The young rich paupers

chriscurnow.com this week finally got around to opening his copy of BRW’s Young Rich issue. In many ways it’s hard going. Lots of thirty year-olds giving the secrets of their “success”. As if these 30 y.o.’s know what “success” is. As if any of us really know what “success” is.
Regardless of all my uncertainties and insecurities around success, I am certain it has nothing to do with simply getting a lot of money – especially when the “money” is only paper share value. Perhaps running a business that builds wealth and services for a great number of people may help develop wisdom. That sounds as though it might be on the path to success.
Given my reticence to read this issue, I was at least refreshed to read Hugh Joffe’s article The young and the relentless (subscription required sorry).
I’ve always wondered why we glorify rich people so much. Apart from wanting to emulate them ourselves, Joffe points out that the rest of us benefit (in jobs and our own wealth) from the entrepreneur. However

Sadly, some make themselves and their families unhappy while they produce many benefits for the rest of us.

Sad indeed.
Further to the point

“…those who have [wealth] can seem brash and imnipotent, believing that ordinary rules of conduct do not apply to them. It is as if destiny has provided them with special powers, allowing them to be immune form any form of censure… These attitudes can foster insincere ways of relating and therefore too many wealthy young people have developed a lack of personal meaning (my emphasis)

.
I wonder what seeds we are sowing in our society by pushing our children from the youngest ages to strive for “success”.
I can’t do better than Joffe in finishing with a quote from Neil Simon: “Money brings some happiness. But after a certain point, it just brings more money.”

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