I would as soon leave my son a curse as the almighty dollar. Andrew Carnegie

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Now, clearly this is an extreme example of the hideous creature that money and poor parental direction can create but you can see where the concern of people like Peter Jones comes from. Of course for most of us such concerns are merely hypothetical. We don’t have the kind of money that could precipitate such statements as the last one out of dear Conrad’s mouth (and would never dream of encouraging such sentiments anyway).However, it is nonetheless an interesting debate and speaks to larger issues of parenthood and responsibility.

Why is having money (without the preceding slog) inherently bad? I know at this point someone reading this will no doubt be thinking that without such preamble one cannot learn the value of it, either for themselves or for others. They might also be thinking that a life without such a driving force, i.e. to succeed and prosper, an individual is destined to live a dissolute and wearisome life. And for some this is unquestionably true. But I ask, why is this inevitable?

Why is it that the absence of money is deemed to inspire someone to live a worthwhile life? For my own part I can honestly say there are some things I have done I would rather not have and (bar an appreciation for how awful some things can be) I can truthfully say that it has not made me a fundamentally better person. The empathy I have for the suffering of others does not lie in my own suffering. There is also a peculiar arrogance to the idea, as if, to take the example of Peter Jones, that his struggle towards riches and its end result is some sort of ideal state that one should strive for. There are different paths towards self-realisation.

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