When Rich People Say ‘Don’t Worry About Money’
Questions followed the remorseful billionaire everywhere…
‘How do we make money?’
‘How do we build wealth like you?’
So he gathered a crowd and addressed them once and for all.
‘Look,’ he said, ‘take it from me, yes I’m a billionaire, but I burned bridges to get here. I chased glory and left a trail of destruction in my wake. Those around me suffered, and in the end it wasn’t worth it. Now I’ve learnt to let it go and live a more balanced life.’
But the crowd got angry and said, ‘it’s easy for you to say, having made the money already! Once we’ve made enough, we’ll be balanced too, but until then… we, unlike you, need money.’
Then an accidental millionaire stepped forward.
She begged them to listen to the man, ‘he’s right, he’s right, please listen to him. I saw riches destroy those around me. I became rich too, but by accident! I was seeking the work I loved and found, to my surprise, that people wanted to pay me for it.’
But the crowd grew even angrier, ‘it’s easy for you to say, you got rich without trying! What do you know? We, unlike you, need money.’
Two young adults doing enough to get by then stepped forward and said…
‘No everyone, listen, they’re right. We, like you, need enough to survive — but it’s not worth getting too concerned with making money. It always leads to confusion, always takes us off track — it takes the joy out of things.’
But the crowd grew even angrier, ‘it’s easy for you to say, you don’t have to support a family. You don’t have millions or billions, so what do you know? We, unlike you, need money.’
Then an immigrant from a poor, rural community stepped forward.
‘No, no please everyone listen, I come from a remote village with very little in the way of material comforts. I tried for years to work more, but found it taking me away from my family. I learnt that there was more content to be found in relative poverty than in your big cities! More value in community and family than so-called material comforts! So if you won’t listen to these two, please listen to me… don’t get caught up in money! You already have so much!’
But the crowd grew even angrier still, ‘it’s easy for you to say, you’ve always been poor, and have never known any better. So, what do you know? We, unlike you, need money.’
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Great piece Joe! I randomly came across your blog surfing the web on Naseem Taleb’s opinion articles. Stayed for your thought-provoking ideas and superb synthesis of self-improvement artifacts. Keep it up.
Thanks Hirad! All the best to you.