Oprah and Wealth

Something that Oprah said a while back has troubled me.  Oprah was doing a local interview with a Tampa Bay reporter and the subject of her wealth came up.  There was a comment made about the difference between being a billionaire and a millionaire and Oprah said something to the effect of “Don’t ever let anyone tell you that it isn’t important or that it makes no difference, because there is a HUGE difference.”  What I need is clarification of what she meant by that.  I think that in the wake of the recently revealed research that says that the wealthy, live substantially longer than the destitute, I think that it matters what you mean when you say that having money makes a huge difference in your life.  I can only conjecture that having money means that your stress is less and according to medical research a stress free life is a key to a long life.  It is also true that you get better and faster lifelong medical care if you have money. 

At the end of the day; who you are and what you do is not dependent on whether you spent the day in a 500 square foot home or 60,000 square foot home.  Who you are and what you do is more about you than what you have.  Trust me; I am not one of those minimalists that believe that “nothing” is better because I have nothing.  Not at all, I love clothes and shoes and beautiful jewelry, I can be as crassly commercial as the next person.  No – I am not a nun or an ascetic.

Here is what I mean: people who have money may have less stress in their life and that may mean that they live longer.  Character-ologically, they are who they are, money or not.  If you are a pedophile, you are a person who wants to have sex with children and no amount of money is going to make you a better person.  If you are a loving and nurturing human being – being wealthy with money – will not change that, you may have more opportunities to be nurturing (because of your wealth) but money will not change you into something that you are not.  So, if you spent today in a 1,000 square foot home and what you did was to take care of an infant in a loving way, you are no different than someone who did the same thing in a 10,000 square foot home.  You are, however, very different than the person who physically and emotionally abused their family today.   The person who beats their child in a 1,000 square foot house is not different than the person who beats their child in a 10,000 square foot house.

So I say that money is NOT the answer, but is only a variable in an equation.  I think that the answer to the equation is always YOU.  Who are you?

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