Losing health to gain wealth and trying to regain health by spending wealth.
Wealth has become so important that we are ready to sacrifice ourselves on its altar. In respect of previous post on ‘Money, How much to earn? Why earn at all?‘, I had made some research which is narrated here under as short stories. The ambition is blind. It is aiming and shooting. We can see nothing except the target.
Story 1: “How Much Is Enough?”
Since I was yet not very clear I decided to delve into the matter a little further. I asked a rich man. He had very large inheritance. A reasonable business. Little or moderate education. Of course like most businessmen, always economical with truth. Any way, I asked him the same question ‘How much is enough?’
His answer was that shoot an arrow in the air with best bow, and if all the land from our standing point, right upto the place where arrow has landed, is littered with Gold, even that would not be enough. Simply put this is never-ending greed. Of course greed is without logic.
Story 2: “Was it worth it?”
A friend is known for nearly two decades. He was leading a simple life in a 9-5 desk job after an ordinary graduation. He had a pleasing personality and warm manners. He got acquainted with some rich people who needed such educated person at front desk of a business. Behind the desk were some activities which protruded beyond the permissibility of law. He was bailed out in a few days and matter was finally over in about a decade. He again played the same game and this time had to spend a few more days in prison but ultimately got out on Bail. This matter is also languishing in courts. Now he is at an advance age in seventies. Children some time visit the elderly couple. Anybody who is acquainted for over a decade starts to resemble a friend. I asked him this question: Was it worth it?. He paused and looked away and said ‘Yes’ and then looked in my eyes and said ‘No’. And added “but my reasons are different.” I asked him how? This is his answer:
I had seen movies. I had seen expensively dresses people travelling in very expensive cars, in and out of clubs and five-star hotels, where I could never go. Parties I heard about or read in newspapers. I wanted to experience it all. That is the reason for my ‘Yes’. Now I have seen it all and novelty of it is long past, I find it really did not matter. Then we were showing off our possessions in our limited low earning people now we are doing same in a rich circle of people. It is really all the same. And that’s why I say ‘No’
This story also does not help much. It is inspiring but does not help at all to decide as to what to do?
Story 3 “Surviving Success”
He was from a downtrodden family. He had a melodious voice. He used to sing in a religious place whenever it was possible. He was picked up by someone from music industry and he was a star over night. He suddenly had everything he had never dreamed of. With success come relatives, friends and acquaintances we never knew they existed. Album was sold and resold. There were shows and shows all over country and a few abroad. He was truly rich and famous. But he forgot something. He had a good voice but he never was a musician. He misunderstood the success. Unable to make another album, music sponsors, offered help. In his false vanity, which he perceived as honesty, he refused. New friends brought new escapes and new vices. He could not know when he became alcoholic. It was several years down the lane when I met him in regard to his brother who had some legal problem. After a brief meeting on the subject I had sufficient reason to console him about his brother’s problem. Then we discussed his famous song and asked him if he could sing it. He did. Few lines. It was even better than original especially without music. I asked him why there is no second album? He said he could not make another. I asked him ‘Was it because you were not sure of next one’s success or you did not like it?’ He just smiled and left. It is so hard to survive the success! Failure brings promise of success. But success brings misery. The fear of failure prevents creativity & experimentation. Further he had a stature which had to be maintained. He could not restart singing in temples or marriages. He was now a prisoner of success.
Story 4 “The Tycoon”
I have not met this person but media loved him. He rose from a very humble family to become one of the few richest businessman. But when he was at the peak and started to enjoy his position, he suffered a stroke which rendered half of his body paralysed. The overworked brain could not take it any more. The best treatment around the globe could save him but could not reverse the damage. The twitch in lips. Slurry speech and crippled left hand. He died rich but crippled old man. My left hand was crippled for two months. (Read that experience) I wonder how the rich man would have been feeling. Must be saying that at least he saved enough for family. Was it enough? After his death, within a year, his both sons separated and locked in furious litigation which was some how settled. Now these sons are not even on speaking terms. Was this the family, the dead rich man was looking forward? What about the sons of sons. There can be no serious accumulation without greed and greed only divides.
© Sandeep Bhalla