I recently heard of someone who has ‘acquired’ three houses which belonged to her family and her husband’s family by falsifying some documents. She lives in one of them. Now, in her late sixties, she runs around trying hard to maintain three houses which for various reasons cannot be rented out. Managing the upkeep of three houses on retirement benefits must be a hard task. To add to her woes, her son has taken to the bottle and lost his job – so she has to help support his family.
It makes you wonder whether such acquisition of ‘wealth’ is worth the trouble.
This reminded me of one of the stories Leo Tolstoy once told about a race. The winner would be awarded all of the land around which he could walk or run from sunrise to sunset.
Finally, the race began. One man walked leisurely at first; after all, he had all day. But then, his mind began to work on him. “All the land I can encompass in a day is mine.” And so he speeded up his pace until he was running. His heart beat faster, and his breath became shorter, and he became more and more fatigued. However, he pressed on.
He tore through thickets and tumbled down hills. He ran until he was at the point of absolute exhaustion – until he felt he couldn’t take another step. And then, just as the sun was going down, he saw the finish line. With his last bit of strength, he staggered to the finish line and fell over it… dead.
They gave him the land. He is buried there, six feet under it.
What do you think about acquiring wealth at any cost?