Since man has walked upright on this earth, he has been drawn to wealth and possessions. Early man worked daily to accumulate whatever it was that kept him alive such as meat to eat and furs for warmth. The more he accumulated the more comfortable he felt and enjoyed the honors from his fellow man for being so successful.
Men today are little different. They strive to accumulate wealth, not necessarily of meat and furs but of money and material possessions. It’s only natural that we seek wealth. It demonstrates strong character and responsibility. Usually we’re sobered by responsibility and as we accumulate riches it builds strong character and deep-seated morals.
There is the person who desires only to be moral and would not think of initiating public or personal wrong doing in order to advance their career or business. He desires riches and success but only by legal and scrupulous means. On the other hand, as some accumulate wealth the more values they tend to ignore.
It’s easy to follow the crowd which often times is going down the wrong path with no regard of moral value. Surely no one will notice him as he rides the coattail of another’s success regardless of the means. Departing with the crowd that does not share your moral values is easy to do and difficult to return.
Excessive wealth carries with it many dangers and temptations. Friends and relatives will suddenly materialize and want to offer assistance and advice. Question their motives to determine if you and they are reading from the same book.
You cannot blame others if you stray from the moral path. You must take responsibility for your own actions and use your wealth for the right reasons. George Washington said,
“Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.”
True wealth is built upon principles of morality and conscience. These principles must be applied to all aspects of your business, education and personal life. Politicians always say they’re working for the people when too often their actions line their own pockets.
Control your desires and you will attain happiness and wealth. Remember, life is never a constant stream of pleasures. It’s fraught with pain and problems. But, without experiencing these setbacks how can we know the value of peace and discern where true wealth lies.
Look within yourself to discover the meaning of wealth and use that wealth for the right reasons. Many say service to society is the true wealth. We are drawn each day to wealth but wealth is drawn to morals and values. Seek to help others attain their wealth and you will achieve your own. Which comes first, great riches or a great person? In the words of Abraham Lincoln, “Honor is better than honors.”