A Death Reminds Me Why We Strive to be Rich

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Sometime last week, I asked about someone I hadn’t seen in a while and learned she had been absent from work because her son died. The son ( a father of five) lived in a gang-infested city with high poverty and crime rate. He was shot dead in his house while he was watching a television. The police ruled that he was a victim of mistaken identity; that the gunman had mistaken him to be a gang member.

Earlier this year, one of my friends declined a job offer from a business in that city because of the high crime rate.  At the time, a part of me thought she was being paranoid. But last week, hearing how the man who died was reportedly a good man and just a victim of circumstance, I reflected on how wealth can afford one the luxury of living in a decent neighborhood. A marketing email, subject – “Money is Not That Important”, I received earlier from Rachel Rodgers a young lawyer who helps women grow their business also came to mind. Here’s the email:

“Dear Anne,

As a business coach whose focus is helping badass women make more money, I hear this line a lot: “money is not that important.”

When entrepreneurs say this to me, more often than not, they are using their supposed lack of concern about money as a defense mechanism. They know they are capable of making a whole lot more money. On some deep level, they know they are seriously limiting their income level and choosing not to live up to their full potential. What they don’t know is how to fix it. So they declare “it doesn’t matter” to feel better.

I call bullshit.
Money absolutely is important and anyone who says it’s not is lying.

My money pays for my children to get a great education. My money pays for the grass-fed beef and organic produce in my fridge. My money keeps the lights on and pays the rent in a safe neighborhood. My money enables me to visit my friends who live all over the world. My money pays for the event I’m hosting next month that will bring women entrepreneurs together to support each other.

My money enables me to help out my friends and family when they need it. My money will take care of my mom when she retires in a few years. My money pays for my family’s healthcare. My money has and will continue to enable schools to get built, provide medical care in war-torn parts of the world, protect the civil rights of Americans and provide startup funds to low-income women entrepreneurs.
My money matters. And so does yours.

If you want to make more money, it’s probably so you can get out of a job you hate, provide an incredible life for your children, be able to go on vacation or go out to eat without worrying about the bill. You probably want to do work that you love, enjoy some free time and have an impact on the world by living your life’s purpose, whatever that may be. You might have aging parents that you need to care for or a baby on the way that you need to provide for. These things matter. That’s why money matters.”

I couldn’t have said it better than Rachel. In addition, money gives us power to fund causes we care about. For example, when I was growing up in Aba, Nigeria, we didn’t have a decent public library. I prayed to God to make me so wealthy that I can buy any book I wanted to read. Years later, even though I don’t buy every book I would love to read, I am privileged to live in a city where I can literally find and borrow most books I want to read from my local library. (I am currently reading Billy Graham’s Just as I am and Hillary Clinton’s Hard choices.) These days I pray God to make me so rich that I can replicate this experience back home by building public libraries that would accessible to everyone.

If he lacked the resources to do so, the good Samaritan in the bible could not have taken the injured traveler to an inn and paid for his care. So besides the temporal benefits, being wealthy can help us complement our faith with good works. Now, that’s a noble reason to aspire to be a Bill Gate.

So what about you? let us know in the comments section the not-so-common reason why you want to be rich.

Anne.

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4 thoughts on “A Death Reminds Me Why We Strive to be Rich

  1. I pray to be rich so as to fund the education of the less privileged. I have seen people who desire education but don’t have the resources to acquire it. May God hear my prayers.

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    • Amen. God will hear this prayer. I know someone, a distant relative, who was a head boy in his secondary school, very intelligent, hard working and responsible. He did not have resources to fund a higher education. Years later, when I had become a lawyer, I did some legal works for him. He traded bottled soft drinks in crates. That is a very physically demanding job and he often had no help. The profit margin also small and his hired helps often embezzled the little he had. At a point, as a side hustle, he saved up, purchased a tricycle and gave someone on a hire-purchase. And again, the effort was frustrated as the other party to the contract proved to be unreliable and hardly made his payments. Whenever I think of him, I reflect on how our lot in life is often determined by circumstances beyond our control, like the family we are born into. I pray that God grants your prayer so that you can be an answer to other people’s prayer. Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

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  2. Lack of money is the root of all evil..not money itself. As I pray to be rich to afford a better life for myself and family, I pray for
    better life for everyone, where a common man can afford a decent life and not depend on charity to survive. I hope to help as much life as possible because one will always see a need to meet in another person.I pray to have enough to change the lives of those who reach out to me for help and meet needs here and there for those who would never know where their help comes from.

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    • I love that you prayed that everyone can have a decent life without having to depend on charity. What a wonderful world that would be. Thank you very much for reading and commenting.

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