People feel self-actualized in various ways: by being influential in their social circles, being experts in their fields, being famous/infamous or having a hefty account they can be proud enough to hold. The kind of aspirations that one has determines what considers a worthwhile sacrifice or a waste of time.
Innocent people find themselves behind bars all the time, unfortunately as that may be and upon release, they are compensated with money to make up for the time lost/wasted. No amount of money can make up for productive days wasted. Some would argue that it’s possible to work all your life and never earn 5 million dollars to your credit. So what’s the big deal of sacrificing 5 years whiling away the time reading, washing dishes or whatever else they do there and coming out 5 million bucks richer? I’d say it would only feel okay for someone whose main aim is just to get rich.
It is true that some people who have been law-abiding enough never to see the insides of a holding cell in a police station never become rich to live the kind of life they would want. But for me, that’s no reason to give away five good years. There is no guarantee that I’d live to see the end of the five years; and someone else gets to enjoy the money without working for it? Not fair.
Also, the fact that you’re handed the money doesn’t necessarily mean it would automatically change one’s life for the better. People have made bad spending and investment choices with their money and have ended up poorer and indebted than before.
Besides, how can one know that you would never become rich? Others might have a head start with a substantial inheritance or trust fund but no one’s fate is cast in stone. All it takes is one idea, one seized opportunity, one open door, one supernatural breakthrough to turn one’s life around. I’d rather take my chances staying far away from a prison cell. Freedom is priceless.
Money is important but money isn’t everything. If the money acquired is used to help others and make the world a better place, great! But if the aim is just to earn it for self-centered reasons, then I’ll pass.
Tell me what you think. Share other views? Would love to know. Don’t forget to share so many others can join in the conversation.
© Josephine Amoako 2017
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