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12/17/2011

NOT THE MONEY - BUT THE LOVE OF MONEY

In recent months there has been a lot of protest about the rich vs the poor. The people who have a lot and those who wish they did.  The people who are guilty at having things and those willing to increase their guilt.  The issue is something else.

A recent television program looked at lottery winners - ordinary people who suddenly found they has 3 to 93 million dollars.  Some were even near homeless when they won.  As one might expect they immediately rewarded themselves with their new found wealth.  Yet, as one man went through his mansion casually tossing off spending $80,000 dollars on a set of dolls for his wife, $160,000 for two chests, buying 24 classic cars and providing them with space.  All the toys and self-indulgence was a little cloying.  

Excess is, after all, excess.  

The problem with wealth is never acquiring the wealth (if done legally) but in what is done with the wealth once acquired.  

For all the bad reputation of the old "Robber Barons" of the late 19th century they left a legacy of hospitals, libraries, churches, schools, parks, opera buildings, and many other things.

It was called "noblesse oblige", the idea that if you had been blessed with financial riches or other advantages, you were obligated to enrich your world through good deeds.  

When it is considered - each of us is blessed with something and some advantage - we too should feel obligated to enrich the world through service and contribution to those in need.  To begin working to help improve life for all.  It is a cycle of mutual support, skill building, self-sufficiency, and giving.  Instead of demanding what others have, or hoarding what one has, the goal of life should be to do the best you can and be willing to help others.  

As the saying goes - 'live simply so others may simply life.  The Bible had two important sentiments - the love of money is the root of all evil and it is more blessed to give than to receive.  Balance those two and there is a recipe for a successful and happy life.

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