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Riches vis-a-vis respect.

I do not envy people who are rich. They must be terribly distressed by the idea of ever losing their riches. Second, they never know who their friends are, since "a friend in NEED is a friend indeed".
However I do envy people who are widely respected. It sort of humiliates me that I am insignificant. Hence I draw the conclusion that - in our heart of hearts - we are not craving for money, but we are all craving for respect, clout, sense of importance. The desire for respect stems directly from our basic instinct. Respectable status enjoyed by ourselves gives our genes a better chance to be passed on to offspring, and our offspring better chance to survive while under our parental custody. Those who try to accumulate a lot of wealth only do so, because they think they will be able to BUY other people's respect. They are bound to find out to their frustration that RESPECT CANNOT BE BOUGHT. Conversly you do not need riches to earn other people's respect. The obvious lesson from this analysis is that we should all concentrate our efforts, thoughts, attention on getting the real thing - the respect. The very first step in the process is to begin to respect yourself. Do not proceed to step 2, before step 1 is really and truly accomplished :-)
A word of caution. Respect is a dangerous possession. The more widely respected you are, the more limelight you are in. Make one false step and your ruin will be in proportion to the amount of respect you have enjoyed, and you stand to end up worse off that you would if you were a nobody. So if you are unsure of your own morality or integrity if you like, think twice before you embark on a journey in quest of too much respect from other people. In other words maintain the respect from other people at levels commensurate to the respect you have for yourself.

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    Jan 18 2013: I generally don't see getting respect and wealth as contradictory. The things you do to get wealth, work hard, create, contribute, take risks, are the same things that get you respect. I'll choose Bill Gates. A very wealthy man. Do you think people don't respect him? I certainly do.

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