It’s Not Bad To Be Rich; It’s Just Bad For Bad People To Be Rich
In my opinion, a big stumbling block to achieving wealth is the belief that wanting more money, more profits, more assets is a character flaw.
As a society we don’t have a problem suppressing or criticizing that attitude in individuals. And yet we turn around and celebrate that same attitude in corporations. We patronize big companies – “trusted brands” – by not only buying from them, but also by preferring to work for them.
But of course, the criticism stems at least partly from the selfishness of wanting more and also because wanting more for yourself is greed. The conventional thinking is that we should share what we have.
And you can’t really fault that logic. We should share what we have. But, like everything else, too much kindness is also a bad thing.
For example: charity, outreach programs, conditional cash transfers and general kindness helps a lot. But they’re also temporary solutions. Once we run out of money to give, what then?
Of course, we can always make more money right? Well, in a way… No. We can make the same amount of money again. There’s a bit of a difference.
We can help the same set of people again, but not more people. And we can’t help them anymore then we did before. We can maybe help them a little differently. But overall, we can’t do more for them.
It might be more helpful to think of it this way. We can run our lives like a non-profit organization, giving out most if not all of our earnings to charity and other worthwhile causes. And it’s a noble thing to do.
Or we can run our lives like a responsible corporate citizen. Yes, we’ll make a profit and keep aiming for capital growth. But we’ll also give a significant portion to charity. This way we can keep give more instead of giving more of the same.
And if our aim is really to help, this might be a more telling example: When disaster strikes, who is able to send more help? NGOs or giant corporations like GMA and ABS-CBN?
More to the point, when we send help to whom do we send it through?
The reality is, the bigger a company the likelier it is to send help. If nothing else, it’s good for business and branding.
It’s not bad to be rich, it’s just bad for bad people to be rich. But if all the good people just keep giving away money, who then becomes rich?
Get rich. Give more.
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