2013, Jun 17    

The other day, just like any other, I tweeted a Forbes article captioned “The World’s Youngest Billionaires: 29 Under 40”. The tweet drew some serious attention, namely it put me on the radar of a friend. But the option of a 140 chars tweet-reply was not sufficient for the message she had for me (judging from the email that neatly awaited me in my inbox).

It would be impolite for me to call her strongly worded email a rant, so we shall call it an example of free speech. The content of which informed me of myself (lest I had any delusions of who I was): a greedy corporate who worshiped “those greedy billionaires”. And that it wasn’t the first time she saw such ‘shares’ from me on her social media feed. “Money” should not be the prime motivator of my life. I am bad. I am evil. I should not exist.

Thank you for your feedback, my friend. Much appreciated. You are partially right. Following Forbes listed billionaires has become somewhat of a hobby for me. Suffice to say some of those billionaires (esp the techie ones) are my rock-stars. My personal favorite ones either created or invented wonders and the “billionaire” tag just happened to be a consequence of their hard work.

Anyway, this post is not about billionaires but about the thing that made them billionaire – Money.

Money cannot solve all the problems but it does solve a lot of problems and we all know it. Certainly, “Money” is not the only reason we study and work throughout our life in modern age, but it is undoubtedly one of THE most vital reasons we pursue our academic and professional careers. And yet we feel uncomfortable talking about money. If someone says they want to make a lot of money, we question their moral standards. We subconsciously think the only way to make a lot of money is the BAD way. We doubt the rich guys. How can s/he be rich if s/he is a good person?

The purpose of my post is just to give a reminder to us. A lot of money does not always mean “dirty money”. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting a lot of money in life as long as we earn it in an honest and fair way. For many of us, money is not the ultimate goal; it is just a way to reach our goals. The culture in which I grew up, “Sharing and giving” is embedded in our DNA. I need money for that “Sharing and giving”. I need money to buy a decent telescope, a childhood dream of mine. I need money to buy windsurfing gears. I need money so I may perform my pilgrimage. I need money to travel to my dream-lands (Egypt being one of them, in case you wondered). Which of these are immoral or inappropriate? If none, then making a lot of money in a proper way should not be a sin too as those dreams of mine certainly need a lot of money to become reality.

To me, becoming a fan of a billionaire is just like becoming a fan of a sports player or an actor. If I am a die hard fan of a cricket player it does not mean I am going to quit my job to become someone like him. Of course I wish I could be a player like him but it’s just that, a wish. So just like that, I wish I could have a successful idea execution like those billionaires but it’s just a wish. I am not ready yet to forsake my secured monthly salary and jump off the cliff hoping I will fly. Moreover, I don’t think anyone ever became billionaire by planning to become a billionaire. And suffice to say, when I say Billionaires I mean self-made billionaires. Not the ones who are billionaires by inheritance. And again, its not the money of those billionaires attract me but the works that made them billionaires.

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