Wealth- an End or a means to the End

In an ever dynamic and ever changing world, one thing that has remained constant over the ages, and perhaps has accelerated in present times, is mankind’s pursuit of wealth. Creating wealth is keeping us all occupied. Governments are worried most about their GDPs, organizations, big or small, are concerned about profits and growth.And then individuals are slogging day and night because they wish to create wealth.

Apart from fulfilling the three basic human needs of food, clothing and shelter, wealth in today’s world is also necessary for education, health, holidays, pursuit of hobbies etc. At a deeper level, the purpose of people’s pursuit of wealth is for security,social recognition, mental peace, happiness, freedom to pursue their interests, making a difference in other’s lives, etc.

True,wealth can facilitate meeting all these ends. However, haven’t we seen unhappy, stressed wealthy people around us? Hasn’t wealth brought conflicts and rifts, a vicious environment and constraints instead of freedom? More often than not, we see wealth leading to ends exactly opposite of the declared noble purposes of wealth.

What is the root cause for this malady? Every human has “ego” and “wisdom”. The key concerns of “ego” are – I am right, you/other is wrong, I need to win and if I win someone else has to lose.

Wisdom thinks of ‘we’ rather than ‘me’. Wisdom is concerned about what is right and finds ways and means to utilizing diverse strengths of a team. Now the levels of ego and wisdom in an individual, family, organization, society, country and the world at large determines not only the level of material wealth that is accomplished but also the extent to which the noble purposes of wealth such as happiness, peace of mind etc. are accomplished.

The simple equation is

1. Human effort plus ego = depletion of wealth, unhappiness, stress etc.

2. Human effort plus wisdom = growth of wealth, happiness, peace etc.

And it is very much possible to strengthen your wisdom muscle and accomplish more wealth as well as achieve your chosen ends.

-By Anil Sainani

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