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Money And Life Money And Life
by Jan Sand
2021-05-21 09:04:36
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The famous remark about money and capability has always been: "If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich?"

Louis Agassiz, the scientist, once remarked, "I cannot afford to waste my time making money." In other words, if you're so smart, why are you rich?

ric0001_400The spectrum of attitudes ranges widely between these two extremes.

We are each afforded a rather limited time to discover what we might do, what we are able to do, and what we think is worth doing. There are, of course, an overwhelming number of people who find they must extend most of their efforts to merely survive and, hopefully, raise a family. But a good many people spend time as children looking around them and decide that one particular possibility for life is more enticing than any other and a few even can bring these hopes to consummation.

Life without at least enough money for the basics of food, clothing, and shelter can be very miserable indeed and when serious trouble hits there is no doubt that enough money to help combat trouble can be very helpful. But, very often, money is not enough. Very many troubles are beyond any human capability to remedy.

If some people discover how to make money, get great joy out of the process, learn how to use it to complete satisfaction and have no other desires, they are indeed lucky. But there are a reasonable number of people who discover in themselves a lack of satisfaction in these processes and look to some other way to spend their limited time in life to gain fulfilment.

Although Agassiz may have felt a fleck of disdain for someone who spent their life in the pursuit of money and what money could bestow not everyone carries within the intelligence, the creative curiosity, and the drive of an Agassiz. We others must make the best of what capabilities we have and the range of capabilities and lack of capabilities across the multitudes of humanity is immense.

But very few of us are absolutely sure of our potentials and no particular talent can be realized without a complex of subsidiary capabilities and even with a full complement of these the element of luck very frequently plays a large part in success. The classic reference here is to Vincent van Gogh whose paintings today are valued in millions of dollars but during his lifetime he could sell nothing.

So, at end, it is up to each one of us to look into ourselves and make of ourselves what we can. Recently research has indicated that drive is more important than talent in attainment in a field. But in all probability some fields demand more of inborn capabilities than others.

The obvious social values emphasize financial accumulation and the accompanying power as a mark of success and commercial orientation is an integral part of what society currently seems to value.

But looking back in history at what people are valued for their contributions to human civilization money does not seem to be particularly noteworthy.

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