A heart seasoned understanding of life in prose, poetry & photographs.
On money and purpose – Chapter 1
We tend to equate our work with life and our measure of success with our earnings. We rate people based on the metrics of their pocket even when there is a knife in that pocket and it is stained with blood. As long as they have shekels they are special and we accord them expensive privileges.
I believe that money is a means and not an end, and when money becomes an end, you transform. At best, money is a coma, not a full stop. If you think otherwise, you’ll have poverty of spirit and a deformed soul.
Don’t get me wrong, money IS important but you must be large hearted, being rich towards others. This is the ultimate determinant of wealth. History will not remember you for the amount of money you have. It is the size of your contribution – intellectual, political, social – that history remembers. History has selective amnesia.
The Writer of history demands that we live a selfless life full of contributions. History only recognises men of purpose: those with purposeful contributions.
We get into petty jealousy because we’ve not been able to define a purpose for our existence. ‘My Mercedes is bigger than yours’; ‘my children attend better schools than yours’; ‘my lair is swankier than yours’; ‘my wife is prettier than yours’; ‘my coffin is more gilded than yours’; ‘my grave is deeper than yours’… It never ends, does it? It will never be enough. The man with one plane envies the man with 2 Lear jets. Even my probate lawyer is meaner than yours. Talk about life after death!
There must be a reason why some people are more blessed than others and it can’t be for the purpose of oppressing the lesser blessed.
I define success as the fulfilment of purpose. It is the only definition that I find accommodative of the success of Paul the Apostle, Julius Caesar, Henry Ford and other great men in history. Or else Mother Theresa was a woeful failure. How come nobody ever names their child Judas? He made a lot of money, was politically connected and made valuable investment in real estate. Judas was a failure because of a lack of understanding.
You cannot truly be successful in life without purpose. A failed purpose is a tragic life.
And if success is the fulfilment of purpose then you can’t really measure your success until you’re near the grave, geriatically or paediatrically. (Alexander the Great died very young).
It’s amazing that history will not remember Bill Gates for being the richest man in the world. His place in history seems cemented for his philanthropy. He’s being described increasingly as the man with the largest foundation in the world and not the man with the largest stock options.