This is a response to the post by Barrister Saiddigge [What’s the purpose of wealth?]

I could have made this a mere comment on the post, but it would be too long to qualify as a comment, but deserves to be a full post…a rejoinder, if you would. I am that passionate about the topic.

First I think we need to agree on what constitutes wealth. Without having a common / similar definition, it may be difficult to come to a consensus on what the purpose of wealth is. When wealth is mentioned, most people assume we are merely talking about monetary or material affluence. But I would like to expand wealth beyond just pecuniary issues.



There is this saying that “health is wealth”. We all know that no amount of networth can take the place of sound health. Also, Buddha would have us know that,”health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship”. I particularly like the Bob Marlean postulate that “the greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively”.

I agree totally with these two sages.

While it is clearly necessarily to have enough money to afford the basic (best?) things of life, in the final analysis, wealth that is not spread ultimately stinks. It is interesting that Maslow talks about the Hierarchy Of Needs, not Hierarchy of  WANTS.

Human wants are limitless, but needs are very very finite. In chasing wealth, we need to pause and ask ourselves why we are doing that. Keeping up with the Jones? It is pointless working eighteen hours a day, six days a week, if your family /friends do not get to see you because you are forever globetrotting, putting deals together. Must you really sacrifice your family life in the chase of money? What does it profit a man if he makes all the money, but ends up with no family or true friends?

Photo courtesy -

Photo courtesy –

Real money can truly alienate. You can have all the material comfort and not notice if if there is nobody who would cry when you drop dead.

There are wealthy folks who are so busy and money minded that they have stopped appreciating the simple things of life that should bring joy to the heart of a less distracted man… a nightingale chirping, the lapping of the somnolent waves of the sea, the ebullient laughter of a child.

Yes, money is good all the time, buy it is human nature to crave what we don’t have. When you eventually get hold of what you have been lusting after, you ask yourself, is this all?
By all means, let us chase after money to have the comforts of life. Beyond that, however, wealth should be seen as a resource to generate more resources, a catalyst, an enabler that impacts a great number of
lives positively.

Wealth that benefits just the owner of the wealth is actually a manifestation of poverty of the mind .. a worse form of poverty than the material type.


  1. Noni
    April 28, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    I read somewhere recently that the majority of people, once they can purchase that thing they desire, lose interest almost immediately.

    I agree that wealth that doesn’t positively impact on the lives of others and is self indulgent is a form of poverty. But let’s not forget Instagram wealth, where people post pics of their latest acquisitions as a form of “sharing with others” 😀

  2. April 28, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    Instagram wealth sharing 😀

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