In that piece I was saying be careful of hating the rich and successful (or being seduced into judgement by a judgement-obsessed media) if you hope to be rich and successful one day yourself. You’re setting one massive road-block up for yourself.
There’s a bit more to it than that, but check out the post if you’re interested.
But what I wasn’t trying to do is become an apologist or a cheer-leader for the rich and mega-rich. I could see that that didn’t sit comfortably with a lot of people.
As Zak Art summed it up:
I don’t hate the rich…I hate the corrupt…Just so happens (funnily enough) that most of them ARE rich….
I think I’ve earnt my stripes when it comes to sinking the boot into the mega rich and the elites – the banks, the politicians, the fund managers – they’ve all copped a serve over the years.
But I can understand why a statement like “don’t hate Paris Hilton” just doesn’t feel right in the gut.
I think a lot of people got what I was talking about with not over-developing your judgement muscles. But still the world doesn’t feel right.
A factory collapse in Bangladesh kills hundreds of workers earning $38 a month. The Sultan of Brunei spends that much on a tissue, but it’s probably not for tears.
It’s difficult, if not impossible to accept. It tests the faith of the spiritual, the fortitude of the moral.
The world is just a f#&ked up place.
But how do we find our way in the mess of it all? And how do we resolve this tension within ourselves?
How do we live the life that our soul calls us to, without losing our moral compass, our compassion and sensitivity to suffering?
How do we call into our lives the wealth we need to live the lives we dream of, without going over to the dark-side?
This is a common conception that we have to deal with. Just because a lot of rich people appear selfish, we think that you need to be selfish to be rich.
But we know in our hearts that this is the devil’s bargain. If we sacrifice who we are as people, just for a bit of cashola, everything is lost.
The Emperor laughs and Yoda shakes his head in disappointment.
We don’t want to live like that. And we don’t have to.
This is quite a big and complex thingy, and I probably can’t unpack it all in one post. But for me, I think it’s always important to bring it back to the kind of person you want to be.
And I think one of the most beautiful expressions of humanness is generosity.
Hang on to that one. If someone tells you that you need to let go of your generosity in order to be wealthy, get out of their cab and walk away.
From what I’ve seen of the world, there is nothing – NOTHING – that means that you can’t be both wealthy AND generous.
And I think this is what we find so distasteful about the “stinking rich”. Why what I’m saying might not feel quite right in the gut.
We are disappointed in those that have taken the devil’s bargain. They sacrificed their generosity – and the higher expressions of humanness – at the alter of fat profits and personal riches.
They went over to the dark side.
And they sold us out. They cut themselves off from community and humanity, in order to elevate themselves above it – above us.
And rather than help out their fellow people, they built systems that controled and oppressed us – drove the wedge of inequality deeper and deeper.
Resentment is a natural response.
But me, I just feel sorry for them. They’re locked in a world view where there’s never enough. Grab what you can, while you can. And everything that’s yours, someone can take it from you.
This is the ‘scarcity mentality’. And it’s a mental prison I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
But not everyone who’s wealthy made the devil’s bargain, and not all of them (ok, us), are locked in the scarcity cage.
And your journey to wealth and financial freedom doesn’t have to end there either.
This is the power of a fully expanded ‘abundance mentality’ (I’ve written about this before so I won’t go into it again. I’m sure you’re probably across it by now.)
That abundance mentality is probably the most powerful tool you can develop, but it is also a beautiful state space in and of itself. When you believe that there is unlimited abundance in the world, you are free and easy with what you own, eager to help others, eager to share the good times and the glory with as many people as you can.
You’re a beautiful person to be around.
And so if you come to me and say I want to be rich so I can buy a Merc and lord it over my neighbours and rub their face in it, then I’ll say forget it. You’re locked in a scarcity mentality (where you’re success comes at the exclusion of others’ success), and there’s nothing that can help you.
And I just don’t want to.
So when I say, “don’t hate the rich”, I’m not saying quietly roll-over and accept the selfish and soul-less misery of the world. I’m saying just don’t hate… anything. It’s no fun. Why do it to yourself?
And on your road to wealth, be very clear about the kind of person you want to be.
Don’t follow the archetype of the selfish rich.
Follow the path of those who command abundance with generosity, expansiveness, and even love.
This is the road that is open to you. Trust me. It’s a beautiful thing.