Be careful what it does to you!
By Neil Jenman
John D Rockefeller (the man in this photo) was the richest man who ever lived. He was worth $663 Billion (in today’s dollars) when he died. But he still died.
When I was a teenager I hated money. My father was so obsessed with “making money” that we hardly saw him. When his income got very high, he sent us (my mother and me and my sister) to a foreign country because “non residents” were exempt from tax. He flaunted his wealth which embarrassed us terribly. Friends taunted and turned on us. He gave donations to our schools thinking it would curry favour. It did the opposite – other children called us “crawlers” and “creeps”. When caught having affairs, he’d buy our mother diamonds trying to buy her love. She said she wished she’d married a bus driver.
Once I left school, it didn’t take me long to realise that life without money was tough. Being poor was horrible. It was like being a prisoner. You had no choices.
I realised that it’s NOT money that’s the cause of misery and trouble, it’s people.
Money does different things to different people. Some become generous. Some become mean. And some people – especially those who get a taste of wealth without deserving it – become truly horrible. I’ve seen it happen. People who I admired and respected – even loved – have done a complete back-flip when their wealth is threatened. Honest people become dishonest. Truthful people turn into unmitigated liars. And once faithful people knife their friends in the back – all because they’re scared of losing their money.
Some time ago, I witnessed one of the most horrible scenes in my life. Someone I had known and liked (and helped) for many years. His business was having trouble. He was spooked and scared. The more I was rational with him the more irrational he became. The situation reached a crescendo when he began to yell – all the things in life that he “didn’t give a F about.” It wasn’t until he reached the topic of honesty, that I witnessed the true horror of how money “changes” people. He yelled, “I don’t give a F about ethics!”
Rockefeller went to bed every night “terrified” that he was going to lose his fortune. He wanted money so badly that he lost friends and family members. He kept his money which, unlike his friends, was still with him when he died.
There’s a piece in the Bible that’s often misquoted – “Money is the root of all evil.”
No, that’s not what it says. It says: “The LOVE of money is the root of all evil.”