People born in richness and/or happiness need to make a greater effort
I just read that phrase somewhere and I am very intrigued by it. Can it be so? If one is born into a nice family, if one is never belittled or ridiculed, if oneŽs teachers and parents treat one always in a respectful and encouraging way, if we live a good life, do we need to make a geater effort than others less fortunate, and if so, how? I would appreciate any comments, as this phrase resonated very deeply in me .
Effort to do what?
I do believe it is true.
I've been utterly smashed up by life but putting myself back together has made me so much stronger than you could imagine.
I wish it wasn't true but I think it has to be: "The existence of light depends on the existence of darkness".
I take solace in the idea that darkness only needs to be ABLE to exist. For our parts, if we choose to leave it behind we can still enjoy the benefit of it - that it defines light - without having to experience it. Life can have more light than darkness, much more, if we choose. We're set in the world with both these things then given absolutely free will about what to do.
People have the concept that those who are born in richness need to work harder than anyone to succeed in life. However I think the statement only apply when those who are born in richness are lacking the hunger to succeed because they can have everything from their parents. No matter how rich or poor you are, you still need to work hard to achieve success. No doubt about that.
Personal Development Blogger
I don't really agree with that quote, but as someone who had a very nice childhood (albeit pretty poor and raised by a single mom), I have to say that it takes a lot of effort to not try to teach people to not litter, to use turn signals, to be courteous, etc. - in other words, it takes a lot of work to realize that not everyone is as kind as I am and not hold it against them.
I think the idea is that if you are privileged, it is your sacred duty to give back to the world. Like the Kennedys, for instance. IŽll try to find more information about this, and I really appreciate all your comments, guys.:)
Hi, Annabelle - I've often thought the same thing, in the arena of spirituality and introspection. It's hardship that springs somebody into examining themselves, and trying to find meaning in life. Without that hardship I think there would be little motivation to do that.
BTW - <3 Guatemala :)
From a financial perspective, In my opinion, the bottom line is that it is your money, and assuming happiness is your goal, you should use it to achieve this end. If giving it all away to charity makes you happy, then great, do it. If spending it all on shoes and purses is your idea of bliss, have at it! Should the have-nots really be dictating what the haves do with their money?
From Atlas Shrugged:
"Men who have no courage, pride or self-esteem, men who have no moral sense of their right to their money and are not willing to defend it as they defend their life, men who apologize for being rich--will not remain rich for long. They are the natural bait for the swarms of looters that stay under rocks for centuries, but come crawling out at the first smell of a man who begs to be forgiven for the guilt of owning wealth. They will hasten to relieve him of the guilt--and of his life, as he deserves."
"Francisco's Money Speech" by Ayn Rand -- Capitalism Magazine
From a moral perspective, should one "give back" by doing volunteer work? You don't need to be wealthy or happy to do volunteer work -- you just show up like everyone else. Do you need to establish a charitable foundation? College scholarship program? Hospice center? Again, it's your money, your happiness. I would only pursue these ventures because I want to, not because I feel like I have to. Although I wasn't born into a wealthy or happy family, I would not feel like I would need to apologize to the world if I was.
what do you mean by "richness"? Do you mean someone who has more than ___ in assets? Or no assets but makes more than ___ a year? Or someone who lives below their means and always has money when the kids need something (eg someone who doesn't splurge on them self but the kids are never left wanting)? Or someone who lives beyond their means and convinces them self they're successful while they keep adding more and more to their credit card debt?
It also seems like you're asking if how people treat the "rich" person affect their happiness. What if the "rich" person never tells his peers he is rich? People can only treat someone differently if the person makes a point of letting everyone know. Perhaps a kid who boasts about his weath is treated differently not because of the money but because he's a braggart?
Personally I've spent time with wealthy people (as in assets) and high income people. If they're unhappy, it has more to do with them. It's someone else's fault if they aren't happy. The one very wealthy family I know seems miserable. The kid is spoiled rotten and is now in her 20s and had to "accidental" kids by 2 different guys she doesn't even like. The father is jaded and he spends his time buying more and more because a few weeks after each new purchase, he's bored again. The mother seems lost and despite having what most consider a fortune, she can't stand up to her pushy husband or give herself permission to enjoy things. The two "accidental" kids are bought every toy there is by the entire family, spoiled with too many gifts, but nobody wants to spend time with them. Money does not buy happiness.
That being said, I've got some relatives who are worth millions. They're down to earth people, and you never know they're well off. They have good days and bad, just like everyone else. They're happy, caring, giving people.
You ask: should anyone who is well of be expected to give back? I think most people give, even if they're not rich. Middle and lower classes just give smaller monetary gifts or may do volunteer work. I personally am still unemployed, after being laid off in January, but I can do charity work. I don't believe anyone should feel it's a mandate or obligation though.
I'll tell you what though, if I were born into "the good life" the quickest way to get me to not help is by expecting that I should help and that I owe anyone anything just because I happen to be more fortunate.
I don't mind someone feeling: "Hmmm, I'm living a pretty good life, so I want to help those less fortunate and give back to the world." That's a lot different than thinking, "you are living a good life so you should give back to the world."
One thought is a guideline for me to live my life, and the other is telling everyone else how to live theirs. Huge difference for me. and it makes a huge difference on what results are generated.
If you want to find ways to contribute to the world, you can do so yourself, and inspire others to do so too, just by being that. If you want to convince others to contribute to the world, I think the least productive way is to make them feel like they owe it.
And to complicate matters... some people do make an effort to help others, but sometimes, they end up not helping and enabling. You know what they say about good intentions!
What an interesting conversation. I'm still brought back to the question about your original quote: Make a greater effort to what?
While it's true that our struggles forge our deepest insights, growth and noble character traits, I'm not sure wealth has much to do with that. The 'spoiled' children may have their own struggles with self-esteem, parental relationships, etc. to go through.
On the other hand, don't all of us on a board like this (about personal development, growth, insights) want to teach what we've learned to our kids?
I, personally, want to enable my daughter to experience a life of wealth, freedom, and abundance in every way. I refuse to teach her that she has to struggle for everything - I teach her that she is in creative control and that she can create EXACTLY what she wants. I also teach her self-responsibility (a core trait in conscious creation) and appreciation, so there is no spoiled brat-ness going on...does this mean she'll have things easier? Possibly...BUT a) I believe she'll have her own growth-inducing challenges no matter how I try and prepare her, because that's life and b) if we are all trying to awaken to our creative powers and live magnificently abundant lives, then isn't what I'm doing contributing to this human ability - on both a global and a deeply personal level?...
This is just a bit of what comes up for me when reading this. Thanks for the interesting thread.
That is a biased thought I think. I don't think it is fair to assume people born in richness need to make a greater effort.
I actually took it more on the "happiness" side than on the "richness" side. ie, someone born into a life in which they experience contentment most of the time.
I was born on the "happiness" side, and that has me feeling like I have a sacred privilege to expand it in myself and others. but as ns123 mentioned, someone telling me I have a "duty" to nurture happiness or any other resource is likely to get the opposite of their intended result.
Sometimes I can be a stubborn cuss, and I enjoy increasing my choice, not decreasing it.
I have quite a few friends who were born rich. What I have noticed is that most of them tried drugs and are suspicious of people who are not rich because they think that such people are talking behind their backs.
I have also noticed that those that are born into rich families find it much harder to find real friends and they get depressed because they cannot find happiness in money.
But the ones that find happiness in themselves realise that you do not need anything external to make you happy.
For me personally, I believe you should make more of an effort.
I believe this because I am one of those privileged types, I've been blest with a load of both external and internal qualities and circumstances which well... make me a lot luckier than most people I know.
Realizing this one evening was big for me. It made me realize that whilst most young people my age were struggling to pay the rent and other bills... I never had, I'm sitting on a small fortune and I'm surrounded by a group of people who love spoiling me rotten with food, clothes, money, etc. The kids struggling to pay the bills dreamt of all these wonderful things, wishing they had the time and the money. I had both and right now I was squandering them on pointless things and activities.
I felt sick knowing I had wasted most of my life in this fashion- that I could of been someone great and doing great things by now but instead I had blown that time on... crape.
So from that point one I made it a point to use my time constructively, to be more patient and generous with those who were always helping me/spoiling me, to do the best I could on a task when people asked me to help them out. I've been given a lot of resources... and I feel that I should give back, return the huge favours that the Universe has thrown my way all these years.
I believe you could make more of an effort.
I would have been more open to making more effort, but since you said should... my first reaction is to say, "No I don't!"
And then, all the wonderful stuff you said after that - that was actually quite inspiring, would have been discarded because all I hear after that first line is nag nag nag.
Funny how I have a tendency to react that way when I hear the word should. I just love how language is so powerful!
Should is uncomfortable for me too .. I don't normally look at people and think they "should" do this, or "shouldn't" do that - except when I see someone telling another person they "should" or "shouldn't" do something! Then I start thinking - "hey, you shouldn't be telling that person what they should be doing." Ironic.
I think it can mean different things to different people too:
"If you don't do it, you're a bad person" (very judgemental)
"Doing it would be useful to other people" (just an observation of fact)
"Doing it will help you to move towards that purpose" (guidance)
I don't think it's always a judgemental word. I don't know how the OP meant it in this thread, really.
shoulds are for shoulders
I don't think anyone shouldn't should. You should should if you choose to should!
What a weird word.
I just don't think *shoulding* is effective in getting the results you want. In fact, I think it's really effective at getting the results you DON'T want! *Needs", too, another word used in the OP -- I have very few needs: water, food, shelter, and maybe one or two others -- and everything else is a preference.
As for "sacred duty," well, that might work on some people, but for me it inspires a great big "feh" of dismissal. I suspect the same is true -- dismissal or resistance -- for others around here.
If your really want to be effective in getting the result that people born in richness/and or happiness are making a greater effort, I think it would be effective to (but I don't think you *should* :D) demonstrate how that would be a benefit to the rich/happy person. Inspire them. There is an abundance of benefit and inspiration available in what you're suggesting, so you shouldn't run out any time soon! ;)
Hi, Angela - I agree about the shoulds. If someone is shoulding on someone about their shoulding on other people, they're doing the very thing they think people shouldn't do.
Sacred duty made me think of something different than moral obligation. Moral obligation being: you "should" do this, and if you don't you're somehow bad or wrong.
Maybe it would be better to think of it as Sacred calling. As in, something a person is inspired to do.
Again, I'm still not sure what the OP really meant about this. But everyone seemed to think she was talking about other people. My first thought was that she was talking about it for herself. She said it's a phrase that resonated with her. I didn't get the sense that she was trying to make anyone else do anything. Maybe I'm wrong here.
Regarding that last paragraph "If your really want to be effective in getting the result that people born in richness/and or happiness are making a greater effort ...", I don't know if that was directed at me or not. I'm not trying to get anyone to do that.
I'm still wondering what the effort is for, though. Effort to do what, exactly? Did you ever have a teacher tell you, "You should make more of an effort!" She didn't realize you WERE making an effort -- an effort to something other than what she thinks you *should.* :D
Actually I don't think anyone's ever said that to me.
Plays With Life,
LOL! Thank you! I love it how you pointed out that when some one says to me, "NS, you should..." I always respond with, "Well, you should not should me!" When I saw this, there was so much truth, I started laughing!
Good on you for catching it!
My real purpose is to basically say what Angela is saying, when some one tells me I should do something, I always respond with doing the opposite. :) What is funny is for me to tell everyone else, "you shouldn't should me!"
But really, what I'm trying to say is: When you should me, you will get the opposite result. So there's nothing wrong with you telling me I should do anything, just like there is nothing wrong with me resisting and doing the total opposite.
LOL. I always laugh at myself when I catch me doing it too :D
As Angela says "Effort to do what." The question is why are we alive? What is the purpose of life? Why are you alive? Why do you exist? Why is there a world? Does it matter if you do not exist?
The original saying is like saying that people with longer legs need to run faster. Why? Where do you need to run to? Where are you going to? Where is the race? How much does it pay? It is not good for people to be shoulding on each other (pun on words). I come from the most priviledged family ever in the history of mankind, that I know of.
So what does that mean? Does it mean that I will live forever and never die? No I will die someday just like you. Does it mean that I will never age and be eternally young? No I will age just like you, but at a slower rate. Does it mean that I know exactly when I will die? No.
I think that everyone gets exactly what they need. It is a very ancient concept called karma. Just like you, I need to constantly choose what to do every given moment. It is not about comparing yourself to others. Does making me more priviledged than anyone else give me perfect peace and limitless happiness. No, I have to work for it just like everyone else. It is not about comparing yourself to others. It is about doing the best that you can and finding what you are looking for.
Say that you are raping 1 person every 3 months but eveyone else is raping 2 to 10 people a month. That makes you better than everyone else. Right? But does that make you perfect with no room for improvement? No. You can become someone who rapes 1 person every year. When comparing yourself to others it is all relative. You can even become someone who never rapes but just sexally assaults people. You see the point, right?
There is a story about this. These people were better than a woman and they were going to stone her. But Jesus said "He who is without sin, can throw the first stone." Then a woman throws a stone and Jesus says "Stop showing off, Mom." Your job is to find happiness for you. After you are in perfect peace and limitless happiness all the time, then you can be concerned about others.
One study I read showed that people who come from higher incomes have more mental stress/pressure to succeed than those from lower incomes. I've observed this in my personal life with friends who come from rich families too. I know some Asians in particular who will cry and be terrified of their parents if they mess up on one test, whereas some other friends are just happy to scrape by and their parents love them regardless.
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