An Insight


I remember a conversation I had in 2007 with a guy billed as a multi-millionaire.The man was a successful entrepreneur and as a principal of a PE had his hand in many more businesses.

I never really got to know his exact net-worth nor how much of it was of the notional paper variety.But to give you some perspective,the man was able to access a Ferrari and a Maserati,made it a point to talk to all and sundry about his new pilot licence and his upgraded private jet.He had graduated from Harvard and was active in its Alumni network.He had the requisite society wife and 2 children with the nanny and house-help along with the hot secretary and mentees and plain,sensible executive assistant.He was restoring a historic building that he planned to call home.He had an office down-town and a ranch an easy drive away.He was Republican and flaunted his connections to the Bush family.He claimed Michel Dell as a friend and Bill Ackman as guru.He managed to get himself into the business and society pages of the local papers.Unfortunately,I was too much of an outsider to this group to assess quality of his connections.

He came from some wealth as his family had managed to do well in oil.However,he considered himself quite self-made as they had were in reduced circumstances before he rebuilt the family fortunes.

He had some extremely inflexible opinions on giving and wouldn’t allow that there might be other views on the matter.And this recollection is from a monologue on giving,He was telling us how he flew his family down to the Bahamas in the holidays to get his children to interact with orphans and share their bounty with them.He was pressing the world to follow his example and give.As he droned on I had most of my mind switched off.What’s so unique in giving to orphans?And why go searching for poor orphans in another county?If you go on an expensive vacation,why explain it to others?Why so much guilt about having money?Why bother so much about whether society sees you as deserving of your money?I already knew that Americans were extremely judgmental in who they believe were deserving of wealth.So perhaps this guy was working through his conflicts……I’m personally like:You have money? -Good.Want to spend it?-Fine.Want to give it away?-Good.End of story.

Then all of a sudden came my insight,when I heard the tone of his voice change.In a “little-boy” voice he started speaking about how poverty is scary.I could hear the fear and pain in his voice.I know him too slightly to know his childhood experiences with American style poverty.But he had suffered in some great way at least emotionally and mentally.The fear of returning to that state was very real in his mind.He made money to escape poverty.He believed in tithing as he saw it as paying God for allowing him to keep his money and his giving was not so much to help others or make them happy as ensure that he doesn’t have to bear their fate in his version of a just world……

This is when I was struck by the difference between us and why I was so often put off by a lot of what he used to say.I come from a family that combines reduced means and self made wealth.I have experienced hunger and rationing and having to do without.This experience is behind my quest for abundance in every sense.I know that the march from poverty to wealth is often a long and hard one,when you don’t know better and people at this stage rarely know better.I don’t like taking risks which might mean I may have to start all over again and lose the work of a few years but I have no fears of poverty or reduced means for I know I just need t0 persevere and I will succeed.

Sure,luck or fate has something to do with one’s fortune.Which baby got to pick its parents?But in a large measure we are responsible for own wealth.Its every day behaviour,more than anything else that determines our wealth.For everything else I have my belief in Karma.My Gods are kinder ones who want abundance and happiness for all beings on earth.Why one person starts richer than another is karma.Why sudden luck or ill-luck befalls anybody is karma.Neither wealth or poverty is permanent.We are/do and the universe doed the rest.Fear, guilt,shame are quite unnecessary on money matters.Give if you want to,take if you must.Its Karma in operation.Thats all.Neither the giver nor taker need agonize over the transaction.

About Keerthika Singaravel

One Response to An Insight

  1. Pingback: Losing The Fear Of Poverty | wealthymatters

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