Carolyn's Daily Posts: 2011

April 13, 2011

The Perils of Wealth


CAROLYN’S DAILY POSTS: 2011

THE PERILS OF WEALTH

     At some point we each dream of being rich. After all, it would allow us to buy whatever we want, and it would solve all our problems.

     Many lottery winners discover the real truth: being rich isn’t all it’s reputed to be. J. Paul Getty III, one of the world’s first billionaires, discovered that being excessively rich could be—and was, for him—a burden and a curse.* 

     While much is said and written about poverty causing dysfunctional lives it is difficult to understand how being rich can be the root of the dysfunction.

     When Getty was sixteen years old he was kidnapped while in Rome. Captors cut off his ear when his oil-rich grandfather balked at paying the seventeen million dollar ransom. After all, with fourteen grandchildren, this could be expensive.

     Grandfather Getty’s will was broken when he received the younger Getty’s ear in the mail. He paid a two-point-seven million dollar ransom, and the younger Getty was released after five months of captivity.

     Once released he embraced a partying life of drugs and alcohol. He dove deep into the 1970s hippie counterculture. In his twenties, while undergoing treatment, he suffered a devastating stroke causing him paralysis, inability to speak, and in need of ‘round-the-clock care.

     Ultimately, it was money at the root of his kidnapping. And money couldn’t heal him (however well it could provide care for the man in the wheelchair).

     To have billions of dollars has always seemed to me to present many conflicts and problems. What does one do with all that money? I’m happy having sufficient to meet my needs, now and in the future, to the best of my ability.

SOURCE

     Tycoon’s billions burdened grandson, Greensburg Tribune-Review, Feb. 9, 2011, pp. B5

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ADDITIONAL READING:

Random Acts of Kindness: Pass Them Forward

I Hate My Job!

The Family Facilitator

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