People will miss you if you were charitable, loving and caring, more than if you had a large monetary will that people fought over in probate. Which person do you prefer to be remembered as? What will the dash on your tombstone represent and say about you after the money is gone?
Consider this when defining your success:
No one’s tombstone says “He made a lot of money”.