(vii) Myth: Wealth is natural; accumulating money is innate.

‘We evolved to husband resources, Mr Bashful. It conferred upon us a distinct survival advantage in times of famine. Greed is part of our makeup. By accumulating money and items we are simply fulfilling an innate need, Mr B!’

We also evolved a need to eat fat and sugar, because those foods gave us energy to hunt and helped us through the hard times. However, because we in the Western world live in times of plenty, that innate need to eat sugar and fat has become a problem. We can’t switch it off. Furthermore, the more we eat, the more we want. In the same way, in our consumeristic times of abundance, our greed cannot be sated. The more we have, the more we want. The trouble is, greed will gnaw at us no matter how hard we aim for satisfaction.

In short, the fact that we have innate needs to eat fat and sugar, and innate needs to accumulate wealth and goods, means we need to curb our inclinations, not indulge in them.

By the way, the premise is questionable. We didn’t necessarily evolve a need to accumulate, because for much of our evolution we have been a nomadic species. Nomads didn’t need to accumulate – they could only carry the basics.

Q. ‘What about the nesting thing? Like most animals we’re compelled to create a home, which means that having mansions and boats and stuff is natural. Bower birds strive to make their homes the best possible. Why can’t we be the same?’
Again, in these times of plenty it’s an innate need gone berserk.
 ‘I bet if a Bower bird could buy heaps more pegs to display in its bower it probably would.’
Er . . .yes.
‘And maybe it’s the pyramid thing.’
Huh?
‘When the pharaohs died they had their slaves and animals killed and shoved into the pyramid with them. Along with food and stuff. For the afterlife.’
Yes?
‘We want immortality. If we can build an edifice big enough, an empire big enough, a reputation big enough, a family big enough . . . if we can make a big impact in some way so that our influence is there long after we’re dead, we can feel better about dying. It’s like we’re not really dead.’
Yes, another innate need  gone berserk.

 ‘I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work.  I want to achieve it by not dying.’
Woody Allen.

Q. ‘But Mr B, people respect the wealthy.’
Really? Think again.

2 Responses to (vii) Myth: Wealth is natural; accumulating money is innate.

  1. Garry Stanbury says:

    I believe that money makes you more of what you already are. I’ve heard the saying that people who suddenly come into money or wealth, immediately change. What I believe is that the person does not change but what you see is the real person, because they now have the means to be and live how they truly want to, so if they suddenly become arrogant, boastful, tight fisted, ill mannerd and disrespectful, they are just exhibiting they’re real traits that they already had. If a person is naturally generous, kind, giving and sharing, then you will see more of that trait and behaviour omit from them. People do not become rich and then switch, they become rich and then display their real self.

    There is another saying that money is the root to all evil, I strongly disagree with that that. How can a £10 note be evil? It’s just a piece of paper. I say it’s the route in which some people take to make that paper is when it can be evil. Some will Rob and steal, some will kill, some will sell out family and friends and all sorts, for the sake of making that paper. Money is a good tool which can be used in a number of ways to bring happiness and change people’s lives in a big way and one of the best forms of kindness one person can express to another, is to give without the expectation to receive anything back in return.

    • Mr Bashful says:

      I like your thoughts, Garry. Thank you!
      As for the saying, the real expression is ‘The love of money is the root of all evil’, so money isn’t getting the blame after all. (It comes from the biblical quote: ‘For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil’.) But whatever the quote is, you’re right in what you say.
      Thanks again, Garry,
      Mark.

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