With almost all in this ultimate game across the world, wealth acquisition has become the game changer, in the way we live & behave. Wealth has always played its part, but it is becoming the be all and end all, with economic indicators released one after another on rankings of countries & the rich individuals. Some would like to have their names mentioned somewhere to get the satisfaction of having “arrived”; unfortunately, that becomes the starting point to get higher in the list; a basic human trait to win any race!
No wonder, Bill Gates & Warren Gates are scouring the world to get the billionaires to pledge a portion of their wealth even when alive, a daunting proposition indeed; almost like squeezing blood out of stone from some of the newly minted ones, gasping for air having reached the summit! Few are as addictive as wealth accumulation; most do not require even a portion to live their lives, but the kick they get adding to the numbers should make them keep awake at nights!
There were always the rich & the poor from the beginning. Now, the rich is counted more in dollars, no more by their wisdom. Many believe success is a by-product of wisdom, but what use having the wisdom without money! There is even a quote – the prayers answered for one option to be selected – true happiness, or millions of dollars without any – the choice was made to have the millions & ready to live unhappily! Such is the addictive powers of wealth on some who pursue it with single-minded focus!
Now, the poorer countries are competing to churn out billionaires by the dozen; they are admired by the rest as trail-blazers! To think that earlier times in conservative societies, wealth was considered as even evil – behind every fortune there is a crime was oft-repeated! Now, the table has turned – the true ability is reflected by wealth; what use education & knowledge, if they do not produce wealth – the new common denominator for success!
Yes, wealth has become the game changer across societies, but the efforts of Gates & Buffet are timely! Few monopolizing wealth resulted in the rise of communism while most others had little chance to make it in life. Nudging the super-rich to pledge a portion, when alive, is a very noble gesture to give back to society that nurtured them in the first place – not to forget their roots. No point in wealth being bequeathed to own flesh & blood, but without the values to sustain them!
The bottom line is mindless pursuit of wealth is influencing & altering the lifestyles of most, even in poor countries. The side-effect consumerism is, waste of resources away from the needs of the poor. It is an assault on value systems that sustained us all along and on nature, making our lifestyles unsustainable. Land used for farming is diverted for luxury housing & huge infrastructure developments, displacing those who lived there for generations & throwing them virtually to the wolves! The sudden & forced change can deal psychological blows to their self-esteem & leave them no choice but to pursue livelihoods unknown & uncertain – the traditional ones having been snatched way brutally and against their will. Add to that, the value systems break-down, when simple lifestyles are looked-down upon & discarded, with false pretences to impress others who hardly care, anyway! No wonder most are losing control over their lives and their peace, with some living much beyond their means! The ills of modern societies seem to have no solution, or rather the lack of will to solve them can directly be traced to – it is a rich man’s world! But only few can attain that status & live it up and benefiting the society; for others it is a goal even if attained, ends in ruin & shambles!